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Bennett Gilbert
Portland State University
  1.  20
    To Copy, To Impress, To Distribute: The Beginning of European Printing.Bennett Gilbert - 2019 - On_Culture.
    In order to distribute our thoughts and feelings, we must make intelligible and distributable copies of them. From approximately 1375 to 1450, certain Europeans started fully mechanized replication of texts and images, based on predecessor “smaller” technologies. What they started became the most powerful means for the distribution, storage, and retrieval of knowledge in history, up until the invention of digital means. We have scant information about the initiation of print technologies in the period up to Gutenberg, and the picture (...)
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  2. Early Carthusian Script and Silence.Bennett Gilbert - 2014 - Cistercian Studies Quarterly 49 (3):367-397.
    At its founding and during its first three decades, the Carthusian order developed a distinctive and forceful concept of communication among the members and between the members and the extramural world.2 Saint Bruno’s life, contemporary twelfth-century exegesis, and the physical situation of La Grande Chartreuse established the necessary context in which this concept evolved. A review of historical background, the relevant documentary texts, and early development demonstrate the shaping of two steps in this concept. Close reading of the principal testimonies (...)
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  3. Freshest Advices on What To Do With the Historical Method in Philosophy When Using It to Study a Little Bit of Philosophy That Has Been Lost to History.Bennett Gilbert - 2012 - Essays in Philosophy 13 (1):106-118.
    The paper explores the question of the relationship between the practice of original philosophical inquiry and the study of the history of philosophy. It is written from my point of view as someone starting a research project in the history of philosophy that calls this issue into question, in order to review my starting positions. I argue: first, that any philosopher is sufficiently embedded in culture that her practice is necessarily historical; second, that original work is in fact in part (...)
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  4. Jakob Leupold’s Imaginary Automatic Anamorphic Devices of 1713.Bennett Gilbert - 2016 - Media History 25 (2):1-18.
    In 1713 the scientific instrument-maker Jakob Leupold published designs for three machines were the first attempt to design machinery with internal moving parts that replaced human agency in creating original images. This paper first analyzes his text and engravings in order to explain how he proposed to do this, given contemporary materials and command of physical forces. Next, it characterizes the devices as a transition from concepts of incision to concepts of mirroring, taken as models of the history of mechanical (...)
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  5. On Breaking Up Time, or, Perennialism as Philosophy of History.Bennett Gilbert - 2016 - Joirnal of the Philosophy of History 12 (1):5-26.
    Current and recent philosophy of history contemplates a deep change in fundamental notions of the presence of the past. This is called breaking up time. The chief value for this change is enhancing the moral reach of historical research and writing. However, the materialist view of reality that most historians hold cannot support this approach. The origin of the notion in the thought of Walter Benjamin is suggested. I propose a neo-idealist approach called perennialism, centered on recurrent moral dilemmas and (...)
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  6. Johannes Fontana’s Drawing for a Castellus Umbrarum, Udine or Padua, C. 1415–20.Bennett Gilbert - 2014 - Mediaevalia 35 (1):255-277.
    A finished sketch for a light-and-shadow projection device by the Paduan mechanical artisan Johannes de Fontana (c.1395–1455), in his manuscript book of drawings now known as Liber Bellicorum Instrumentorum, depicts a machine for communicating ideas or information through spectacle. The manuscript is fairly well known, and this sketch is just one of many interesting images worthy of study in its 70 leaves. A couple dozen manuscripts of the mechanical arts from this period survive, the best-studied of which fall into the (...)
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  7. Plato's Lost Lecture.Bennett Gilbert - 2012 - Dissertation, Reed College
    Plato is known to have given only one public lecture, called "On the Good." We have one highly reliable quotation from Plato himself, stating his doctrine that "the Good is one." The lecture was a set of ideas that existed as an historical event but is now lost--and it dealt with ideas of supreme importance, in brief form, by the greatest of philosophers. Any reading of the lecture is speculative. My approach is philosophical rather than historiographic. The liminal existence of (...)
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  8. Some Neglected Aspects of the Rococo: Berkeley, Vico, and Rococo Style.Bennett Gilbert - 2012 - Dissertation, Portland State University
    The Rococo period in the arts, flourishing mainly from about 1710 to about 1750, was stylistically unified, but nevertheless its tremendous productivity and appeal throughout Occidental culture has proven difficult to explain. Having no contemporary theoretical literature, the Rococo is commonly taken to have been a final and degenerate form of the Baroque era or an extravagance arising from the supposed careless frivolity of the elites, including the intellectuals of the Enlightenment. Neither approach adequately accounts for Rococo style. Naming the (...)
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