Cusanus: Definitio als Selbstbestimmung

Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 4 (1):153–177 (1999)
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More often than not Cusanus is interpreted in a theological way, under strong theological presuppositions and within the range of religion. This may be quite understandable since he was a cardinal and had important functions in the Papal States. But what are the philosophical implications if some of his texts are neither meant to assert a belief nor to search for reasons for it, but only to reflect upon the presuppositions of this belief and its different traditions? – A word-for-word interpretation of the first proposition, which follows the dialogue „De non aliud“ : definitio quae se et omnia definit, ea est, quae per omnem mentem quaeritur, gives us a hint to the shift in the concept of definitio during the dialogue. Cusanus begins in quite a traditional manner and ends in a supremely abstract and speculative intuition. The not-other determines itself in a vision and by this puts every thing in its proper place; we as human beings aspire to repeat this vision in our mental life in contact with the world. In this way Cusanus does what all great philosophers do: he reflects in a given set of opinions what is the meaning of „to be“.

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