Universitaire Pers Leuven

  • Henry of Ghent, the most influential philosopher/theologian of the last quarter of the 13th century at Paris, delivered his fourth Quodlibet during 1279. This Quodlibet was written at the beginning of what could be called the height of his career.

    In total there are 37 questions, which cover a wide range of topics, including theories in theology, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, ethics, and canon law. In these questions Henry presents his mature thought concerning the number of human substantial forms in which he counters the claims of the defenders of Thomas Aquinas, particularly those in Giles of Lessines's De unitate formae, but also those found in Giles of Rome's Contra Gradus. He is critical of Thomas Aquinas's theories concerning human knowledge, the 'more' and the 'less,' and virtue. He also is critical of Bonaventure's analysis of Augustine's notion of rationes seminales.

    There are 33 known manuscripts which contain the text of Quodlibet IV, and the critical text is reconstructed based upon manuscripts known to have been in Henry's school, as well as manuscripts copied from two successive university exemplars in Paris.

  • The transformation of the science of the soul between 1260 and 1360.

    Aristotle's highly influential work on the soul, entitled De anima, formed part of the core curriculum of medieval universities and was discussed intensively. It covers a range of topics in philosophical psychology, such as the relationship between mind and body and the nature of abstract thought. However, there is a key difference in scope between the socalled 'science of the soul', based on Aristotle, and modern philosophical psychology.

    This book starts from a basic premise accepted by all medieval commentators, namely that the science of the soul studies not just human beings but all living beings. As such, its methodology and approach must also apply to plants and animals. The Science of the Soul discusses how philosophers, from Thomas Aquinas to Pierre d'Ailly, dealt with the difficult task of giving a unified account of life and traces the various stages in the transformation of the science of the soul between 1260 and 1360. The emerging picture is that of a gradual disruption of the unified approach to the soul, which will ultimately lead to the emergence of psychology as a separate discipline.

  • Mit 'Willensschwäche' wird gemeinhin eine Situation gekennzeichnet, in der jemand wider besseres Wissen bzw. gegen seinen eigenen Vorsatz handelt. Die philosophische Relevanz dieses Alltagsproblems liegt in der damit verbundenen Infragestellung unseres Selbstverständnisses
    als rationale Akteure sowie in der Frage nach den involvierten handlungstheoretischen und psychologischen Erklärungsmustern für ein solches Handeln. Dieses Buch bietet die erste umfassende Geschichte dieses Problems im antiken und mittelalterlichen Denken, die in vier Teilbereichen rekonstruiert wird:
    (1) die akrasia-Debatte im klassischen Griechenland;
    (2) das spezifisch christliche Verständnis der Willenschwäche in der Spätantike;
    (3) die Konzeptualisierung unwilligen Handelns in der Monastik;
    (4) die scholastische Debatte zwischen 'Intellektualisten' und 'Voluntaristen' über die Grundlagen der menschlichen Freiheit.
    Die Studie zeigt sowohl die Entwicklung innerhalb dieser Kontexte an Hand zentraler Autoren als auch deren Verzahnung untereinander auf.
    Im Schlussteil werden die historischen Resultate für die gegenwärtige Diskussion fruchtbar gemacht.

  • In-depth analysis of Plutarch's anti-Epicurean treatise Adversus Colotem.
    L'Adversus Colotem, composto intorno al 100 d.C., fa parte, insieme al non posse e al de latenter vivendo, della cosiddetta 'trilogia anti-epicurea' di Plutarco. Questo volume analizza l'Adversus Colotem nel suo complesso, approfondendone, in particolar modo, le strategie polemiche, le alleanze filosofiche e le tecniche argomentative. Il libro si articola in quattro capitoli, rispettivamente dedicati: 1) all'analisi della struttura dell'opera; 2) alla ricostruzione, basata sullo studio critico delle fonti antiche (Plutarco, Proclo, Macrobio e i Papiri Ercolanesi), della figura, degli scritti e della filosofia dell'epicureo Colote; 3) all'approfondimento della tesi dell'unità dell'Accademia, così come difesa in quest'opera da Plutarco; 4) all'esame della sezione su Arcesilao (Adv. Col. 1121 E-1123 A) e, in special modo, della teoria dell'azione dell'accademico ivi esposta. Chiude il volume un sommario in lingua inglese.

    The Adversus Colotem, written around 100 A.D., is one of Plutarch's three extant anti-Epicurean treatises. It is a reply to Colotes' otherwise unknown book entitled 'On the fact that according to the doctrines of the other philosophers it is impossible to live'. This volume analyses the Adversus Colotem as a whole and, in particular, explores its polemical target, its philosophical background. and its argumentative strategies. It consists of four chapters, devoted respectively to: 1) the structure of the Adversus Colotem; 2) a critical examination of the ancient sources (Plutarch, Proclus, Macrobius, and the Herculaneum Papyri) concerning Colotes' life, philosophy, and role in the Epicurean tradition; 3) the thesis of the unity of the Academy, as it is defended by Plutarch in the Adversus Colotem; and 4) the analysis of the section on Arcesilaus (Adv. Col. 1121 E-1123 A), which contains Arcesilaus' response to the apraxia charge. An English summary concludes the volume.

  • La nature des Formes intelligibles d'Antiochus à Plotin.
    L'ouvrage propose une histoire de l'interprétation de la nature des Formes intelligibles d'Antiochus à Plotin. Il met en lumière l'importance du refus plotinien de l'artificialisme médioplatonicien qui considère les Formes comme des pensées du dieu et subordonne leur causalité à celle du démiurge, fabricant du monde. En considérant les Formes comme des réalités vivantes et intellectives, Plotin bouleverse le sens de la causalité paradigmatique de l'intelligible. Il reprend les concepts de la théologie aristotélicienne, les détourne et les met au service d'une théorie de la causalité des intelligibles qui répond aux objections du Stagirite contre l'hypothèse des Formes. S'appuyant sur l'identité de l'intellect et des intelligibles, il montre que c'est précisément en restant en elles-mêmes que les Formes exercent une puissance générative, productrice du sensible.

    The nature of intelligible Forms from Antiochus to Plotinus.
    The nature of intelligible Forms received different interpretations from various ancient Platonists. This book sketches the history of these interpretations from Antiochus to Plotinus and shows the radical transformation this theory underwent in the hands of the latter. Pre-Plotinian Platonists considered the Forms as "thoughts of god" and made the causal role of the Forms depend on the craftsman-god. Plotinus rejected this "artificialist" model. Instead he considered the Forms as living and intellective realities and thereby turned the paradigmatic causality of the intelligible on its head. The Forms are themselves active and the demiurge is no longer needed as a causal agent separate from the Forms. Plotinus incorporated key concepts of Aristotelian theology and included them in a doctrine of the causality of the Forms, thus overcoming Aristotle's objections against Platonic Forms.

  • The Stadsbibliotheek of Brugge houses a manuscript (ms. 510, f. 227ra-237vb) that holds a short logical text on the Syncategoremata, e.g. words that are not subjects or predicates in proposition. In this manuscript the text is ascribed to Henry of Ghent, who was a leading thinker of the second half of the thirteenth century. The highly interesting text contains some typical themes of Henry of Ghent, e.g. the distinction between esse essentiae and esse existentiae, which further supports the attribution to Henry. If it is the case that the text is by Henry, it shows that Henry had much more technical knowledge of logic and semantics than is often imagined. In the critical study which precedes the critical edition it is shown that the text was influenced by the logical works of Peter of Spain.

  • A love-based reason theory as a new perspective in the debate on practical reasons.

    Reasons and obligations pervade our lives. The alarm clock gives us a reason to get up in the morning, the expectations of colleagues or clients give us a reason to do our jobs well, the misery in developing countries gives us a reason to donate money to Oxfam, a headache gives us a reason to take an aspirin. Looking for unity in variety, philosophers wonder why a consideration counts as a reason to do something. The nature and source of practical reasons have been debated intensively over the last three decades in analytical philosophy. This book discusses the three most influential theories referred to as the desire-based, the value-based, and the rationality-based theories of practical reasons. The author argues that all three are defective because they overlook the role of what agents care about. In the end it is our being concerned about other people, leading a meaningful life and being healthy (among other things) that gives us reasons to do certain things rather than others. Drawing on insights from Harry Frankfurt, the author presents a love-based reason theory as a new and promising perspective in the debate on practical reasons.

  • Filosofisch boekje toegankelijk voor een breed publiek.
    De mens valt niet samen met zijn lichaam. Hij is een lichaam, maar ook iets dat zich ophoudt áchter dat lichaam. De hamvraag van dit boek luidt: wat is dit iets? Is het de ziel, zoals lang werd aangenomen? Greg Houwer laat op een heldere en vlotte manier zien hoe er zich op deze vraag maar steekhoudende antwoorden aandienen als men rekening houdt met het sociale karakter van het menselijke zelfbewustzijn: de mens staat niet tegenover een gemeenschap, maar wordt maar mens vanuit een gemeenschap. Door te tonen hoe het lichaam daarbij een centrale rol speelt, plaatst dit boek het mensdier opnieuw middenin het dierenrijk, om nadien te reconstrueren hoe de mens zich mentaal van dat dierenrijk heeft kunnen losscheuren.

    Ik, mezelf en wij schetst de mens als een sociaal wezen, het resultaat van een onbreekbaar verbond tussen natuur en cultuur, maar het toont de mens tegelijkertijd als een gespleten wezen. In Houwers boek wordt duidelijk hoe de spanning en gespletenheid tussen natuur en cultuur, het eigene en het vreemde, het individu en de gemeenschap typisch menselijk is en zich manifesteert in tal van maatschappelijke fenomenen zoals kunst, religie en Facebook.

  • Sylvester Mauro, S.J. (1619-1687) noted that human intellects can grasp what is,what is not, what can be, and what cannot be. The first principle, 'it is not possible that the same thing simultaneously be and not be,' involves them all.

    The present volume begins with Greeks distinguishing 'being' from 'something' and proceeds to the late Scholastic doctrine of 'supertranscendental being,' which embraces both. On the way is Aristotle's distinction between 'being as being' and 'being as true' and his extension of the latter to include impossible objects. The Stoics will see 'something' as the widest object of human cognition and will affirm that, as signifiable, impossible objects are something, more than mere nonsense. In the sixteenth century, Francisco Suárez will identify mind-dependent beings most of all with impossible objects and will also regard them as signifiable. By this point, two conceptions will stand in opposition. One, adumbrated by Averroes, will explicitly accept the reality and knowability of impossible objects. The other, going back to Alexander of Aphrodisias, will see impossibles as accidental and false conjunctions of possible objects. Seventeenth-century Scholastics will divide on this line, but in one way or another will anticipate the Kantian notion of 'der Gegenstand überhaupt.' Going farther, Scholastics will see the two-sided upper border of being and knowing at God and the negative theology, and will fix the equally double lower border at 'supertranscendental being' and 'supertranscendental nonbeing,' which non-being, remaining intelligible, will negate the actual, the possible, and even the impossible.

  • Volume 30 of the Henrici de Gandavo Opera Omnia series is devoted to Henry's Summa quaestionum ordinariarum, articles 47-52. This section of Henry's Summa deals with the action of the (divine) will; the divine will in relation to the divine intellect; divine beatitude; passion in relation to the divine being; the differences between the divine attributes; and the order of the divine attributes. The critical edition of the text is accompanied by a detailed introduction to the manuscripts and to Henry's sources.

  • In the process of completing his critical edition of Marcus of Orvieto's Liber de Moralitatibus, Dr. Girard J. Etzkorn happened upon a set of questions attributed to Henry of Ghent at the end of Rome's Bibliotheca Angelica codex 750. These questions are edited in this volume under the proviso 'attributed to' so that scholars may compare the texts with other works of the Ghentian master known to be authentic. Based upon some intitial comparisons Etzkorn concludes that the ten questions appear to be of two literary genres. The first six are best fitted into the category of Disputed Questions while Questions seven to ten are better characterized as Quodlibetal questions given their relative brevity and small number of objections 'pro' and 'contra'. Moreover, the ten questions seem to be 'selected' questions and were not likely disputed at the same time. Future investigations are essential to find out if the questions may indeed be attributed to Henry himself or whether they have been written by one of Henry's disciples who was 'copying' the thoughts and words of the master.

  • La question du platonisme de Plutarque constitue un sujet crucial tant pour les spécialistes de Plutarque que pour ceux qui s'intéressent à la réception ancienne de Platon. Alors que les publications précédentes sur cette question se sont concentrées sur la nature de la fidélité de Plutarque à la philosophie platonicienne et sur la façon dont les thèses platoniciennes sont présentées dans le cadre du médio-platonisme, le présent volume tente plutôt, à travers une approche polyvalente, de se concentrer sur la réception en tant que tel du texte platonicien par Plutarque, en essayant de voir comment et pourquoi Plutarque utilise les mots de Platon dans les Moralia. Les différentes contributions à ce volume, accompagnées d'une introduction générale ainsi que d'un nouvel index des citations platoniciennes dans les Moralia, examinent comment Platon est cité dans le corpus, avec les changements ou les distorsions que ces citations amènent, ainsi que les conséquences tant au niveau dialectique que philosophique.

    The issue of Plutarch's Platonism is a crucial topic for both specialists in Plutarch and for those interested in Plato.While previous publications on this issue focus on the faithfulness of Plutarch to Platonic philosophy and how Platonic theses are presented in the Middle Platonism, this volume attempts, through a multifaceted approach, to focus on how and why Plutarch uses the words of Plato in the Moralia.

  • The first monograph entirely devoted to the Epicurean doctrine of minimal parts.
    The Epicurean doctrine of minimal parts (ta elachista) is a crucial aspect of Epicurus's philosophy and a genuine turning point compared to the ancient atomism of Leucippus and Democritus. This book consists of three chapters: a philological and theoretical analysis of the primary sources (Epicurus and Lucretius) of the doctrine, a reconstruction of its likely historical background (Xenocrates, Aristotle, Diodorus Cronus), and a close examination of the chiefly geometrical development of this theory within the philosophical school of Epicurus. The critical examination of ancient sources (including several Herculaneum Papyri), combined with a careful analysis of the secondary literature, reveals the very significant role played by minimal parts within the Epicurean science of nature. This is the first monograph entirely devoted to the study of this important doctrine in all its historical and theoretical breadth.

    Questo volume esamina la dottrina epicurea dei minimi (ta elachista) che rappresenta un nodo cruciale della filosofia di Epicuro e un autentico punto di svolta rispetto all'atomismo di Leucippo e Democrito. Il libro è organizzato in tre capitoli dedicati rispettivamente: (1) all'analisi filologica e teorica delle fonti primarie (Epicuro e Lucrezio), (2) alla ricostruzione del contesto storico-filosofico a cui la dottrina dei minimi verosimilmente fa riferimento (Senocrate, Aristotele e Diodoro Crono), e, infine, (3) all'approfondimento dello sviluppo della teoria dei minimi in ambito prevalentemente geometrico all'interno della scuola di Epicuro. L'esame critico delle fonti antiche (che riguardano anche alcuni Papiri Ercolanesi), anche attraverso l'attenta analisi della letteratura secondaria, conferma il ruolo decisivo giocato dai minimi nella scienza della natura epicurea. Si tratta della prima monografia interamente consacrata allo studio di questa significativa dottrina in tutta la sua ampiezza storica e teorica.

  • Critical study of the 'second part' of Henry's Summa devoted to the Persons of the Trinity.
    Henry of Ghent's Summa, art. 53-55, was composed shortly after Christmas of 1281, at the height of Henry's teaching career in the Theology Faculty at the University in Paris. These questions, which begin the 'second part' of his Summa, are devoted to the Persons of the Trinity. They contain Henry's philosophical analyses of the theoretical concepts person, relation, and universals.
    The text has been reconstructed based upon manuscripts copied from a first and second Parisian university exemplar. In the critical study that precedes the Latin text, the editors argue that the manuscript, Biblioteca VATICANA, Borghese 17, which contains the texts of these articles and which has, in the latter part of this manuscript, many of the features of an exemplar divided into pecia, could not have been the exemplar divided into pecia for these particular articles.
    The volume concludes with the typical tables.

  • World's leading theorists of multinational justice on sub-state national minority groups.
    Almost without exception, multinational states across the West are facing existential crises precipitated by the resurgence of sub-state national minority groups. This edited volume brings together many of the world's leading theorists of multinational justice in order to analyse two of the most frequent areas of debate and dispute in multinational federations: recognition and redistribution. The authors address questions such as the following: What are the most appropriate forms of institutional recognition for sub-state national groups? How is the concept of redistributive justice affected by the presence of federal institutions and autonomous sub-state nationalities? And what are the potential sources of stability that fractious federations can call upon? As well as extensive theoretical analyses, the book is peppered throughout with examples drawn from actual multinational states including Canada, Belgium, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

    Jean-François Grégoire (KU Leuven), Michael Jewkes (KU Leuven), Helder De Schutter (KU Leuven), Antoon Vandevelde (KU Leuven), Alain-G Gagnon (Université du Québec à Montréal), Geneviève Nootens (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi), Philippe Van Parijs (Université Catholique de Louvain), François Boucher (University of Montreal), Jocelyn Maclure (Université Laval), Andrew Shorten (University of Limerick), David Robichaud (University of Ottawa), Ferran Requejo (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Marc Sanjaume (Université du Québec à Montréal).

  • The value of Plutarch's perception of physical reality and his attitude towards the natural spectacle.
    Plutarch was very interested in the natural world around him, not only in terms of its elementary composition and physical processes, but also with respect to its providential ordering and marvels. His writings teach us a lot about his perception of physical reality and about his attitude to the natural spectacle. He found his greatest inspiration in the ontological and epistemological framework of Plato's Timaeus, but a wide range of other authors were also of seminal interest to his project. Moreover, the highly literary value of Plutarch's natural philosophical writings should not be underrated.
    It is therefore not surprising that recently scholars have started to reassess the ancient scientific value of Plutarch's natural philosophical writings. Natural Spectaculars aims to give further impetus to this dynamic by treating several aspects of Plutarch's natural philosophy which have remained unexplored up to now.

    Jan Opsomer (KU Leuven), Suzan Sierksma-Agteres (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), Angelo Casanova (Università degli Studi di Firenze), Paola Volpe Cacciatore (Università degli Studi di Salerno), Aldo Setaioli (Università degli Studi di Perugia), Fabio Tanga (Università degli Studi di Salerno), Michiel Meeusen (KU Leuven), Luisa Lesage Gárriga (Universidad de Málaga), Ana Ferreira (Universidade do Porto), Israel Muñoz Gallarte (Universidad de Córdoba), Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), Bram Demulder (KU Leuven), Aurelio Pérez Jiménez (Universidad de Málaga), Delfim Ferreira Leão (Universidade de Coimbra)

  • The book elucidates Henry of Ghent's philosophical and theological system with special reference to his trinitarian writings. It demonstrates the fundamental role of the Trinity in Henry's philosophy and theology. It also shows how Henry (d. 1293), the most influential theologian of his day at Paris, developed the Augustinian tradition in seminal ways in response to the Aristotelian tradition, especially Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274).

  • This book examines the important but largely neglected issue of the interrelation between Platonism and Stoicism in Ancient Philosophy. Several renowned specialists in the fields of Stoic and Platonic analyse the intricate mutual influences between Stoic and Platonic philosophers in the Hellenistic period, the Imperial Age, and after. Although it has been repeatedly claimed that the phenomenon addressed in this book could best be labelled eclecticism, it emerges from the various articles collected here that the situation is much more complicated. Far from being eclectics, most Stoics and Platonists consciously appropriated their material in order to integrate it into their own philosophical system. The dialogue between Platonists and Stoics testifies to active debate and controversy on central topics such as psychology, epistemology, physics, and ethics. This book will deepen our understanding of the dialogue between different philosophical schools in Antiquity. The results presented here teach one clear lesson: Platonism and Stoicism were by no means monolithic blocks, but were continuously moulded by mutual influence and interaction.

  • Grâce à sa grande richesse, la métaphore platonicienne du miroir a été adoptée, amplifiée et élaborée dans l'Antiquité par une multitude d'auteurs, certes tous d'inspiration platonicienne, mais appartenant à la fois au paganisme et au christianisme. Lorsqu'on étudie cette métaphore dans le corpus philosophique, mystique et poétique en terre d'Islam, on constate qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une récurrence fortuite, d'un lieu commun, d'un archétype de la pensée humaine. Il s'agit au contraire de l'adoption d'un thème précis, toujours lié à un contexte platonicien malgré la pluralité des courants dans lesquels il apparaît. Les contributeurs au livre Miroir et Savoir se sont attachés à étudier les modalités selon lesquelles le thème platonicien du miroir est passé du paganisme et du christianisme à la culture arabo-musulmane, de la langue grecque et syriaque à l'arabe et au persan. Ils ont tenté de dévoiler les mécanismes de ces passages et d'en déterminer l'enjeu conceptuel. Cet ouvrage espère ainsi apporter une contribution au dossier de l'histoire de la réception du corpus philosophique grec dans le monde arabo-musulman.

  • "Quand la Chine s'éveillera, le monde tremblera".

    Deze visionaire uitspraak van Napoleon I lijkt actueler dan ooit. China is 'in'. Niet alleen het numerieke overwicht van de Chinezen in de wereldbevolking, maar vooral de enorme economische expansie en de voorzichtige politieke openheid in China maken dat het Westen 'plots' de Chinese realiteit heeft ontdekt. Om de Chinezen en hun traditionele leefwijzen beter te doorgronden heeft men ook in toenemende mate belangstelling voor de Chinese cultuur. Het confucianisme, taoïsme en andere bronnen van Oosterse wijsheid worden stilaan ontdaan van de esoterie die er vroeger rond hing in het Westen, en beetje bij beetje wordt de intrinsieke waarde ontdekt van de Oosterse cultuurtradities.

    Taoïsme, een weg van Oost naar West? wil een bijdrage leveren aan de vruchtbare interactie tussen het Oosterse en het Westerse denken, zonder in simplismen of veralgemeningen te vervallen. Kan ons Westers rationaliteitsbegrip (de logos) worden gehanteerd binnen de context van het taoïsme? Kunnen wij Westerlingen deze Oosterse filosofie verstaan met het begrippenapparaat dat ons eigen is?

    Na een inleidende reflectie op de interacties tussen Oost en West door Sander Griffioen, gaan de auteurs van deze bundel in op drie grote vragen. Patricia De Martelaere onderzoekt hoe het taoïsme kan worden gevat in de (Westerse) termen van het Goede, het Schone en het Ware. Carine Defoort gaat in op de taoïstische wijsheidsliteratuur en zoekt aanknopingspunten met de Westerse wijsheid. Lloyd Haft, ten slotte, gaat dieper in op de vraag of en hoe het Oosterse begrippenapparaat kan functioneren in de vertaling van het Westerse cultuurgoed.

    De teksten van Carine Defoort, Patricia De Martelaere en Lloyd Haft zijn herwerkte versies van de lezing die zij presenteerden ter gelegenheid van Studiedag 2007 van het Wijsgerig Gezelschap Leuven.

  • "Love is joy with the accompanying idea of an external cause." Spinoza's definition of love (Ethics Book 3, Prop. LIX) manifests a major paradigm shift achieved by seventeenth century Europe in which the emotions, formerly seen as normative "forces of nature," were embraced by the new science of the mind. We are determined to volition by causes. This shift has often been seen as a transition from a philosophy laden with implicit values and assumptions to a more scientific and value-free way of understanding human action. But is this rational approach really value-free? Today we incline to believe that values are inescapable, and that the descriptive-mechanical method implies its own set of values. Yet the assertion by Spinoza, Malebranche, Leibniz, and Enlightenment thinkers that love guides us to wisdom-and even that the love of a God who creates and maintains order and harmony in the world forms the core of ethical behaviour-still resonates powerfully with us. It is, evidently, an idea we are unwilling to relinquish. This collection of insightful essays emerged from two "ContactFora" organized within the framework of the research project Actuality of the Enlightenment: The Moral Science of Emotions, conducted under the auspices of Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten. It offers a range of important and fascinating perspectives on how the triumph of "reason" affected not only our scientific-philosophical understanding of the emotions and especially of love, but our everyday understanding as well.