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Is knowing a purely passive reception of something concrete outside the mind, or when we know something, are we creating something too?
Spanning more than 500 years of philosophical enquiry from the Middle Ages to the present day, Robert Miner clarifies modern philosophical conceptions of knowing as making or constructing, and contrasts this view with the theological understanding of knowing as a participation in divine creation.
This study demonstrates how 'creative knowledge' has its roots in the theologies of Thomas Aquinas and Nicholas Cusanus. It explores the multiple ways in which this idea influenced the architects of modern philosophy, most notably Francis Bacon, René Descartes and Thomas Hobbes, despite their secular stance. Miner contends that, well in advance of Kant, one of these thinkers, Gaimbattista Vico provided a remarkably succinct formulation of the metaphysical and epistemological core of modernity in his principle verum et factum convertuntur: 'the true and the made are convertible'.
In Truth in the Making, Robert Miner challenges the standard assumption that Kant was the first thinker to conceive of knowing as constructive activity, and shows how contemporary theology can reclaim a concept of knowing that is both creative and participant in divine wisdom.
|Scientia Dei and creation||2|
|Creation and human production||7|
|Making and the "analogy of being"||11|
|The dramatic setting of the Idiota de Mente||20|
|Construction as manifestation of forms through image-making||21|
|Constructions of reason||23|
|The activity of mens: vis assimilativa and the construction of concepts||26|
|Activa creatio humanitatis: making as imaging of the divine exemplar||31|
|The Baconian factum||40|
|Induction as constructive method||45|
|Limits on human making: Bacon's forms||50|
|For and against Bacon||55|
|The Cartesian factum||60|
|Representations as artifacts made from simple natures||65|
|The constitution of simple natures||67|
|Construction in the determination of quaestiones||69|
|The division of the Cartesian inheritance||73|
|The making of geometrical definitions||79|
|The commonwealth as feat of technical making||85|
|Science and power||92|
|Making and truth||96|
|Abstraction as creation||100|
|Making within metaphysics||105|
|Making as imaginative mythopoesis||108|
|Making as the creation of elements||113|
|Making as composition from elements||119|