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Pleasure in Philosophy and the Pretext of Theology

Ledsham, Cal (2015) Pleasure in Philosophy and the Pretext of Theology. Quaestio: Journal of the History of Metaphysics, 15. pp. 729-738. ISSN 1379-2547

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This paper considers the hermeneutic position, recently gaining some traction in the secondary literature (e.g. Pasnau), that Scholastics in the years 1330-1350 were not primarily interested in theology. Rather, their increasing engagement with “English subtleties” – a set of “logico-mathematical” techniques we now associate with scientific inquiry – was driven by their new, distinctively secular, natural-philosophy interests. In this, they become proto-moderns and philosophers in our contemporary sense. Consideration is given to whether this “pretext” reading of the Scholastics is coherent and plausible, and whether the logico-mathematical techniques were the province of natural philosophy at the time, or actually instead discipline-neutral, being employable in both theology and natural theology. The paper then assesses the rather meagre evidence offered for this reading (from the case of Peter Ceffons) and its unfortunate historiographical implications. It ends by advocating an existing and far more promising alternative hermeneutic for the Scholastics engaged in English subtleties, reading them in context as theologians pursuing theological knowledge rather than as philosophers. The Scholastics were not pursuing the pleasures of natural philosophy in their Sentences commentaries, but the beatitude of theology.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Petrus Ceffons, Rogerus Rosetus, Natural Philosophy,Alexander Langeley, Pasnau, Robert, Theological Sincerity
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - Philosophy
College/Association with University of Divinity: CTC: Catholic Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Suman Kashyap
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2016 03:34
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 03:35
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2065

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