Martin Mulsow. Prof. Dr. | * OM / GW | Zuwahljahr: Geschichte, Philosophie Professor an der Universität Erfurt und Direktor des Forschungszentrums. Ausführliche Profilseite von Prof. Dr. Martin Mulsow, Direktor des Forschungszentrums Gotha - Adresse, Kontaktdaten, Lebenslauf. Martin Mulsow forscht auf dem Gebiet der Geistes- und Philosophiegeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit. Nach Studien zum Deutschen Idealismus und zur.
Martin Mulsow, Prof. Dr. phil. habil.Martin Mulsow ist ein deutscher Philosoph und Historiker mit Arbeitsschwerpunkt in der Erforschung der frühneuzeitlichen Ideengeschichte. Er ist Direktor des Forschungszentrums Gotha der Universität Erfurt und hat dort den Lehrstuhl für. Martin Mulsow forscht auf dem Gebiet der Geistes- und Philosophiegeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit. Nach Studien zum Deutschen Idealismus und zur. Martin Mulsow. Prof. Dr. | * OM / GW | Zuwahljahr: Geschichte, Philosophie Professor an der Universität Erfurt und Direktor des Forschungszentrums.
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Precarious knowledge does not deal with the major themes of metaphysics and epistemology, but rather with those marginal zones such as magic and numismatics, interpretations of the Bible, and Orientalism.
It is not only about theories, but also about fear and fascination, not about the major figures in research, but rather about those forgotten, or half-forgotten, scholars.
Written with clarity and great enthusiasm for the subject, it lures the reader into the world of precarious, unfamiliar knowledge, research into which has only just begun.
German title: Prekäres Wissen ca. Martin Mulsow. Italian scholars like Tullio Gregory followed him, and today there are a good number of English and American studies.
But the significance of Mulsow's monumental work lies in the fact that he connects several hitherto unconnected currents of research: the history of ideas of Enlightenment philosophy, the archival registration of clandestine texts, and the analysis of communication structures in the European Republic of Letters.
Mulsow does not overemphasize his results: there was a radical Enlightenment in Germany, but it occurred "only as a marginal phenomenon of persecuted thinkers and probably a greater number of extremist students.
A special appeal gets this book through its deciphering of deputizing debates. The period around discussed historical and philological questions, when people in fact wanted to clarify contemporary problems.
Another advantage of this book is its being conscious of the methods that it uses. Methodological reflection always follows the historical information.
Mulsow has written a fresh and learned book. It has all chances to be this year's best German book in intellectual history. This is a marvelous, detailed, textured study of a large number of minor works and minor figures that developed and transmitted many of the elements of modern philosophy in early modern Germany.
Many of the texts were written in Latin, and only some were published. One should not teach the philosophy of the Enlightenment from Hazard or Cassirer without attention to these figures, whom they did not know.
Now we know where our heroes like Lessing, Hume, and Kant got many of their fundamental ideas. Martin Mulsow ends this book with ten theses.
The first holds that most of the authors discussed were radicalized in a multi-layered process, not simply from the reading of Hobbes, Spinoza, Bayle, or Toland.
For example, one could take the role of an opponent in an academic disputation, and bit by bit begin to believe one's unorthodox role.
Or one could be provoked by ultra-orthodox opponents to explore the opposite of what they believed. Some authors evolved into and out of radical positions over the course of their lives.
Further theses contend that small, trusted circles of friends were often the enabling condition in which unorthodox views were first expressed and then hammered out.
Irony, satire, paradox, and ambivalence played key roles. It is often difficult to tell whether some of these texts were serious or intended as jokes, and perhaps the authors did not always know themselves.
Some radical ideas were spread simply by curious erudites who assembled collections and bibliographies of radical manuscripts and texts without believing them.
Mulsow shows how people wrote on controversial topics in coded scholarly language. Spinozism was discussed under the rubrics of Platonism and Stoicism; the sovereignty of the people was considered in terms of the lex regia; and Biblical criticism became code for the physicians' rejection of the materiality of the soul.
Thus philosophical discourse can be found where one might least expect it in legal, philological, historical, and scientific debates.
The numerous case studies that the author assembles amount to philosophical microhistory. Substantial chapters deal with various aspects of the intellectual stew that emerged from the bubbling pot of Jews and Socinians and other Christian sects that were semi-tolerated in the Netherlands.
Unlike any construction of moderate and radical positions as opposed and at odds, Mulsow shows how they were often intertwined.
The destruction of Christian Platonism, the paradoxical development of Enlightenment ideas out of anti-humanism, and the uses of so-called eclecticism in philosophy made possible the assembly of modern philosophical positions.
In yet another paradox, many of these writers belong to what has been called the "conservative Enlightenment", intending only to temporize and draw the teeth of the political and philosophical radicals, and yet their writings systematized and transmitted the ideas of the radicals, opening the way to further radicality.
It is a perennial weakness of the skeptics and proto-liberals like Gundling that they defended freedom of thought and libertas philosophandi even where it would undermine the ideas and institutions in which they believed.
Most of the philosophically radical positions began as critique of theological positions, and this is one reason why it is ever more apparent that one cannot understand the rise of modern philosophy without a close acquaintance with early modern theology.
None of the early modern philosophers we are trying to understand was ignorant of the many levels of theological debate.
There are numerous connections to later times: for example, a seventeenth-century debate over political theology anticipated Carl Schmitt's twentieth-century rediscovery of this topos.
Mulsow places the Enlightened ideas of Locke and Newton in the context of their basis in the theology of anti-Trinitarian Socinians and Arians such as Samuel Crell.
This was as important to many who radicalized it as the Spinozism credited with spawning the radical Enlightenment by others.
Along the way, Mulsow identifies the authors of several previously unidentified anonymous pieces. Mulsow's final thesis is that the older picture of a few giants of Enlightenment philosophy standing alone, seeing clearly, and bravely forging new and liberated ideals must be supplemented by an appreciation of the role of larger numbers of thinkers with divided loyalties, nagging doubts and self-doubts, caught up by irony and paradox, who nevertheless provided the texts that the Lessings and the Holbachs forged into modernity.
Moderne aus dem Untergrund. Radikale Frühaufklärung in Deutschland Hamburg: Meiner, Friedrich Niewöhner in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8.
Kurt Flasch in Süddeutsche Zeitung