Gastvortrag Diana Stanciu am 14. Juni 2018:

Views on Human Consciousness in the Renaissance

Das Seminar für Geistesgeschichte und Philosophie der Renaissance beehrt sich, zu folgendem Vortrag mit anschließender Diskussion einzuladen:

Donnerstag, 14. Juni 2018, 16h c.t.
Hauptgebäude (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1), Raum E 210
Diana Stanciu (Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH-ICUB) : University of Bucharest)
Views on Human Consciousness in the Renaissance
Erläuterungen von Frau Stanciu zum Vortrag:
The cognitive limits of consciousness — the 'explanatory gap' (Levine 1983) and the 'hard problem of consciousness' (Chalmers 2010) as well as the epistemic subjectivity that imposes limits on the 'knowability' and 'understandability' of various facts about consciousness (Nagel 1974, Van Gulick 1985, Lycan 1996) and also the various phenomena relating consciousness and the self (Liu, Perry 2012) or mind and the self (O'Hear 2015) have been some of the main topics related to consciousness in philosophy and cognitive science in the last decades.
But, as I will suggest in my lecture, many of these issues have already been discussed already in the ancient and late antique philosophy and theology and then later picked up by medieval and Renaissance scholars. Regarding the latter, I will concentrate on a few views that are relevant for the above-mentioned topics in Petrarch's Secretum, Pico della Mirandola's De ente et uno and Justus Lipsius' De constantia and Politica.
For instance, in the Secretum (1347-1353), Petrarch examines his own self as that of an alienated being and the subjective experience of free will on the basis of Augustine's views, but, as a good Renaissance scholar, he rejects the love for temporal things not because it is a sin, but because it prevents one from knowing the eternal, that is from being conscious of one's own spark of consciousness. Beyond Augustine, he often quotes Plato's Theaetetus and insists on the awareness of the tension within one's soul between sense knowledge and absloute truth or sensuous enjoyment of the world and inner self control.
Then, in De ente et uno (1492), a short treatise that represents the only record left of his intended concord of Plato and Aristotle, Pico della Mirandola follows Thomas Aquinas and emphasises that esse ipsum (being itself) and the One are indistinguishable and both are different from ens (participated being) against Ficino's views, inspired by the ancient Neoplatonists when interpreting the Platonic dialogue Parmenides as an esoteric work and insisting on the transcendence of the One beyond Being. In this context, Pico insists on the participated being's ability to approximate the One in consciousness and on the several stages of this process.
Finally, an author of the so-called Northern Renaissance proposes similar views. Both in his De constantia (1583), where he follows Seneca's views, and in his Politica (1589), Lipsius defines piety as a virtue and guide (rector) of civil life (together with prudence). For him piety is rational and related to both consciousness and conscience and the self. While emphasising the right knowledge of God in consciousness in as much as God foresees everything and rules by laws of necessity coming from the divine mind and marking the human rational soul, Lipsius also observes that conscience is related to consciousness and connected to the right worship of God since it is exactly the mark left in the human rational soul (animus) or mind (mens) by the divine right reason; it is actually the spark of right reason (rectae rationis scintilla) in the human mind.

Kontakt: Dr. Heinrich C. Kuhn oder Sekretariat des Seminars
Dokument erstellt: 2018-03-19
Dokument geändert: 2018-03-19
Redaktion: Dr. Heinrich C. Kuhn