Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Lovejoy

Lovejoy

Ratings: (0)|Views: 116|Likes:
Published by aprinciple

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: aprinciple on Apr 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/04/2012

pdf

text

original

 
Lovejoy's Readings of Bruno: Or How Nineteenth-century Historyof Philosophy was "Transformed" into the History of Ideas
Leo Catana
Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 71, Number 1, January 2010, pp. 91-112(Article)
Published by University of Pennsylvania Press
DOI: 10.1353/jhi.0.0068 
For additional information about this article
Access Provided by Cal St Univ @ Dominguez Hills at 05/28/10 4:39AM GMT
 
Lovejoy’s Readings of Bruno: Or HowNineteenth-century History of Philosophy was‘‘Transformed’’ into the History of Ideas
Leo Catana
I. INTRODUCTION
Arthur Oncken Lovejoy (1873–1962) dedicated a considerable amount of work to theItalian Renaissance philosopher GiordanoBruno (1548–1600).His first publication on Bruno was an essay published in 1904, ‘‘The Dia-lectic of Bruno and Spinoza.’’
1
It appeared only a few years after Lovejoyhad finished his philosophical training at the University of California(1891–95) and Harvard University (1895–99).
2
More than thirty yearslater, in 1936, he returned to Bruno in his famous work illustrating hismethodology for the history of ideas,
The Great Chain of Being 
.
3
Lovejoy’s readings of Bruno in these two studies introduced a paradox.On the one hand, he presented
The Great Chain
as an example of a newdiscipline, the history of ideas, and he emphasized the methodological inno-vation of this new discipline as compared to the history of philosophy. On
1
Arthur O. Lovejoy, ‘‘The Dialectic of Bruno and Spinoza,’’
University of CaliforniaPublications in Philosophy
1 (1904): 141–74. Bruno is treated in ibid., 145, 159, 160–66,169–70, 173.
2
Daniel J. Wilson,
Arthur O. Lovejoy and the Quest for Intelligibility
(Chapel Hill: Uni-versity of North Carolina Press, 1980), 12–29.
3
Lovejoy,
The Great Chain of Being 
(1936; New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1960).Bruno is dealt with in ibid., 81, 86, 116–21, 249, 349n38.
Copyright
 by Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 71, Number 1 (January 2010)
91
 
 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF IDEAS
JANUARY 2010
the other hand, we can observe a high degree of continuity in Lovejoy’spractice in these two works. He continued to use the same historiographicalterms, in particular, ‘‘principles,’’ ‘‘deductions’’ from these ‘‘principles,’’and ‘‘system of philosophy,’’ a body of philosophical doctrines so estab-lished. Such terms were all conventional historiographical tools innineteenth-century history of philosophy.In order to resolve this apparent contradiction, we can consult theopening chapter of 
The Great Chain of Being 
, where Lovejoy announcesthe new method governing the history of ideas, and contrasts it explicitlywith that of the history of philosophy:By the history of ideas I mean something at once more specific andless restricted than the history of philosophy. It is differentiatedprimarilyby thecharacter oftheunitswithwhich itconcernsitself.Though it deals in great part with the same material as the otherbranches of the history of thought and depends greatly upon theirprior labors, it divides that material in a special way, brings theparts of it into new groupings and relations, views it from thestandpoint of a distinctive purpose. Its initial procedure may besaid—though the parallel has its dangers—to be somewhat analo-gous to that of analytic chemistry. In dealing with the history of philosophical doctrines, for example, it cuts into the hard-and-fastindividual systems and, for its own purposes, breaks them up intotheir component elements, into what may be called their unit-ideas.
4
In this passage Lovejoy placed the concept of unit-idea at the center of hismethod for the history of ideas, and he referred to this notion repeatedly inthe remaining part of the introductory chapter.
5
However, in the remainingpart of the book, which exemplified the new method for the history of ideas, he did notuse the term ‘‘unit-idea’’ at all.
6
Instead, Lovejoy employedhistoriographical terms traditionally used in nineteenth-century history of philosophy, namely ‘‘principles’’ and ‘‘systems of philosophy.’’
7
Lovejoy
4
Lovejoy,
The Great Chain of Being 
, 3.
5
Lovejoy refers to ‘‘unit-ideas’’ in ibid., 3, 4, (7–15), 15, (17), 19 (20–21). Where pagereferences are in parentheses, he refers to ‘‘unit,’’ not to ‘‘unit-ideas,’’ but clearly means‘‘unit-ideas.’’
6
Ibid., 24–333, Lovejoy does not use the term ‘‘unit-idea’’ at all.
7
Lovejoy uses the historiographical terms ‘‘principle’’ and ‘‘system’’ in
The Great Chainof Being 
, 3, 4, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 35, 38, 55, 64, 75, 77, 144, 145, 148, 151, 174,176, 261, 345 (Plato’s, Aristotle’s, Plotinus’s and other past philosophers’ ‘‘systems’’).See also ibid., 24–52 (the principle of otherworldliness, see also references to ‘‘Other-
92

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->