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articles
1. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Annalisa Ceron Leon Battista Alberti’s Care of the Self as Medicine of the Mind: A First Glance at Theogenius, Profugiorum ab erumna libri III, and Two Related Intercenales
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This article sheds new light on the Theogenius and the Profugiorum ab erumna libri III, two Italian dialogues in which Leon Battista Alberti was influenced by Seneca’s On the Tranquillity of the Mind and Petrarch’s De remediis utriusque fortunae, but developed an innovative reflection on the care of the self as medicine of the mind. The novelty hinged not on his pessimistic diagnosis of the human condition, which linked the disquiet caused by the inconstancy of fortune with the natural instability of the mind, but rather on his ironic conception of therapy, which challenged the Stoic belief in the possibility of finding a definitive cure for hardship. To what extent and in what sense Alberti’s therapy exhibits an ironic stance is clarified by the analysis of two Intercenales, the Latin work which aimed to relieve the mind’s maladies through laughter. While Erumna made the case that the way of life championed by the Stoics as well as the choice of living the life of another man cannot alleviate human misery, Patientia mocked the efficacy of Stoic remedies such as patience and time. People can only hope to come to terms with the mind’s maladies and should bear their burdens cheerfully rather than despair of them: this is one of the most intriguing aspects of Alberti’s medicine of the mind.
2. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Matthew Sharpe “Not for personal gratification, or for contention, or to look down on others, or for convenience, reputation, or power”: Cultura Animi in Bacon’s 1605 Apology for the Proficiency and Advancement of Learning
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This paper examines the apology for the life of the mind Francis Bacon gives in Book I of his 1605 text The Advancement of Learning. Like recent work on Bacon led by the ground-breaking studies of Corneanu, Harrison and Gaukroger, I argue that Bacon’s conception and defence of intellectual inquiry in this extraordinary text is framed by reference to the classical model, which had conceived and justified philosophising as a way of life or means to the care of the inquirer’s soul or psyche. In particular, Bacon’s proximities and debts to the Platonic Apology and Cicero’s defence of intellectual pursuits in Rome are stressed, alongside the acuity and eloquence of Bacon’s descriptions of the intellectual virtues and their advertised contributions to the theologically and civically virtuous life.
3. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Patrick Brissey Reflections on Descartes’ Vocation as an Early Theory of Happiness
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In this paper, I argue that Descartes developed an early theory of happiness, which he rhetorically claimed to have stemmed from his choice of vocation in 1619. I provide a sketch of his theory in the Discours, noting, however, some problems with the historicity of the text. I then turn to his Olympica and associated writings that date from this period, where he literally asked, “What way in life shall I follow?” I take Descartes’ dreams as allegorical and provide an interpretation of his curious claim that poets are better equipped to discover truth than philosophers, made at a time when he chose to become a philosopher and not a poet. My way out of this conundrum is to identify in this text a philosophical psychology that I argue is consistent with the Regulae and the Discours, is part of what he took to be his “foundation of the wonderful science,” and is the essence of his early theory of happiness.
4. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Tarek R. Dika Method, Practice, and the Unity of Scientia in Descartes’s Regulae
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For most commentators, the universality of Descartes’s method goes hand in hand with the uniformity with which it must be applied to any problem in any science. I will henceforth refer to this as the Uniformity Thesis. Finding themselves unable to identify such a uniformly applied method in any of Descartes’s extant treatises, many readers of Descartes have been led to conclude that Descartes’s method played little or no role in Cartesian science. My principle argument will be that Descartes did not, in fact, accept the Uniformity Thesis, and that the relevant textual evidence strongly suggests that he denied it. For Descartes, the method is universal, and can be employed to discover scientia, not because it can or ought to be uniformly applied to any problem in any science, but rather because practice in the method habituates the human ingenium to be sensitive to diff erent kinds of problem, such that the procedure for constructing and resolving a problem can, within definable limits, vary from application to application.
5. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Christopher Davidson Spinoza as an Exemplar of Foucault’s Spirituality and Technologies of the Self
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Practices of the self are prominent in Spinoza, both in the Ethics and On the Emendation of the Intellect. The same can be said of Descartes, e.g., his Discourse on the Method. What, if anything, distinguishes their practices of the self? Michel Foucault’s concept of “spirituality” isolates how Spinoza’s practices are relatively unusual in the early modern era. Spirituality, as defined by Foucault in The Hermeneutics of the Subject, requires changes in the ethical subject before one can begin philosophizing, and claims to result in a complete transfiguration or perfection of the subject. Both these characteristics are present in Spinoza’s Emendation while both are lacking in Descartes’ Discourse. Turning to the Ethics’ practices of the self, I show how affects can be moderated through other affects, and that this text establishes a thorough training of the self which will strengthen one’s overall power well into the future. My treatment of the Ethics differs in emphasis from many other readings which focus on reason’s power over affects, or on cognitive therapy which moderates individual affects to lessen current sadness. In both works, Spinoza’s practices of the self promise significant changes to those who undergo them.
review article
6. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Sergius Kodera Dialogues between the Art of Healing and the Art of Persuasion in the Early Modern Period
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book reviews
7. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
James A.T. Lancaster Rhetoric and the Familiar in Francis Bacon and John Donne
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8. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Charles T. Wolfe Généalogie de la sensation. Physique, physiologie et psychologie en Europe, de Fernel à Locke
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9. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Guidelines for Authors
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10. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
List of External Reviewers: 2012-2015
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articles
11. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Luís Miguel Carolino Mixtures, Material Substances and Corpuscles in the Early Modern Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition: The Case of Francisco Soares Lusitano (1605–1659)
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This paper analyzes the theory of mixtures, material substances and corpuscles put forward by the Portuguese Thomistic philosopher Francisco Soares Lusitano. It has been argued that the incapacity of the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition to reconcile an Aristotelian theory of mixtures with hylomorphism opened the way to the triumph of atomism in the seventeenth century. By analyzing Soares Lusitano’s theory of mixtures, this paper aims to demonstrate that early modern Thomism not only rendered the Aristotelian notion of elements compatible with the metaphysical bases of hylomorphism, but further incorporated an explanation of physical phenomena based upon the notion that bodies were basically made up of small and subtle corpuscles. By doing so, it shows that, contrary to what is so often claimed, early modern corpuscularism was not intrinsically incompatible with late Aristotelian philosophy.
12. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Anne Davenport Atoms and Providence in the Natural Philosophy of Francis Coventriensis (1652)
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During the Interregnum, English natural philosophers and chymists became deeply interested in Pierre Gassendi’s revival of Epicurean atomism. In the English context, strategies to accommodate atomism to Christian doctrines were fraught with religious and political implications. English Roman Catholics differed from their Protestant compatriots in insisting that God did not cease to operate miracles at the close of the apostolic age. The English friar known as Franciscus à Sancta Clara embraced atomism on the grounds that a new and better science of material causes was indispensable for the accurate assessment of God’s recent and future miracles.
13. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Richard Davies Mysterious Mixtures: Descartes on Mind and Body
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As is well known, Descartes’ doctrine on the relations of mind and body involves at least the following two theses: (i) the real distinction of mind and body is compatible with their substantial union; and (ii) the siting of the mind at the tip of the pineal gland is compatible with its presence throughout the body. Th is essay seeks to perform three main tasks. One is to suggest that, so far as Descartes is concerned, the doctrine that arises out of the combination of (i) and (ii) blocks off the problems that are alleged to arise for mind-body interaction. A second is to illustrate how, in a certain vision of Descartes’ thought, (i) and (ii) are more closely connected to each other than is generally explicitly recognised. And a third is to illustrate how one grade of mixture of stuff-types that the ancient Stoics envisaged both provides a model for answering Descartes’ demands and has a reputable pedigree within the tradition to which he was heir.
14. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Tzuchien Tho What is (not) Leibniz’s Ontology? Rethinking the Role of Hylomorphism in Leibniz’s Metaphysical Development
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A central controversy in the reception of Leibniz’s philosophy, not only during his lifetime, but also in the immediately posthumous period (1720’s) and more recently, concerns the role that substantial forms play in Leibniz’s ontology. Interpreters like Garber argue that the Leibnizian defense of the quasi-Scholastic substantial forms in the 1680’s-1690’s demonstrate an ontology of corporeal substance irreducible to an idealist ontology. On the other hand interpreters likeAdams argue that corporeal substances reduce to a fully idealist ontology and that this period in Leibniz’s work only demonstrate a modification of idealism. In this paper I argue that without clarifying the ambiguous status of what constitutes “ontology” for Leibniz, the stakes of this longstanding debate are unclearand the anti-idealist position appears to be a self-defeating one. By turning to a thorough reading of Leibniz’s transition from the middle to the late years and noting key turns in its historical reception (vis à vis Wolff and others), I argue that the anti-phenomenalist position becomes meaningful in light of an idealist ontology rather than in spite of it. My aim is not to defend either idealism or anti-idealism but rather to reconfi gure the nature of the controversy concerning substantial forms by outlining the limits of current debates over Leibniz’s ontology.
review article
15. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Dana Jalobeanu The Toolbox of the Early Modern Natural Historian: Note-Books, Commonplace-Books and the Emergence of Laboratory Records
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book reviews
16. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
D. C. Andersson Jakó Zsigmond (ed.), Koleseri Samuel tudomanyos levelezese 1709-1732
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17. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Boris Demarest Justin E. H. Smith, Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life
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18. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Doina-Cristina Rusu Élodie Cassan (ed.), Bacon et Descartes. Geneses de la modernite philosophique
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19. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Andrea Sangiacomo Marco Sgarbi, The Italian Mind. Vernacular Logic in Renaissance Italy (1540-1551)
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20. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Books Received
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