1) Reason and mysticism in Medieval Philosophy (coord. by P.O. Silva)
It intends to capture the specific connections between these two spheres of thought, which were central to Patristic-medieval authors. The assumption of mysticism gave rise to a number of questions related with ontological, metaphysical, anthropological, ethical, hermeneutic, and aesthetic issues. The fact that philosophical speculation raises the question of the possible connection between rational thought (by definition, not boundless) and transcendence leads to the idea that through mysticism mankind is liable to overcome its intellectual limits. This implies therefore a different conception of rationality and consequently of philosophical thought. The research will focus on sub-themes to be determined, related with the main guiding theme, and will be supervised by a team of international consultants.
2) Ethics and Politics. The Natural Law Tradition (coord. by L. Lanza)
Analysis of the natural law tradition has mainly focus on Aquinas and Duns Scotus, leaving aside the study of a huge number of later authors, who through theological commentaries (such as those on Peter Lombard’s Sentences and on Aquinas’s De legibus) have dealt with topics related to it: the origins of dominium and proprietas, the knowledge of the law, the different levels of authority, etc.
3) Sciences and Philosophy in the XI Century (coord. by V. Rodrigues)
It aims to answer to an important gap in scholarship devoted to the period between Gerbert of Aurillac’s death and the first Arabic-Latin translations in the XII century. We can point some of the main questions: 1) Which was the specific content of the scientific legacy of Gerbert of Aurillac and Abbon of Fleury, and in what sense it was later developed? 2) In what aspects were the XI century’s authors forerunners of the intellectual Renaissance of the XII century? 3) How the first Arabic-Latin translations of the beginning of the XII century were integrated in the philosophical knowledge of the XI century? Some of the foreign collaborators are D. Jacquart (Paris), Ch. Burnett (London), N. Germann (Fribourg), and D. Juste (Sydney).
4) Mind/Soul, knowledge and action (coord. J. Meirinhos)
It is intended to carry out the study of medieval theories of mind/soul, in philosophical, theological and medical traditions. The main subjects to be studied will be the theories of sensation, of intellection and contemplation, of the will, and concepts such as knowledge, action, truth, choice and the self. Cooperation with foreign specialists is already predicted, particularly with those from the centres where the members of the team make their PhD dissertations.
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