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Kapitaniak: démonologie et philosophie (2005) (Read 1364 times)
hck
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Kapitaniak: démonologie et philosophie (2005)
13.03.2007 at 15:11:56
 
Pierre Kapitaniak: Du progrès et de la promotion des démons : démonologie et philosophie naturelle dans l'épistémè européenne aux XVIè et XVIIè siècles
 
From/in: Etudes Epistémè 7 (2005/1)
 
Quote:
Résumé anglais

The second half of the 16th century marks an unprecedented vogue of demonology. The authors of theological treatises or witchcraft manuals offer new aesthetic insights of darkness focused around the sabbath. They actively participate in the ideological construct of an anti-church ruled by Satan – a mirror image of the catholic rites with witches as officiating priests. The present paper offers a synthesis of Stuart Clark’s alternative view of these changes, which minimises the active role played by demonological treatises in the witch hunts. Thus, demonology must be associated with the advancement of natural philosophy, rather than with its stagnation or decline. Clark rejects the modern construction of a direct correlation between the rise of science and the decline of magic, and postulates that demonology provided a privileged ground for epistemological questioning of the evolving science. Rather than too credulous, these authors appear to have been engaged in a task of "scientific demystification", endeavouring to determine the limits of Satan and his demons, according to a system of categories built around two oppositions: real/illusory and demonic/non-demonic. Therefore the main cause of the decline of demonology at the dawn of the 18th century is not so much the growing scientific scepticism, but the shift from theistic natural philosophy towards deistic rational theology in the 1740s.
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