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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1643: Nicholas of Cusa, II: Reality and Materiality

Thursday 4 July 2019, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Cusanus Society of the UK & Ireland
Organiser:William P. Hyland, School of Divinity, University of St Andrews
Moderator/Chair:Louise Nelstrop, St Benet's Hall, University of Oxford / Department of Theology & Religious Studies, York St John University
Paper 1643-aCusan Materialities: The Role of Artefacts in Nicholas of Cusa's De Visione Dei, De Possest, and De Ludo Globi
(Language: English)
Silvianne Aspray, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Philosophy, Theology
Paper 1643-bNature and Dialectic in the Cusan Tradition
(Language: English)
Simon Burton, WydziaƂ 'Artes Liberales', Uniwersytet Warszawski
Index terms: Philosophy, Theology

Contemporary popular discourses tacitly assume that the relationship between human beings and material artefacts is one of domination: either we control them, or they control us. This session explores how Nicholas of Cusa provides philosophical resources to envisage this relationship outside of the category of power and domination and understands the capacity of artefacts beyond what their human makers ascribe to them, especially insofar as they seem to be capable to mediate ultimate truths. It also explores the speculative function of craftmanship knowledge in Nicholas of Cusa, understood as a heuristic model of conceptualizing reality. It is a technical and supremely practical knowledge, which is nevertheless often metaphorically employed to great effect in various areas of Nicholas' speculative thought.