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Journal of the History of Ideas

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2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
John Person
It is often taken for granted that ultranationalist ideologues of interwar Japan were anti-western, uncritical mouthpieces of state ideology. This article considers the case of Minoda Muneki (1894-1946) who led the purge of liberals and Marxists from imperial universities. In articulating his theory of nationalism and critique of Marxism, Minoda drew upon a global discourse of social theory. Furthermore, his rise to power was a product of a short-lived convergence of interests between his organization and government figures...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Amit Kravitz
The first few sections of this article concern the pleasure taken in the dynamically sublime. I argue that, according to Kant, intuited nature does not only serve to occasion that pleasure, but is actually a constitutive element of it. The latter sections concern the role of the dynamically sublime in Kant's philosophy. I argue that this notion is a significant link between morality and theology. This explains why some unique anti-Kantian arguments directed against the link have led Schelling to develop an alternative conception of the sublime, which must be understood in terms of tragedy...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Marco Menin
This article aims to show how Bernardin de Saint-Pierre-whose philosophical and theological thought is generally overlooked by scholars-provides an original solution to the problem of the existence of evil. A comparative reading of the systematic discussion of Providence that animates The Studies of Nature, his major theoretical work, and Paul and Virginia, a true Romanesque application of the philosophical treatise, brings out a double theodicy. In fact, Saint-Pierre establishes a fruitful synergy between Rousseau's anthropodicy, which provides a social and historical justification of evil, and Leibniz's eschatology, aimed at its metaphysical and otherworldly justification...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Jacqueline Broad
Little is known about the shaping and development of Anne Conway's thought in relation to her early modern contemporaries. In one part of her only surviving treatise, The Principles, Conway criticises "those doctors" who uphold a dualist theory of soul and body, a mechanist conception of body (as dead and inert), and the view that the soul is "intimately present" in the body. In this paper, I argue that here she targets Walter Charleton, a well-known defender of Epicurean atomism in mid-seventeenth-century England...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Adam Woodhouse
This article excavates some of the classical foundations of early modern European thinking about empire. It shows that Renaissance humanists drew from Roman sources a conceptual apparatus with which they described the Florentine Republic's subjection of neighboring peoples in terms that avoided the idea of slavery. Of particular importance to the humanists' ideological project was their exploitation of the Roman concept of patronage. The article concludes with an account of the radical reappraisal that this patronal vision of empire underwent in Machiavelli's theory of the imperial republic, a theory with the concept of slavery at its heart...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Riccardo Saccenti
During the 12th century and early 13th century, natural law was a central interest of canon lawyers and Roman lawyers, but theologians also debated it on the basis of the exegesis of some key passages of Scripture. Peter Lombard, with his understanding of the content of Paul's Epistle to the Romans 1:19 and 2:13-14 is at the origin of a relevant tradition within the Parisian theological framework. The article examines how natural law is analyzed by the Lombard and his major successors, namely Peter Comestor, Peter the Chanter, and Stephen Langton...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
O P Andrew Hofer, O P Alan Piper
This study considers the phrase "art of arts and science of sciences," and its variants, in antiquity. Often scholars who note the phrase in a particular ancient author's writing may make reference to another ancient author, but without considering the breadth or depth of its occurrences in antiquity. Beginning with the late sixth-century Gregory the Great's Book of Pastoral Rule, this article retraces the idea through history until reaching Philo of Alexandria. Philo's two uses of the phrase have been neglected in secondary scholarship, and yet his contributions foreshadow the semantic range that will subsequently be seen...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Paul Hanebrink
This essay explores the intellectual origins of Edith Stein's canonization. In the years of the early Cold War, when Christians on both sides of the Atlantic proclaimed "Judeo-Christian civilization" to be the greatest bulwark against totalitarianism in both its Nazi and Soviet guises, Stein became a powerful anti-totalitarian symbol. During the 1980s, a new Pope, John Paul II, revived the memory of Stein and linked it to his own rich understanding of Judeo-Christian civilization as a set of values opposed to both Nazism and Communism...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Udi Greenberg
This essay explores the transformation of Catholic thinking about the right to religious freedom. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Catholics vehemently opposed this right (Pope Gregory XVI called it "absurd and erroneous"). Church leaders claimed that in order to protect Catholic Church teachings on marriage, education, and worship, states had to enshrine them in law, even if that meant severely limiting the rights of Protestants, Jews, and others. The 1950s and 1960s, however, witnessed a sea change, as a growing chorus of thinkers and theologians called on Catholics to embrace a pluralist and tolerant attitude...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Sarah Shortall
This article provides a rejoinder to recent historical accounts which trace the origins of international human rights to the work of conservative Christians writing in the 1930s and 1940s. Focusing on the French Catholics usually identified as the architects of Christian human rights theory, I argue that this was neither a unified project, nor an unambiguously conservative one. Instead, I stress the political ambivalence of Christian human rights discourse-the way it defied distinctions between right and left, or liberal and conservative...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Gene Zubovich
How Christian conceptions of human rights became associated with anti-racism is the subject of this article. Protestants rooted human rights in a philosophical doctrine called "personalism," whose language of "dignity," the "human family," and the "human person" was first developed in the Methodist-run philosophy department at Boston University at the turn of the century. Personalism, evoked in interwar discussions of racism and colonialism, transformed into the political language of human rights during World War II, a moment when Protestant intellectuals were seeking to defend liberal freedoms...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Dan Edelstein
This essay explores the early Catholic response to the concept of human rights. It is widely assumed that the Catholic Church opposed human rights talk in the wake of the French Revolution, and only slowly came around to accepting it in the twentieth century. However, a more systematic analysis of Pius VI's stance toward the French Revolution reveals that he approved of human rights, but had a more Thomistic understanding of them than what was found in the French Declaration. The Vatican's embrace of human rights in the 1930s should accordingly be seen as a continuity of more long-standing practices...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Udi Greenberg, Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Fons Dewulf
This paper situates Carl Hempel's 1942 paper "The Function of General Laws in History" within a broader debate over the philosophy of history in American academia between 1935 and 1943. I argue that Hempel's paper was directed against German neo-Kantianism, and show how the German debate over historiography continued between 1939 and 1943 in the context of New York through the contributions of German philosophers who operated in the same intellectual network as Hempel, namely Paul Oskar Kristeller and Edgar Zilsel...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Matthew Rukgaber
This article argues that Kant's early metaphysics (1755-1764) remains unscathed by the arguments found in the 1766 work, Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. I expose the errors of the standard approaches to Dreams, which take the text to be either entirely opposed to metaphysics or at least critical of all present forms of metaphysics, Kant's own early work included. Through a close reading of the text of Dreams, I show that Kant's early metaphysics remains the standard of how metaphysics should be done, how it avoids any commitment to immaterial spirits, and what some of its actual conclusions are...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Pasquale Terracciano
The importance of Origen of Alexandria's legacy for Giovanni Pico della Mirandola has been widely debated for its role in Pico's trial, its possible reverberations on the entire "Apology," and its assonance with the Pichian idea of the dignity of man. This article aims instead to show the substantial role of Origen in shaping the Pichian construction of the Christian Kabbalah's tradition. This scrutiny, by clarifying the extent of the Origenian influence as well as Pico's rhetorial strategies, helps to put the Pichian idea of the freedom of man in a new framework...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Ian Hesketh
This essay examines the publishing and reception of J. R. Seeley's Natural Religion (1882), a book that sought to bring about a reconciliation between science and religion. While Natural Religion has long been overlooked, it is argued that its reception gives us insight into changing views about the relationship between science and religion in the late Victorian period. The essay also explores how the reception of the book was conditioned by its bibliographic lineage as it was signed not by Seeley, but "by the Author of Ecce Homo...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Eliyahu Stern
This essay addresses the reception of Karl Marx's writings among Russian Jewish revolutionaries in the 1870s. It explores the way Aaron Shemuel Lieberman (1843-1880), known as "the father of Jewish socialism," interpreted Marx through a kabbalistic prism. It argues that Jews were attracted to Marx in part because of the overlaps between historical materialism and certain strands of the kabbalistic tradition. It also sheds light on the early reception of Marx and the way his theory of revolution was reinterpreted to reflect the unique socio-economic conditions of the Russian Empire...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Sandrine Berg├Ęs
I examine some of the evidence for collaboration between Condorcet and Sophie de Grouchy on the writing of the Sketch of Human Progress, but also uncover the ways in which the publication and reception of that text worked to exclude a woman who was a philosopher in her own right from a work she clearly contributed to. I show that at least one passage that was added in the 1795 edition makes the work philosophically more interesting.
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
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