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The Neoplatonic Philosophy of Dionysius the Areopagite

The work of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite stands at a cusp in the history of thought: it is at once Hellenic and Christian, classical and medieval, philosophical and theological. Unlike the predominantly theological or text-historical studies which constitute much of the scholarly literature on Dionysius, Theophany is completely philosophical in nature, placing Dionysius within the tradition of ancient Greek philosophy and emphasizing, in a positive light, his continuity with the non-Christian Neoplatonism of Plotinus and Proclus. Eric D. Perl offers clear expositions of the reasoning that underlies Neoplatonic philosophy and explains the argumentation that leads to and supports Neoplatonic doctrines. He includes extensive accounts of fundamental ideas in Plotinus and Proclus, as well as Dionysius himself, and provides an excellent philosophical defense of Neoplatonism in general.

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Thinking Through the Imagination

Aesthetics in Human Cognition

John Kaag is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His most recent book is Idealism, Pragmatism, and Feminism: The Philosophy of Ella Lyman Cabot.

Use your imagination! The demand is as important as it is confusing. What is the imagination? What is its value? Where does it come from? And where is it going in a time when even the obscene mseems overdone and passé? This book takes up these questions and argues for the centrality of imagination in humanmcognition. It traces the development of the imagination in Kant’s critical philosophy (particularly the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment) and claims that the insights of Kantian aesthetic theory, especially concerning the nature of creativity, common sense, and genius, influenced the development of nineteenth-century American philosophy. The book identifies the central role of the imagination in the philosophy of Peirce, a role often overlooked in analytic treatments of his thought. The final chapters pursue the observation made by Kant and Peirce that imaginative genius is a type of natural gift (ingenium) and must in some way be continuous with the creative force of nature. It makes this final turn by way of contemporary studies of metaphor, embodied cognition, and cognitive neuroscience.

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Studies of a Robust Presence

Kurt Pritzl

Truth: Studies of a Robust Presence brings together groundbreaking studies of objective truth as a robust, philosophically consequential reality and a compelling presence in all areas and dimensions of human life.

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Willensschwäche in Antike und Mittelalter

Eine Problemgeschichte von Sokrates bis Johannes Duns Scotus

Jörn Müller

‘Weakness of the will’ is often used as a shorthand expression to describe a situation in which a person acts against his/her better judgement. This well-known phenomenon poses a serious philosophical problem because it questions deeply our self-understanding as rational agents. This volume offers the first comprehensive investigation into the roots of the present discussion of this subject. Four principal areas constitute the basic framework of the history of this problem: (1) the debate on akrasia in classical Greece; (2) the Christian understanding of weakness of will in late Antiquity; (3) the understanding of involuntary actions in the monastic period; (4) the scholastic controversy between ‘intellectualists’ and ‘voluntarists’ about the roots of human freedom. The book reconstructs the development of the problem within these frameworks and shows how the Greek and the Christian understanding of weakness of the will are intertwined. The final part offers an outlook on the present debate in view of these historical findings.

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