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Alexander the Great

[Na] Leader of the Macedonians. Born in 356 bc, Alexander was tutored in his early years by Aristotle before succeeding his father Philip as king of Macedonia and the mainland of ...

UNIVERSALS

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Alain de Libera

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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Philosophy, Literature, Literary reference works
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4,214 words

...from the construction of the problem by an author who, even more than Porphyry, set the framework for the questions, concepts, and strategies of argument: Alexander of Aphrodisias and his collection of Quaestiones . We will then follow the course of Alexander’s theses through the Neoplatonic and medieval tradition and trace the genealogy of the distinction between the universals ante rem/post rem/in re to which the modern lexicon is deeply indebted. II. Alexander’s Construction: Community and Universality, To Koinon and To Katholou Alexander’s ...

INTELLECTUS

INTELLECTUS (LATIN)   Reference library

Alain de Libera

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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...intellect The expression “ intellect in habitus ” or “habitual intellect” ( intellectus in habitu ) corresponds to the nous kath’ hexin of Alexander of Aphrodisias. The notion of habitus as the power of the intellect to accomplish its own action—intellection—is illustrated in Alexander by the metaphor of the artisan: “The intellect has another degree, namely when it thinks and possesses the habitus to conceive, and is able to assume the forms of the intelligibles through its own power, a power one might compare to the power of those who have the habitus ...

PEOPLE

PEOPLE   Reference library

Sandra Laugier

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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...and the American Innovation This ambiguity between the singular and the plural is related to the assertion that the people is simultaneously one and multiple, as is clearly indicated in the expression “We the people.” Thus we read at the beginning of the 1787 U.S. Constitution: “WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union … do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION.” For Hamilton and Madison (see Federalist Papers nos. 39 and 46), the “people” is “the great body of the people,” and it is in it that resides the sole...

ANALOGY

ANALOGY   Reference library

Alain de Libera

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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...names.” In any case, the medieval notion of the “analogy of being” cannot claim to borrow directly from a positive theory that is aleady constituted as such in Aristotle; instead, it appears at the end of a long hermeneutic process that begins, it seems, as early as Alexander of Aphrodisias, and to which the Aristotelian interpretive tradition contributed throughout late antiquity, from Plotinus to Simplicius. Interpreted on the basis of the Aristotelian corpus, the formation of the medieval theory of analogy presents itself as the gradual fusion of at least...

MIR

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Charles Malamoud

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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...by the revolutionary doctrines and movements of Western Europe, Alexander Herzen , in 1846 , was also discovering first the importance, then the positive value of the mir . The mir was not just a remnant from a precapitalist order. It was also the germ and the model of a socialist organization for the whole of Russia. The hope of Herzen and his “populist” disciples that socialism might come to Russia without necessarily passing through a capitalist phase was based on the existence of the mir . Herzen, like the Slavophiles, was horrified by the disasters...

GOÛT

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Jean-François Groulier and Fabienne Brugère

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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...from the Latin tangere ; it is initially a matter of touching, tact, in the proper and the figurative senses. It evokes a delicate and spontaneous appreciation. The use of “taste” presupposes reflection about the notion of sense, understood as sensory device. In 1759 Alexander Gerard published “An Essay on Taste,” which received the prize given by the Edinburgh Society for the Encouragement of Arts for the best essay on the subject. According to the essay, which consists of a summary of different theses on taste being discussed in Scotland at the time,...

ELEUTHERIA

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Claude Romano

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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...to us, makes it the case that some things are in our power ( ta eph’ hêmin [ τὰ ἔφ’ ἡμῖν ‎]), and whose opposites are equally possible (cf. Hamelin, Le système d’Aristote ). That is the origin of our freedom. But the affirmation of freedom as “internal chance and freedom of choice” ( exousia tês haireseôs [ ἐξουσία τῆς αἱϱέσεως ‎]; On Fate , 11.179.10) is not at all Aristotelian. Alexander of Aphrodisias is here reading Aristotle through the lens of Epictetus, Cicero, and Stoicism. V. Eleutheria/To Autexousion Before coming to the Latin translations of ...

PRAVDA

PRAVDA (RUSSIAN)   Reference library

Constantin Sigov

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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...and the same thing. Such a topology of pravda is at the antipodes of the utopia of the “pravda-state.” X. The Paradox of Pravda In the American translation of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia in thirty-five volumes—which is among the great dictionaries, being both a reference work and a unique testimony to the period of the cold war—the word pravda is translated as “truth.” No reference is made to justice, right, or righteousness. This biased translation of a biased article devoted to the newspaper with the largest circulation on earth represents the tip...

FANCY

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Jean-Pierre Cléro

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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...the more fantastical aspects of the imagination. Je me figure telle chose would be rendered by “I fancy” rather than by “I imagine.” The chimerical and system-building philosophers are the ones who, attacking the feminine virtues of modesty and chastity with great vehemence, “fancy that they have gone very far in detecting popular errors” ( A Treatise of Human Nature ). Alexander, wherever he saw men “fancied he had found subjects” (ibid.). This should not lead us to underestimate the “frivolous” dimension of the imagination: “imagination of the more...

UNCONSCIOUS

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Alexandre Abensour

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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...notably the French Littr é (RT: Dictionnaire de la langue française ), refer to this translation as full recognition of its use as a noun. III. The Subconscious and Psychophysiology Shortly before Freud there was a huge growth in scientific psychology from about the middle of the nineteenth century (in particular the Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie by Wilhelm Wundt or the works of Alexander Bain in England and Théodule Ribot in France), as well as research into multiple consciousness in somnambulism and hysteria. The intellectual...

MELANCHOLY

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Marie-Claude Lambotte

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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...illness and will consider the nosological question as secondary. If the former approach is still attached to the notion of humor, this time in the sense of the inner sentiment of the unfolding of a personal history ( innere Lebensgeschichte ), the latter approach is attached to the various figures of melancholy, understood as formal models of psychic function, some of which are already to be found in the annals of modern psychiatry, dating from the end of the eighteenth century. IV. The Clinical Tradition: The Age of the Great Classifications A. Endon , ...

TO TI ÊN EINAI

TO TI ÊN EINAI (GREEK)   Reference library

Jean-François Courtine and Albert Rijksbaron

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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... [ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι τῷ τοιῷδε σώματι ‎]” (The that which it was for such a body to be; cf. De anima 412b11); “ to ti ên einai [ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι ‎]” (ibid.); “ ti ên einai [ τί ἦν εἶναι ‎]” (predicative form, cf. Metaphysics 1031b31). IV. The Problem of the Imperfect Tense Beginning with the Greek commentators, the imperfect ên [ ἦν ‎] has been interpreted in widely different ways. Alexander of Aphrodisias wrote in relation to the Topics (5.3, 132a1; RT: CAG , 2:2.42, In Topica , 1.4) that this use of the imperfect tense had no temporal dimensions....

BEAUTY

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Jean-François Groulier and Fabienne Brugère

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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...But the more the arts are imbued with talent, the more the feeling of beauty they can elicit has to do with the expression of passion and not with intention. The great criterion of excellence in beautiful forms is the character or expression that corresponds to the appearance or perception of a quality that affects us on the basis of the variety of forms. The superiority of “beauty of expression” over “beauty of design” is accompanied by something that can be a peculiarly artistic or even stylistic character of beauty: the contemplation of the free...

STATO

STATO (ITALIAN)   Reference library

Alain Pons

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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Philosophy, Literature, Literary reference works
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6,219 words

... 1603 by James I over the British Isles, which he named Great Britain. The conventional land empire of contiguous or proximate territories, of which the Mongol was the largest historically, was supplemented in the colonial period by empires that were geographically dispersed, an aggregate of separate colonies held together by the new technology of ocean-going ships or, later, undersea telegraph cables. While the first British Empire was well established by the eighteenth century despite the loss of the American colonies, the defeat of the French in India (...

UNDERSTANDING

UNDERSTANDING   Reference library

Denis Thouard

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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...especially notable in Hegel ( Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences , §14). With the notion of intellectual intuition ( intellektuelle Anschauung ) championed by Fichte, but especially by Schelling, we move beyond the complementary pair of Verstand/Vernunft and return to the intuitive intellectus of the medievals (see Tilliette, L’intuition intellectuelle ). It is instructive to see how this reversal could, with regard to terminology, be used to the advantage of the enemies of idealism. Jacobi, the great attacker of rationalism, was thus able to pit...

PARONYM

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Alain de Libera

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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6,014 words

...commentators on Aristotle in a median position between homonyms and pure synonyms, in the very place concurrently occupied, but for other reasons, by Aristotle’s parônuma . The commentators’ arbitrage The transfer of “intermediary” homonyms to the problem of the unification of the multiplicity of the meanings of being, probably begun as early as Alexander of Aphrodisias, was well documented by sixth-century commentators writing in Greek (against Porphyry who, in the Isagoge , declared in favor of a strict homonymy of being). Among these commentators, we...

HISTORY

HISTORY   Reference library

François Hartog and Michael Werner

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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... History of Great Britain ( 1754–62 ). The two works became reference points for the new historiography, presenting the high subjects of a nascent national history in a newly revitalized style. Edward Gibbon ’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ( 1776–88 ), which follows the same theoretical principles and deploys comparable literary qualities, had considerable influence throughout Europe. The nineteenth century saw the consolidation of the central role that in the new order fell to history. Here again we may discern two levels: first, the progressive...

WELT

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Pascal David

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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8,027 words

...of the world”)—the irony of the story lies in the fact that, as Kant himself observes, it is the French usage of monde (from the French used at court, in diplomacy, and in culture) that left its mark on the German Welt , which would in some sense adopt the same distance from that point on, from the Latin mundus up to its usage in scholastic French and the monde in the classical age of France. Welt haben , heißt Maximen haben und große Muster nachahmen. Es kommt aus dem Französischen . ( Having the world means to have maxims and to imitate the great...

EIDÔLON

EIDÔLON (GREEK)   Reference library

Gérard Simon

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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...must see this as an attempt to get beyond the idea of a mental image as a strict reproduction of what it represents, an idea that still lies beyond some conceptions of memory and imagination in the nineteenth century. Again, it is not so much a difficulty about choosing a modern equivalent of the term, as about the archaic content that the term carries with it. The subsequent evolution of optics adds a great deal of complexity to these first personal extensions of the notion of imago . Unlike the Epicurean theory, the hypothesis of a visual flux, on which...

ART

ART   Reference library

Dominique Chateau

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon

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2017
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6,863 words

...of Art , 5). No distinction is made between the artist and the artisan, or more precisely, the man of art. Art of the Ancients, art of the Moderns: The rules of art ➤ LOGOS , PRAXIS , VIRTUE Modern descriptions of art constantly mix two great conceptual legacies. The legacy of the Ancients is interested in the process of making any object or work; the aesthetics of the Moderns is interested in the sensations that the object produces for the beholder. The two perspectives do not precisely coincide. The “art” of the Ancients includes every kind of making, and...

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