Moral Philosophy on the Threshold of Modernity

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Jill Kraye
764 g
250x165x22 mm
57, New Synthese Historical Librar

1. Introduction. Scholastics and Neo-Scholastics. 2. Sources and Authorities for Moral Philosophy in the Italian Renaissance: Thomas Aquinas and Jean Buridan on Aristotle's Ethics; David Lines. 3. Action, Will and Law in Late Scholasticism; Thomas Pink. 4. Michael Baius (1513-89) and the Debate on 'Pure Nature': Grace and Moral Agency in Sixteenth-Century Scholasticism; M.W.F. Stone. 5. On the Anatomy of Probabilism; Rudolf Schüssler. 6. Casuistry and the Early Modern Paradigm Shift in the Notion of Charity; Sven K. Knebel. Theories of Human Rights and Dominion. 7. Poverty and Power: Franciscans in Later Medieval Political Thought; Roberto Lambertini. 8. The Franciscan Background of Early Modern Rights Discussion: Rights of Property and Subsistence; Virpi Mäkinen. 9. Justification through Being: Conrad Summenhart on Natural Rights; Jussi Varkemaa. 10. Ethics in Luther's Theology: The Three Orders; Risto Saarinen. Reformers and Humanists. 11. The Reason of Acting: Melanchthon's Concept of Practical Philosophy and the Question of the Unity and Consistency of His Philosophy; Günter Frank. 12. Natural Philosophy and Ethics in Melanchthon; Dino Bellucci. 13. Ethics in Early Calvinism; Christoph Strohm. 14. Aristotelianism and Anti-Stoicism in Juan Luis Vives's Conception of the Emotions; Lorenzo Casini. 15. The Humanist as Moral Philosopher: Marc-Antoine Muret's 1585 Edition of Seneca; Jill Kraye. Index of Names.
Over the past twenty years the transition from the late Middle Ages to the early modern era has received increasing attention from experts in the history of philosophy. In part, this new interest arises from claims, made in literature aimed at a less specialist readership, that this transition was responsible for the subsequent philosophical and theological problems of the Enlightenment. Philosophers like Alasdair MacIntyre and theologians like John Milbank display a certain nostalgia for the medieval synthesis of Thomas Aquinas and, consequently, evaluate the period from 1300 to 1700 in rather negative terms. Other historians of philosophy writing for the general public, such as Charles Taylor, take a more positive view of the Reformation but nevertheless conclude that modernity has been shaped by 1 conflicts which stem from early modern times. Ethics and moral thought occupy a central place in these theories. It is assumed that we have lost something - the concept of virtue, for instance, or the source of common morality. Yet those who put forward such notions do not treat the history of ethics in detail. From the historian's perspective, their far-reaching theoretical assumptions are based on a quite small body of textual evidence. In reality, there was a rich variety of approaches to moral thinking and ethical theories during the period from 1400 to 1600.

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