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Journal NotaBene Issue 62 (2023) Editor: Iva Manova

Topic of the issue: Women Philosophers

Enheduana and the Power of Word

The article presents the ancient Akkadian-Sumerian priestess and poetess Enheduana, believed to be the first author in the known history whose name is explicitly stated. The research is centered around the concept of the power of the word and its understanding in the ancient world, where the divine and the earthly realms were closely intertwined. Attention is paid to the multi-meaning Sumerian category me as well. It is pointed out that for ancient thought the word, especially the sacred ritual word, had a creative meaning and could both maintain and change the established order, and this gave special importance to the poets who could rule and utter it.

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Fatima al-Fihriya: The Woman Who Founded One of the World’s Oldest Universities

Fatima al-Fihriya, the founder of
the al-Qarawiyyin mosque, one of the oldest universities in the world, is a historical figure of great significance. Not only is it intriguing that a university was established at such an early time, but it was also built by a Muslim woman. Although her life details are not extensively documented, her legacy persists to this day. The main goal is to present women’s roles within Islamic society. Fatima al-Fihriya is an early example of the powerful leadership roles that women have played in the Muslim world, both historically and contemporarily. The article concludes that Fatima al-Fihriya adopted an unprecedented policy concerning feminine education. She pioneered the model of higher education that has been adopted across the world.

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Olympia Moratа: Being Femina Docta in Italy during the Reformation

Olympia Morata, one of the most learned women of the Italian Cinquecento, was admired as a child-prodigy in the Ferrarense court of duc Ercole II d’Este. Being part of the Protestant entourage of René de France and companion of her daughter Anna d’Este, she enjoyed the court’s rich library and the ambience advantageous for the classical and the biblical studies as well; her father, Fulvio Pellegrino Morato, and her Italian and German teachers in the court were prominent figures of the Reformation in Italy. Her early adulthood however happened to coincide with the years of an abrupt political and cultural change in Italy after the first sessions of the Trent Council and the establishment of the Roman Inquisition. Olympia together with her husband had to flee in Germany as to continue pursuing her aims of defending the humanistic studies and living her faith openly according to the Protestant ethic and the ultimate authority of the Bible. Olympia Morata died in the year of the Peace of Augsburg (1555), which temporarily ended the religious wars in Europe; her legacy was almost completely lost during the religious conflicts, but part of it was sought out and reassembled by the Italian scholar Celio Curione; thanks of that one can get a sense of her erudition and unique personality. This paper provides a reading of the prologues to the lost public lectures of Morata on Paradoxa Stoicorum and of part of her correspondence reflecting the topics of Cicero’s treatise.

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The Philosophical Letters of Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and the Problem of Soul and Body in Descartes’ Metaphysics

The aim of this article is to consider the debate regarding the nature of soul and body in the correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and Rene Descartes. It will be shown that the topic of the interaction between the immaterial soul and the material body leads to contradictions that were not solved by Elisabeth and Descartes.

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A Non-Mechanistic Solution to the Mind-Body Problem in the Philosophy of Anne Conway

The article examines the development of the popular mind-body problem in the philosophy of Anne Conway. It provides an overview of her metaphysical system, along with some biographical details that are considered relevant. The text traces the arguments in defense of a monistic system focused on the vivification and liveliness of the created world and explores their genesis. Additionally, the article addresses how the status of women influences their own philosophy. In her sole treatise, Conway, while outlining her thoughts on the unity of the substance, also presents an ethical doctrine. Her insistence that matter could not be mere inert mass, and that God shares vitality and goodness with all created beings, can be interpreted as a call for equality. The ardor felt in her work is not merely religious zeal or academic ambition but rather a premonition that this question may not be resolved even centuries after her treatise.

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On the Material Nature of Thought. Sophie’s Case against Leibniz

Our aim with this paper is to position the views of Sofia from Hanover (1630-1714) within the framework of the Early Modern philosophical context from the late 17th to the early 18th century, by demonstrating her contribution to the fundamental post-Cartesian discussions of the time. In order to argue that Sofia's views can be fittingly and justifiably integrated into the "fabric" of Early Modern philosophy, it is necessary, first, to demonstrate the originality of her views in comparison to those of her most influential philosophical correspondent, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). For this reason, in the course of this work, we begin with a general presentation of the significance of his epistolary network for the development of Leibniz's philosophy, as well as with pointing out the crucial importance that the themes and problems discussed with Sofia acquire for this philosophy. The originality and independence of Sofia's philosophical views from the influence of her famous correspondent are demonstrated based on a concrete example – her view on the material nature of thought and the soul as its bearer, a view radically rejected by Leibniz. This allows us, in conclusion, to raise one significant metaphilosophical and methodological question: When does the over-explanation of certain phenomena with abstract and distant principles, doctrines, and concepts transcend its boundaries and manifest itself in misunderstanding?

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Victoria Welby and Charles Peirce: Semiotic Encounters and Paths

The article traces the intellectual initiation of the British philosopher Victoria Welby (1837-1912) into the theory of language and signification. Her role in the history of semiotics is primarily associated with her long correspondence with the enigmatic American philosopher, logician, and founder of pragmatism and semiotics, Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914). The intended sketch of their intellectual encounter does not overlook the human condition and social circumstances that stood at the background of their theoretic exchange, as well as the depth and clarity of the trace left by each of them in the philosophical and semiotic field. They shared common concerns and scholarly directions, but the paths of their incorporation into the philosophical and semiotic tradition are divergent and circuitous.

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Lou Salome. The Woman with а Whip?

This text is an attempt to answer the question „Who is Lou Salome?“: a question with many answers. And how to approach her – through her memoirs, or
using the memories of her contemporaries, and another option – her personal correspondence and work. In this case, the article offers a portrait of Lou Salome; in terms of her communication with Nietzsche and Freud. Who are Nietzsche and Freud for her, and who is Lou for them.

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Ekaterina Papazova: The Philosophy Teacher

  • Author: Nina Dimitrova and Denitsa Dimitrova
  • Section: Тема на броя
  • Issue: Women Philosophers

The article is dedicated to Ekaterina (Katya) Papazova (1895–1971), who defended her doctorate in philosophy in Germany and returned to Bulgaria, where she had a long teaching practice in one of the elite Sofia high schools. An attempt was made to trace Papazova's participation in the scientific life of the country, despite her lack of an academic career. The text comments on her merits in the development of applied psychology in our country - in the field of psychology of advertising, forensic psychology, the psychology of learning foreign languages, etc. The initial philosophical attitude and involvement of Dr. Papazova with the Wuerzburg School of Psychology was discussed. Finally, her orientation towards the ideas of Bogomilism is presented, and the fact of her authorship of the authoritative book "Christen oder Katzen – die Bogomilen" (Stuttgart 1983), which, however, remains unknown in our country.

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The Heritage of Machiavelli’s Ideas in the Context of Modern Politics

To appeal to Machiavelli’s political ethics is to attempt to comprehend and understand the most complex modern political and moral problems through the prism of the theoretical heritage of the philosopher. It is possible to understand clearer modern political processes through his interpretation of the problems of politics and morality, of its ends and means, of power and leadership, wars, freedom, oppression, sovereignty etc. His insight as a philosopher who deeply understands the essence of political processes, and the theory developed by him stepped far forward, and, having extended the timeframe, were able to maintain their universality in the sense of a way of comprehending mores in politics.

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The Role of Civic Discourse in Education for Society

Marking almost decisively the socio-human sciences, the role of civic discourse in education for society is a widely debated subject and constantly subject to re / conceptualization. We live in a reality in which the pandemic has significantly affected the human community in economic, social, political and cultural terms, aggravating social inequalities, including in the education system. This situation has created barriers to participation in the educational process, primarily for people from disadvantaged social categories, taking into account the fact that the school is both a space for academic education and a framework for learning social skills, emotional, cooperation and social support. When most of the teaching activities have been transferred to the online environment, it is necessary to address the issue of literacy, digital education, but also about the advantages of digitalization of public administration. It becomes imperative to capitalize on the possibilities of community institutions, the rational use of online learning technologies, and the impartial involvement of the media in reflecting existing problems which are an opportunity for crisis situations.

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Religious Processes in Uzbekistan

Religious policy in the Republic of Uzbekistan is based on the principle of the secular state. During the reforms in Uzbekistan, the necessary conditions have been created for the practical solution of issues related to the legal regulation of freedom of religion, the opportunity to make one’s religious or secular choice, and to improve the culture of interethnic communication based on tolerance. Much attention is paid to the need to promote the humanistic essence of Islam, explaining that this religion calls for goodness and peace, and helps maintain stability in the region. For an in-depth study of the Islamic religion, it is planned to implement a number of large projects aimed at studying the scientific heritage of great Muslim scientists and educators.

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Methods of Constructing the Future in State Planning: Forecasting and Ideology

The article examines the methods for constructing the future in state planning in two aspects: as a scientific methodology that is part of the specific field of future studies - futurology, forecasting, foresight, future studies, strategic studies and as a tool for construction of societies from positions of power. The analysis is based on a systematization of key theoretical developments from the fields of forecasting and strategic planning. Thus, a general methodological figure of the dynamics of exploratory-normative forecasting is systematized, as a model that provides knowledge about the future by studying the foreseeable (present, past) and through goal setting. It is derived as an algorithm that binds temporal construction with mechanisms of power for the controllability of social and political space. The main questions posed by the research are: to what extent and how the methods of constructing the future as a mode of temporality are realized as tools for formatting the social space? To what extent is ideology an essential part of state planning technologies?

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Man, the Happiest and Most Admirable Creature According to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

This essay was read at a student conference at SWU Neofit Rilski in 2023. It examines Giovanni Pico della Mirandola as a representative of Renaissance humanism and recalls key moments from his famous “Oration”.

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