Journal of the History of Ideas: Volume 79, Issue 4

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Volume 79, Number 4, October 2018

Retracing the "Art of Arts and Science of Sciences" from Gregory the Great to Philo of Alexandria 
pp. 507 - 526


This study considers the phrase "art of arts and science of sciences," and its variants, in antiquity. Often scholars who note the phrase in a particular ancient author's writing may make reference to another ancient author, but without considering the breadth or depth of its occurrences in antiquity. Beginning with the late sixth-century Gregory the Great's Book of Pastoral Rule, this article retraces the idea through history until reaching Philo of Alexandria. Philo's two uses of the phrase have been neglected in secondary scholarship, and yet his contributions foreshadow the semantic range that will subsequently be seen.

The Ministerium Naturae: Natural Law in the Exegesis and Theological Discourse at Paris between 1160 and 1215 
pp. 527 - 545

During the 12th century and early 13th century, natural law was a central interest of canon lawyers and Roman lawyers, but theologians also debated it on the basis of the exegesis of some key passages of Scripture. Peter Lombard, with his understanding of the content of Paul's Epistle to the Romans 1:19 and 2:13-14 is at the origin of a relevant tradition within the Parisian theological framework. The article examines how natural law is analyzed by the Lombard and his major successors, namely Peter Comestor, Peter the Chanter, and Stephen Langton.

Subjection without Servitude: The Imperial Protectorate in Renaissance Political Thought 
pp. 547 - 569

This article excavates some of the classical foundations of early modern European thinking about empire. It shows that Renaissance humanists drew from Roman sources a conceptual apparatus with which they described the Florentine Republic's subjection of neighboring peoples in terms that avoided the idea of slavery. Of particular importance to the humanists' ideological project was their exploitation of the Roman concept of patronage. The article concludes with an account of the radical reappraisal that this patronal vision of empire underwent in Machiavelli's theory of the imperial republic, a theory with the concept of slavery at its heart.

Conway and Charleton on the Intimate Presence of Souls in Bodies 
pp. 571 - 591

Little is known about the shaping and development of Anne Conway's thought in relation to her early modern contemporaries. In one part of her only surviving treatise, The Principles, Conway criticises "those doctors" who uphold a dualist theory of soul and body, a mechanist conception of body (as dead and inert), and the view that the soul is "intimately present" in the body. In this paper, I argue that here she targets Walter Charleton, a well-known defender of Epicurean atomism in mid-seventeenth-century England. My intention is to highlight the sophistication of Conway's theory of soul-body relations vis-a-vis that of Charleton.

Paul et Virginie, or the Enigma of Evil: The Double Theodicy of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre 
pp. 593 - 612

This article aims to show how Bernardin de Saint-Pierre—whose philosophical and theological thought is generally overlooked by scholars—provides an original solution to the problem of the existence of evil. A comparative reading of the systematic discussion of Providence that animates The Studies of Nature, his major theoretical work, and Paul and Virginia, a true Romanesque application of the philosophical treatise, brings out a double theodicy. In fact, Saint-Pierre establishes a fruitful synergy between Rousseau's anthropodicy, which provides a social and historical justification of evil, and Leibniz's eschatology, aimed at its metaphysical and otherworldly justification.

Moral Comfort versus Tragic Downfall: Kant's Concept of the Dynamically Sublime and Schelling's Tragic Alternative 
pp. 613 - 634

The first few sections of this article concern the pleasure taken in the dynamically sublime. I argue that, according to Kant, intuited nature does not only serve to occasion that pleasure, but is actually a constitutive element of it. The latter sections concern the role of the dynamically sublime in Kant's philosophy. I argue that this notion is a significant link between morality and theology. This explains why some unique anti-Kantian arguments directed against the link have led Schelling to develop an alternative conception of the sublime, which must be understood in terms of tragedy.

Japanese Right-Wing Discourse in International Context:Minoda Muneki's Interwar Writings on Class and Nation 
pp. 635 - 657

It is often taken for granted that ultranationalist ideologues of interwar Japan were anti-western, uncritical mouthpieces of state ideology. This article considers the case of Minoda Muneki (1894-1946) who led the purge of liberals and Marxists from imperial universities. In articulating his theory of nationalism and critique of Marxism, Minoda drew upon a global discourse of social theory. Furthermore, his rise to power was a product of a short-lived convergence of interests between his organization and government figures. I argue for a global historical approach to right-wing ideology that accounts for the relation between nationalist discourse and political power.

pp. 659 - 661

Contents of Volume 79 
pp. 665 - 666


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