Working Papers

Der SFB 980 publiziert eine eigene Working Papers-Reihe, die mit einer ISSN-Nummer versehen ist. Die Working Papers sind sowohl auf der SFB-Website als auch auf dem Dokumentenserver der Universitätsbibliothek als pdf-Dateien kostenfrei abrufbar.


8 Publikation(en)

Working Paper No. 8/2016 | The Noise of the Books - Practices of Knowledge Transfer in Damascius’ Vita Isidori


In this paper we follow the traces of knowledge transfer in the different text genres that produce a tension between traditional school philosophy and a specific institutional agenda of Damascius’ Neoplatonic Academy in Athens by observing the discourses on knowledge acquisition in both the Vita Isidori and Damascius’ philosophical commentaries. We argue that the entanglement of the Vita Isidori with other school text genres and the school politics of the Academy is even stronger than has hitherto been assumed and that it is therefore neccessary to analyze it as an integral part of the text environment of the late antique philosophical schools. That will even increase the importance of analysing Damascius’ works for a social history of late antiquity since the Vita Isidori declares Damascius’ intent to broaden the reach and range of influence exerted by the educational institutions of philosophical teaching upon cultural developments.

Working Paper No. 7/2015 | Maß, Modell und Material. Dynamische Wissenskonstitution in den metrologischen Reformen Heinrichs VII. von England


Das Paper widmet sich den metrologischen Reformen Heinrichs VII. von England aus modelltheoretischer Perspektive. Ausgehend von der quasi-herrscherlichen Autorität physischer Standard-Objekte wird die Bedeutung ihrer konkreten Materialität für ihre wissensgewinnende und -garantierende Funktion herausgestellt. Aus modelltheoretischem Blickwinkel erscheint die materielle Verfasstheit der Standards dabei nicht nur sowohl als notwendige Bedingung als auch als potentieller Störfaktor metrologischer Erkenntnis, sondern erweist sich am Konstitutionsprozess Letzterer als grundsätzlich aktiv beteiligt. Verstanden als Modelle mit materialer „Eigensinnigkeit“ offenbaren die Standards eine Dynamik metrologischer Wissenskonstitution im Zusammenspiel materialer Objekt-qualitäten und konventionaler Einschreibung, welcher für Vormoderne und Moderne gleichermaßen zu veranschlagen ist.

Working Paper No. 6/2015 | Wissenstransfer in Scholien. Zur Präsenz Platons in den Marginalien von de interpretatione-Handschriften


Die Scholien in den Handschriften zur Aristotelischen Pragmatie de interpretatione stellten bislang für Wissenstransferforschungen weitestgehend eine terra incognita dar. Bisherige Studien verweisen lediglich darauf, dass sich in den Scholien zahlreicher Codices eine Fülle von kürzeren und längeren Kommentaren, Worterklärungen sowie veranschaulichende Diagramme finden. Das Working Paper untersucht die Präsenz und die Bedeutung Platons in den Scholien. Konkret behandelt er Diagramme des Arguments aus Platons Dialog Kratylos, das gleich in mehreren Handschriften zur Erklärung von de int. 16a26-27 angeführt wird.

Working Paper No. 5/2015 | Inventarisierung von Scholien, Glossen und Diagrammen der handschriftlichen Überlieferung zu Aristoteles’ De interpretatione (c. 1 – 4)


The purpose of this paper is to register exegetic (and for the most part unknown) material on the first four chapters of Aristotle’s De interpretatione transmitted in codices vetustissimi, vetusti and recentiores. Scholia, glosses and diagrams presented in this inventory are organized with respect to (a) their place in each manuscript and (b) their relation to the aristotelian text. Whereas texts and diagrams edited here do not represent any critical edition in its traditional sense, effort has been made to point towards continuities and discontinuities regarding their transmission.

Working Paper No. 4/2015 | Dimitrie Cantemir, the Monarchia Borealis and the Petrine Instauration


This paper considers a short memorandum titled Monarchiarum Physica Examinatio, which the exiled Moldavian prince Dimitrie Cantemir dedicated to Peter the Great in 1714. The text is based on the biblical scheme of the sequence of the Four Empires, but the interpretation presented diverges from the conventional readings. Cantemir reserves the place of the fourth and last Empire for the upcoming Monarchia Borealis and describes its rise in Aristotelian terms as a natural necessity. In identifying Cantemir’s hitherto unnoticed alchemical source of inspiration and commenting upon the epistemic shift from political theology to political physiology and the argumentative purpose it serves, the paper discusses the modalities of knowledge transfer, the resultant configuration of knowledge within a new cultural context and implications of this for a more complex understanding of the Phanariots’ intellectual outlook as well as the Petrine reforms and their legitimization.

Working Paper No. 3/2014 | Al-Ghazali and Jehuda Halevi: Speaking of the Ineffable

Deckblatt Working Paper Nr  3_LaSala

Beate Ulrike La Sala

Working Paper Nr. 3_La Sala

The paper investigates Halevi’s theory of divine attributes as an example of the transfer of knowledge from the Classical Arabic philosophy to Judeo-Arabic philosophy. To this end, the depiction of divine attributes in Al-Ghazālī’s Al-Iqtiṣād fī al-i‛tiqād is compared to that offered by Halevi in the Sefer ha-Kuzari. The initial extended delineation of Al-Ghazālī’s account constitutes the background for the investigation of Halevi’s approach, in order to facilitate the comparison of both. The investigation of the discussion of divine attributes in the works of both authors does not only serve to demonstrate the similarities of both when it comes to their indebtedness towards and their criticism of the Neoplatonic-Aristotelian philosophical tradition. It also serves to illustrate their understanding of metaphorical and figurative language. Furthermore, the paper aims to show what parts of Al-Ghazālī’s thinking became transformed in this transfer process due to the different religious context.

Working Paper No. 2/2014 | Late Uruk bicameral orthographies and their Early Dynastic Rezeptionsgeschichte


This paper investigates the administrative terminology and schemata that were used to manage large brick-and-mortar institutions in the first millennium of the cuneiform textual record (ca. 3300–2000 BCE). One of the most important techniques for the calibration of institutional hierarchies in this period was the distribution of high quality foodstuffs such as meat, fish and beer in the context of so-called diacritical feasting. Ethnographers and anthropologists have emphasized the importance of feasting as a vehicle for both building solidarity among elites, while at the same time carefully differentiating the rank and status of particular roles within the upper echelon of society. This paper identifies the earliest evidence for butchery and meat distribution practices in the proto-cuneiform textual record (ca. 3300–3000 BCE) and links these practices to the major lexical lists concerned with professional titles, the organization of institutional structures and the elite foodstuffs that were used to validate an individual’s position within these hierarchies (the lists known as Archaic Lu A [NAMESHDA], Archaic Officials [UKKIN] and Archaic Food). The links between these lexical lists and administrative documents also demonstrate that the offices named in the Archaic Officials list corresponded to the personnel of an actual institution in the Late Uruk period.

Thema: institutions, diacritical feasting, early lexical lists, meat distribution, calibration of hierarchies, Mesopotamia

Working Paper No. 1/2014 | On the Function of Platonic Doctrines in Late Antique Commentaries on Metaphysics A 9, A 6 and M 4 – an Example of Late Antique Knowledge Transfer


The paper analyses the argumentative strategies of the ancient commentators on Aristotle’s Metaphysics A 9, A 6 and M 4 and the functions ascribed by them to Aristotle’s doxographic reports and critique. In discussing the use made of concepts from the Categories in the critique of Platonic Forms the commentators elucidate the need for further differentiations for didactic purposes in the institutional context of the philosophical schools of late antiquity. By doing this, the paper argues, the commentators further develop Aristotle’s own argumentative strategy when he transfers tools from his logical treatises into other contexts. The commentators’ transfer of texts and conceptual tools into other textual contexts follows the skopos of enhancing understanding of the meaning of the Aristotelian text. These acts of transfer constitute a new textual context for the Aristotelian text commented upon, one that includes texts from Plato, Platonic sources, Aristotle himself and earlier or contemporary commentators, each of which has its specific argumentative functions.