© 2005

Moral Philosophy on the Threshold of Modernity

  • Jill Kraye
  • Risto Saarinen

Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 57)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Jill Kraye, Risto Saarinen
    Pages 1-6
  3. Scholastics and Neo-Scholastics

  4. Theories of Human Rights and Dominion

  5. Dino Bellucci
    Pages 235-254
  6. Christoph Strohm
    Pages 255-281
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 331-343

About this book


This volume investigates the paradigm changes which occurred in ethics during the early modern era (1350-1600). While many general claims have been made regarding the nature of moral philosophy in the period of transition from medieval to modern thought, the rich variety of extant texts has seldom been studied and discussed in detail. The present collection attempts to do this. It provides new research on ethics in the context of Late Scholasticism, Neo-Scholasticism, Renaissance Humanism and the Reformation. It traces the fate of Aristotelianism and of Stoicism, explores specific topics such as probabilism and casuistry, and highlights the connections between Protestant theology and early modern ethics. The book also examines how the origins of human rights, as well as different views of moral agency, the will and the emotions, came into focus on the eve of modernity.

Target audience: students of medieval, Renaissance and Reformation history; students of the history of philosophy, ethics and theology; those interested in humanism, human rights and the history of law.


15th century Modern Era Moral Renaissance Scholasticism Thomas Aquinas ethics humanism reformation

Editors and affiliations

  • Jill Kraye
    • 1
  • Risto Saarinen
    • 2
  1. 1.Warburg InstituteUniversity of LondonUK
  2. 2.University of HelsinkiFinland

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"This is a collection of fifteen essays ... on Early Modern Thought. The editors intend the volume to reflect current, historical and philosophical scholarship about the moral thought of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. … The topic of rights connects these essays … and they provide a fascinating background to the role of individual rights in modern thought. This is important reading for anyone interested in rights and well worth the acquisition of this volume." (Douglas Langston, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 44 (3), 2006)