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Cusanus: Definitio als Selbstbestimmung

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More often than not Cusanus is interpreted in a theological manner, under strong theological presuppositions and within a religious range. This is understandable since he was a cardinal and had important functions in the Papal States. The inadequacy of this approach, however, is evident when one considers that not all of his texts are meant to assert traditional beliefs but instead to reflect upon their presuppositions. A word-for-word interpretation of the first proposition of the appendix of the dialogue De non aliud (┬źDefinitio, quae se et omnia definit, ea est, quae per omnem mentem quaeritur┬╗) reveals a shift in the concept of during the dialogue. Cusanus begins in a quite traditional manner and ends in a supremely abstract and speculative intuition. The not-other determines itself in a vision, setting everything in its proper place; a vision we aspire to repeat in our mental life. In this way, Cusanus does what all great philosophers do: he reflects in a given set of traditions and beliefs upon their presuppositions.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/bpjam.4.08son

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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