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Campanella, Tommaso

Tommaso Campanella was a Counter-Reformation theologian, a Renaissance magus, a prophet, a poet and an astrologer, as well as a philosopher whose speculations assumed encyclopedic proportions. As a late Renaissance philosopher of nature, Campanella is notable for his early, and continuous, opposition to Aristotle. He rejected the fundamental Aristotelian principle of hylomorphism, namely the understanding of all physical substance in terms of...

5 pages - 1,80 €

Campbell, George

George Campbell, Scottish minister, professor and religious thinker, is now remembered primarily for The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1776). Here he employed the Scottish Enlightenment's developing science of human nature to explain the effectiveness of the classical rules of rhetoric. He did this by relating the various ends of persuasive discourse to the natural faculties and propensities of the human mind. In...

2 pages - 1,80 €

Campbell, Norman Robert

Campbell made important contributions to philosophy of science in the 1920s, influenced by Poincaré, Russell and his own work in physics. He produced pioneering analyses of the nature of physical theories and of measurement, but is mainly remembered for requiring a theory, for example, the kinetic theory of gases, to have an 'analogy', that is, an independent interpretation, for example, as...

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Camus, Albert

Albert Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957 for having 'illuminated the problems of the human conscience in our times'. By mythologizing the experiences of a secular age struggling with an increasingly contested religious tradition, he dramatized the human effort to 'live and create without the aid of eternal values which, temporarily perhaps, are absent or distorted...

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Capreolus, Johannes

Thomist philosopher and theologian, Capreolus composed a lengthy commentary on Aquinas' work on Peter Lombard's Sentences, known as Defensiones theologiae divi Thomae Aquinatis (Defences of the Theology of Thomas Aquinas) (first printed in 1483-4). He sought to refute the criticisms of Thomism by competing scholastic traditions during the fourteenth century. The Thomistic school was so impressed with Capreolus' achievement that it came...

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Cardano, Girolamo

The Renaissance Italian Girolamo Cardano is famous for his colourful personality, as well as for his work in medicine and mathematics, and indeed in almost all the arts and sciences. He was an eclectic philosopher, and one of the founders of the so-called new philosophy of nature developed in the sixteenth century. He used both the Aristotelian and the Neoplatonic traditions...

3 pages - 1,80 €

Carlyle, Thomas

Although widely influential as a historian, moralist and social critic, Carlyle has no real claim to be considered a philosopher. He does have some importance as one of the transmitters of the ideas of the German Idealists, such as Kant and Fichte, to Britain, and as one of the chief British spokesmen for the Romantic exaltation of the...

2 pages - 1,80 €

Carmichael, Gershom

Gershom Carmichael was a teacher and writer of pivotal importance for the Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. He was the first Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, predecessor of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith and Thomas Reid. Carmichael introduced the natural law tradition of Grotius, Pufendorf and Locke to the moral philosophy courses he taught at the University...

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Carnap, Rudolf

Carnap was one of the most significant philosophers of the twentieth century, and made important contributions to logic, philosophy of science, semantics, modal theory and probability. Viewed as an enfant terrible when he achieved fame in the Vienna Circle in the 1930s, Carnap is more accurately seen as one who held together its widely varying viewpoints as a coherent movement. In...

6 pages - 1,80 €

Carneades

The Greek philosopher Carneades was head of the Academy from 167 to 137 BC. Born in North Africa he migrated to Athens, where he studied logic with the Stoic Diogenes of Babylon; but he was soon seduced by the Academy, to which his allegiance was thereafter lifelong. He was a celebrated figure; and in 155 BC he was sent by...

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Carolingian renaissance

The 'Carolingian renaissance' is the name given to the cultural revival in northern Europe during the late eighth and ninth centuries, instigated by Charlemagne and his court scholars. Carolingian intellectual life centred around the recovery of classical Latin texts and learning, though in a strictly Christian setting. The only celebrated philosopher of the time is Johannes Scottus Eriugena, but the daring...

3 pages - 1,80 €

Cassirer, Ernst

Ernst Cassirer was born in the German city of Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) on 28 July 1874; he died suddenly, of a heart attack, on the Columbia University campus in New York on 13 April 1945. His life was a personal and intellectual 'odyssey' that took him from Europe to the USA, and led him from the Marburg Neo-Kantianism of his...

3 pages - 1,80 €

Casuistry

Casuistry, from the Latin casus (cases), has been understood in three separate yet related senses. In its first sense casuistry is defined as a style of ethical reasoning associated closely with the tradition of practical philosophy influenced by Aristotle and Aquinas. In its second sense it is reasoning about 'cases of conscience' (casus conscientiae). The third sense, moral laxism, arose out...

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Categories

Categories are hard to describe, and even harder to define. This is in part a consequence of their complicated history, and in part because category theory must grapple with vexed questions concerning the relation between linguistic or conceptual categories on the one hand, and objective reality on the other. In the mid-fourth century BC,Aristotle initiates discussion of categories...

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Cattaneo, Carlo

The figurehead of the Italian democratic movement prior to the unification of Italy, Carlo Cattaneo developed a theory of federalism as a practice of self-government, envisaging a United States of Italy. He identified the bourgeoisie as the most dynamic force in contemporary history and regarded scientific culture as the engine of progress. Often dubbed the first Italian positivist,...

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Causality and necessity in Islamic thought

Discussions of causality and necessity in Islamic thought were the result of attempts to incorporate the wisdom of the Greeks into the legacy of the QurČamp;lsquo;'an, and specifically to find a philosophical way of expressing faith in the free creation of the universe by one God. Moreover, that article of faith was itself a result of the revelation of God's ways...

3 pages - 1,80 €

Cavell, Stanley

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Stanley Cavell has held the Walter M. Cabot Chair in Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University since 1963. The range, diversity and distinctiveness of his writings are unparalleled in twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. As well as publishing essays on modernist painting and music, he has created a substantial body of work in film studies,...

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Cavendish, Margaret Lucas

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, made contact with Hobbes, tutor to the Cavendish family, during the English Civil War. She became a member of the 'Newcastle Circle', which included Hobbes, Charleton and Digby, and which was influenced by interaction with Mersenne and Gassendi. While exiled in Paris, Rotterdam and Antwerp, she met Descartes and Roberval. In 1667, she became the first...

2 pages - 1,80 €

Celsus

The Greek philosopher Celsus of Alexandria was a Middle Platonist, known only for his anti-Christian work The True Account. The work is lost, but we have Origen's reply to it, Against Celsus. In it Celsus defends a version of Platonist theology. Celsus is known only as the author of a polemical work against the Christians entitled Alēthēs logos, which may be translated...

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Certainty

'Certainty' is not a univocal term. It is predicated of people, and it is predicated of propositions. When certainty is predicated of a person, as in 'Sally is certain that she parked her car in lot 359', we are ascribing an attitude to Sally. We can say that a person, S, is psychologically certain of a proposition, p, just in...

3 pages - 1,80 €

Certeau, Michel de

Michel de Certeau, a French philosopher trained in history and ethnography, was a peripatetic teacher in Europe, South America and North America. His thought has inflected four areas of philosophy. He studied how mysticism informs late-medieval epistemology and social practice. With the advent of the Scientific Revolution, the affinities the mystic shares with nature and the cosmos become, like religion itself,...

2 pages - 1,80 €

Chaadaev, Pëtr Iakovlevich

Pëtr Chaadaev was the first Russian thinker for whom his own country became a philosophical problem. His works initiated the powerful Russian tradition of reflecting on Russia's whence and whither: that is to say, the meaning of Russian history, the character of Russian national identity, and the possible, or necessary, paths of Russian historical development in the future. However, Chaadaev's answer...

3 pages - 1,80 €

Chaldaean Oracles

The Chaldaean Oracles were a collection of revelatory verses purportedly compiled in the second century AD. Along with the Orphic texts, Neoplatonists regarded them as divine words. When the Oracles appear in philosophical works, they lend support to select cosmological, metaphysical or psychological propositions which have already been formulated. According to Neoplatonists, the Chaldaika logia, or Chaldaean Oracles, originated with a certain...

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Change

Change in general may be defined as the variation of properties (whether of things or of regions of space) over time. But this definition is incomplete in a number of respects. The reference to properties and time raises two important questions. The first concerns whether we need to specify further the kinds of properties which are involved in change. If we...

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Chaos theory

Chaos theory is the name given to the scientific investigation of mathematically simple systems that exhibit complex and unpredictable behaviour. Since the 1970s these systems have been used to model experimental situations ranging from the early stages of fluid turbulence to the fluctuations of brain wave activity. This complex behaviour does not arise as a result of the interaction of numerous...

4 pages - 1,80 €

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