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OLD HABITS DIE HARD: THE ROYAL SOCIETY, THEOPHILUS GALE AND THE INTELLECTUAL VIRTUES

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Author(s): Daniel ANDERSSON

Journal: Societate şi Politică
ISSN 1843-1348

Volume: 6;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 52;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Aristotelianism | Cognition | Experience | Gale | Habitus

ABSTRACT
There were several English attempts to rethink ideas about cognitionin the wake of the new attention and status given to natural philosophy in theseventeenth century. This article focuses on one of them, that of the Hebraist and ejectedminister Theophilus Gale. After a brief look at some English sources for the ‘intellectualvirtues’ of Aristotelianism, it emphasizes the strangeness of the categories of mimesis andexperience in Gale’s account in his work Philosophia Generalis. The traditional closeconnection between the intellectual virtues and the five grades of Porphyry’s logic treewas, it is suggested toward the end of the piece, a convenient way of limiting thepotentially rather large category of intellectual virtues. The subsequent history of‘cognitive virtues’ (and their profusion in an author like Baumgarten) shows, just as thestrange expansion of their number in Gale, the wisdom in finding some way ofcontrolling the descriptive exercise of explaining what goes on in cognition.
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