Truth in the Making: Creative Knowledge in Theology and Philosophy / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415276979
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/12/2003
  • Series: Routledge Radical Orthodoxy Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue
1 Thomas Aquinas 1
Scientia Dei and creation 2
Creation and human production 7
Making and the "analogy of being" 11
2 Nicolaus Cusanus 19
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
3 Francis Bacon 40
The Baconian factum 40
Induction as constructive method 45
Limits on human making: Bacon's forms 50
For and against Bacon 55
4 Rene Descartes 60
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
5 Thomas Hobbes 78
The making of geometrical definitions 79
The commonwealth as feat of technical making 85
Science and power 92
6 Giambattista Vico 96
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
Epilogue 126
Notes 130
Bibliography 156
Index 161
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