Gottfried W. Leibniz – Samuel Clarke: Korespondence

Jan Palkoska (translation)

(Gottfried W. Leibniz – Samuel Clarke: Correspondence)

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The polemical correspondence between German polymath G. W. Leibniz and English theologian, physicist and Newtonʼs pupil S. Clarke, which bursted out in 1710s, counts among the most famous and influential exchanges in the history of European thought. The correspondence consists of five letters by Leibniz in French and five letters by Clarke in English. The central topics include the foundations of Newtonʼs ground-breaking mathematico-physical explication of reality, and its impact on the areas of mathematics, epistemology, theology, and natural philosophy. The influence of the standpoints of both correspondents reaches up to formulating the theory of General relativity by Einstein. The present Czech edition is thus likely to provide welcome and needed resource even for those involved in theory and history of natural sciences.

Prague: OIKOYMENH, 2020, 311 pp. ISBN 978-80-7298-180-9

Ke genealogii zdravého rozumu

Petr Glombíček

(On the Genealogy of Common Sense)

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The book examines the rich variety of the conceptions of common sense from Aristotle to 18th century philosophy, while it focuses on the reflections of common sense in early modern philosophy. The first part of the book deals with the roots of the modern concept in ancient Greek and Roman thought (Aristotle, Seneca). The early modern period is first approached from the perspective of Descartes’s project, centred on the development of the faculty of judgement, modelled on Seneca’s conception of the the bona mens. It is followed by a treatment of Berkeley’s notion of common sense, which is presented as a variant of the Cartesian notion. The following chapters consider a ‘communal’ notion of common sense (G. Vico, Shaftesbury), the Scottish school of common sense (J. Priestley, J. Oswald, T. Reid) and Kant.

Prague: Togga 2020.

Filosofie Národního divadla a Miroslav Tyrš

Martin Bojda

(The Philosophy of the National Theatre and Miroslav Tyrš)

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The book presents a new general interpretation of the main lines of thought, values and efforts of the Czech Revival with regard to their culmination and real shape in the building of the National Theater. It is a belated appreciation of the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the National Theatre and the premiere of Smetana's Dalibor, held on that occasion, an anniversary which, despite being associated with the largest celebration of the Czech nation in the 19th century, passed almost unnoticed. It shows, in contrast to narrowly identitarian and traditional nationalism, the nation-forming process in its historical course and theoretical reflections in the Enlightenment and Romanticism as a mediator of social and cultural emancipation: as a process of inevitable modernization, which in our country is more strongly intertwined with the ethization of historical development. It meant a progress in the civic self-liberation and creative self-realization of man (nation). The National Theatre and the work of B. Smetana or M. Tyrš serve, among other things, to clarify how the innovation of the art form depends on the progressiveness of the contents, on the value foundation and social integration of the work.

Praha: Academia 2021.

Politické myšlení Karla Jasperse

Martin Bojda

(The Political Thought of Karl Jaspers)

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On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Karl Jaspers' death, the book provides a synthetic interpretation of his thinking and work through its political dimension. Jaspers became one of the most influential modern German philosophers, first as the founder of the philosophy of existence, after World War II as the initiator of its turn to the historical and political sphere of human existence, which has now proved to be inevitable. The presented publication brings the first Czech monograph on Jaspers and one of the most extensive on the international scale. It works with an as yet uninterested amount of archival materials from Jaspers' estate and correspondence.

Praha: Academia 2020. 656 pp. ISBN 978-80-200-3132-7.

An Ethical Modernity? Hegel’s Concept of Ethical Life Today

Jiří Chotaš – Tereza Matějčková (eds.)

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The collection of essays An Ethical Modernity? investigates the relation between Hegel’s doctrine of ethical life (Sittlichkeit) and modernity as a historical category and a philosophical concept. In this collection, the authors analyze Hegel’s theory of ethical life from various perspectives: social ontology, social practices, theory of judgment, relations between Hegel’s theory of ethical life and Kant’s ethics, Hegel’s philosophy of family, of the ethos of state and of international relations etc.

Leiden: Brill, 2020. Critical Studies in German Idealism, 25. ISBN 978-90-04-43257-4.

Filosof Erazim Kohák

Jakub Trnka

(Erazim Kohák: A Philosopher)

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Trnka seeks to introduce to philosophy of Erazim Kohák, one of the most prominent figures in Czech philosophy in the late twentieth century. Trnka’s main objective is to explore the pivotal concepts of Kohak’s thinking and to sketch his philosophy in a comprehensive and systematic manner. The book contains also a brief Kohak’s biography and a bibliography of his books and articles.

Studie a prameny k dějinám myšlení v českých zemích, 21.

Praha: Filosofia 2020. ISBN 978-80-7007-626-2.

Immanuel Kant. Kritika čistého rozumu

Jaromír Loužil – Jiří Chotaš – Ivan Chvatík – Jan Kuneš (ed.) – Milan Sobotka (ed.)

(Immanuel Kant. Critique of Pure Reason)

Table of Contents

Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787) represents within the history of philosophy a major milestone in the development of epistemology and metaphysics. The first edition of Jaroslav Loužil’s Czech translation prepared in collaboration with Jiří Chotaš and Ivan Chvatík, which appeared in 2001, brought the first reliable translation of this work into the Czech language. The second, amended, edition, prepared by Jan Kuneš and Milan Sobotka, includes corrections and changes in wording, which makes the first version of the translation even more accurate. This edition also includes an extensive subject index with explanation of Kant’s concepts and terms.

2nd revised edition. Knihovna novověké tradice a současnosti, 36.

Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2020. 685 pp. ISBN 978-80-7298-301-8.

"Winch on Political Authority & Obedience"

Marina Barabas

The article considers Peter Winch’s novel criticism of Contractarianism in his 1990 “Certainty and Authority”, which links Hume’s criticism with arguments from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. Using Wittgenstein he questions the desire-belief conception of action, and the view that all reasonable action, and thus also obedience, is based on justified belief. Winch argues instead that rationality is itself based on primitive and habitual trust – and thus also obedience – of authority. Rationality thus does not ground action but, being integral to the practices of the community, is presupposed by any reasonable decision and action. Against this I argue that primitive reaction and habit cannot make sense of obligation, including that of political obedience, because it ignores its conceptual and free character, furthermore that the genealogical and linear account cannot deal with political authority understood as rule of law, since the latter is itself in an essential part the product of theoretical, indeed philosophical, reasoning.

In: M. Campbell & L. Reid, L. (Eds.) Ethics, Society and Politics: Themes from the Philosophy of Peter Winch. Springer, 2020, pp. 103-115. Nordic Wittgenstein Studies, 6. ISBN 978-3-030-40741-4


"Panqualityism, Awareness and the Explanatory Gap"

Jakub Mihálik

According to panqualityism, a form of Russellian monism defended by Sam Coleman and others, consciousness is grounded in fundamental qualities, i.e. unexperienced qualia. Despite panqualityism’s significant promise, according to David Chalmers panqualityism fails as a theory of consciousness since the reductive approach to awareness of qualities it proposes fails to account for the specific phenomenology associated with awareness. I investigate Coleman’s reasoning against this kind of phenomenology and conclude that he successfully shows that its existence is controversial, and so Chalmers’s critique is inconclusive. I then present a critique of panqualityism that avoids this controversial posit, arguing that the panqualityist treatment of awareness faces an explanatory gap, failing to account for the intimate cognitive access to qualities which we are afforded, i.e. for our ‘strong awareness’ of qualities. The real worry for panqualityists is thus not the contested phenomenology of awareness, which Chalmers relies on, but rather the special way in which we are aware of qualities.

Erkenntnis, 2020, 23 p. ISSN 1572-8420

“Le débat entre Leibniz et Clarke sur la détermination de la volonté”

Jan Palkoska

(“The Leibniz-Clarke Debate on the Determination of the Will”)

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This subject is commonly viewed as highly important for an adequate understanding of at least two important themes in Leibniz: his notion of the principle of sufficient reason, and his stance on the nature of space. The problem is located and examined within its historical and philosophical context. The paper was accepted for publication in a special journal issue.

In: Filosofický časopis. Vol. 67, Supplement, 2019, pp. 76–92.