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Thomas Pfau argues that the loss of foundational concepts in classical and medieval Aristotelian philosophy caused a fateful separation between reason and will in European thought. Pfau traces the evolution and eventual deterioration of key concepts of human agency—will, person, judgment, action—from antiquity through Scholasticism and on to eighteenth-century moral theory and its critical revision in the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Featuring extended critical discussions of Aristotle, Gnosticism, Augustine, Aquinas, Ockham, Hobbes, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Hutcheson, Hume, Adam Smith, and Coleridge, this study contends that the humanistic concepts they seek to elucidate acquire meaning and significance only inasmuch as we are prepared positively to engage (rather than historicize) their previous usages. Beginning with the rise of theological (and, eventually, secular) voluntarism, modern thought appears increasingly reluctant and, in time unable to engage the deep history of its own underlying conceptions, thus leaving our understanding of the nature and function of humanistic inquiry increasingly frayed and incoherent. One consequence of this shift is to leave the moral self-expression of intellectual elites and ordinary citizens alike stunted, which in turn has fueled the widespread notion that moral and ethical concerns are but a special branch of inquiry largely determined by opinion rather than dialogical reasoning, judgment, and practice.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. p. 1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Exordium: Modernity’s Gaze
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Part I: Prolegomena
  2. pp. 7-8
  1. Chapter 1: Frameworks or Tools?: On the Status of Concepts in Humanistic Inquiry
  2. pp. 9-34
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  1. Chapter 2: Forgetting by Remembering: Historicism and the Limits of Modern Knowledge
  2. pp. 35-52
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  1. Chapter 3: “A large mental field”: Intellectual Traditions and Responsible Knowledge after Newman
  2. pp. 53-76
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  1. Part II: Rational Appetite: An Emergent Conceptual Tradition
  2. pp. 77-78
  1. Chapter 4: Beginnings: Desire, Judgment, and Action in Aristotle and the Stoics
  2. pp. 79-107
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  1. Chapter 5: Consolidation: St. Augustine on Choice, Sin, and the Divided Will
  2. pp. 108-132
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  1. Chapter 6: Rational Appetite and Good Sense: Will and Intellect in Aquinas
  2. pp. 133-159
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  1. Chapter 7: Rational Claims, Irrational Consequences: Ockham Disaggregates Will and Reason
  2. pp. 160-182
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  1. Part III: Progressive Amnesia: Will and the Crisis of Reason
  2. pp. 183-184
  1. Chapter 8: Impoverished Modernity: Will, Action, and Person in Hobbes’s Leviathan
  2. pp. 185-213
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  1. Chapter 9: The Path toward Non-Cognitivism: Locke’s Desire and Shaftesbury’s Sentiment
  2. pp. 214-248
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  1. Chapter 10: From Naturalism to Reductionism: Mandeville’s Passion and Hutcheson’s Moral Sense
  2. pp. 249-282
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  1. Chapter 11: Mindless Desires and Contentless Minds: Hume’s Enigma of Reason
  2. pp. 283-326
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  1. Chapter 12: Virtue without Agency: Sentiment, Behavior, and Habituation in A. Smith
  2. pp. 327-373
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  1. Chapter 13: After Sentimentalism: Liberalism and the Discontents of Modern Autonomy
  2. pp. 374-414
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  1. Part IV: Retrieving the Human: Coleridge on Will, Person, and Conscience
  2. pp. 415-416
  1. Chapter 14: Good or Commodity?: Modern Knowledge and the Loss of Eudaimonia
  2. pp. 417-436
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  1. Chapter 15: The Persistence of Gnosis: Freedom and “Error” in Philosophical Modernity
  2. pp. 437-467
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  1. Chapter 16: Beyond Voluntarism and Deontology: Coleridge’s Notion of the Responsible Will
  2. pp. 468-503
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  1. Chapter 17: Existence before Substance: The Idea of “Person” in Humanistic Inquiry
  2. pp. 504-534
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  1. Chapter 18: Existence as Reality and Act: Person, Relationality, and Incommunicability
  2. pp. 535-555
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  1. Chapter 19: “Consciousness has the appearance of another”: On Relationality as Love
  2. pp. 556-590
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  1. Chapter 20: “Faith is fidelity … to the conscience”: Coleridge’s Ontology
  2. pp. 591-618
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 619-649
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 650-673
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  1. About the Author, Praise
  2. pp. 674-686
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268158200
Related ISBN
9780268038403
MARC Record
OCLC
860943773
Pages
728
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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