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Theories of Cognition in the Later Middle Ages Hardcover – May 28, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0521583688 ISBN-10: 0521583683 Edition: Edition Unstated
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Editorial Reviews


"This is a...sophisticated piece of work,...which well repays the effort put into reading it. Pasnau's knowledge of his subject is deep, and he leads his reader carefully through the same paths as he has taken to achieve this understanding. he brings out well the importance of medieval accounts and their similarities to modern ones.... Highly recommended." Richarrd Cross, Int'l Philosophical Qtrly

"...a lively contribution to a philosophical way of discussing thinkers in the Later Middle Ages. This book nicely shows the rationale of the history of Western philosophy continuing as it has." Richard Bosley, Philosophy in Review

"Robert Pasnau's book is a welcome addition to the sparse literature on medieval philosophy of cognition." Simon Kemp, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

"Pasnau has written a fascinating, provocative book that should be read by anyone who is interested in medieval philosophy of mind and epistemology." The Philosophical Review

"...important and challenging...Pasnau handles his materials, including his own translations, deftly and with philosophical ingenuity. His book is very important, challenging, and should be read by anyone who has an interst in philosophical theories of cognition. He succeeds in leading 'a new historical perspective to contemporary thinking about the mind and knowledge.'" Journal of the History of the Neurosciences

Book Description

This book is a major contribution to the history of philosophy in the later medieval period (1250-1350). It focuses on cognitive theory, a subject of intense investigation during these years. In fact many of the issues that dominate philosophy of mind and epistemology today--intentionality, mental representation, skepticism, realism--were hotly debated in the later medieval period. The book offers a careful analysis of these debates, primarily through the work of Thomas Aquinas, Peter John Olivi, and William Ockham.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Edition Unstated edition (May 28, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521583683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521583688
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,362,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Hoo-Zen!! on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pasnau wants to reduce the concept of abstraction to something more concrete, but a little reflection shows that the maker forms his product and the same process in reverse could hold for the knower being formed by the knowable. The difference between presentation and representation is key and since all or most near and far contemporary moderns (Aquinas being the exception considering himself a modern)are representationalists.

The best advice I could give is to read Veatch and other mid 20th century
Thomists. The key idea of presentational thought is that the concept's being is intentional (a universal form of referentiallity)and as such is a formal sign - a qua -through which we see the thing itself. Another book to read on this matter is "Sense and Sensation" which explores intentionality as an aspect of nature/ creation.
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