Lautorité morale et normative de la nature au Moyen Âge : Essai comparatif et introductionReportar como inadecuado

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1 GAS-CRH - Groupe d-anthropologie scolastique-Equipe CRH

Abstract : The moral and normative authority of nature varied considerably depending on the specific context and intentions of medieval authors who referred to its power, order, or law. Nature often validated social, religious, moral, and legal norms. This convergence may have contributed to the legitimation of science at a time when its validity was far from self-evident. However, nature-s power was also disruptive. Appealing to its authority could be a way to reveal the weaknesses, limits, and contradictions of the medieval moral, religious, social, and legal system. In order to clarify and illustrate this fundamental ambiguity, this article isolates and analyses a number of central themes and issues: the social and moral implications of the distinction between man and animals as well as between male and female; nature-s relative importance as a universal law with respect to history, providence, lawgiving, and the diversity of customs; the interpretation of natural phenomena and human behaviours perceived as running counter to nature-s order; the legitimation of art and the artificial as imitations of nature; and the extent and limits of natural determinism in medicine, physiognomy, and astrology. Medieval texts proposed two opposing anthropological models. One portrayed civilization and education as a thin veneer, while the other bridged the gap between nature and culture through the metaphor of -habit as a second nature-, emphasizing the ability of organisms to adapt to their physical and cultural environment. This article compares medieval debates and developments in contemporary science, in particular the rise of sociobiology in the 1970s and evolutionary psychology in the 1990s and the subsequent controversies it provoked in North America.

Mots-clés : nature ordre morale sociobiologie femme animaux contre-nature miracle coutume anthropologie médecine astrologie physiognomonie théologie

Autor: Maaike Van Der Lugt -



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