Toivanen Juhana, Postdoctoral Researcher

Toivanen Juhana, Postdoctoral Researcher

My main field of interest is medieval philosophy, especially philosophical psychology and political philosophy. I have studied medieval views on psychological processes that are common to human beings and other animals—perception, imagination, memory and the like—and I am a specialist in the philosophy of a medieval philosopher and theologian, Peter Olivi (ca. 1248-98). In addition, I have published on medieval theories of self-awareness and on the embodied mind in medieval psychology.

My current research pertains to medieval conceptions of human sociability. I study medieval political texts, written between 1250 and 1400, and analyse what kind of psychological explanations lie behind the often repeated Aristotelian idea that human beings are political animals by nature. I am especially interested in medieval commentaries on Aristotle’s Politics, as I map the various changes that took place when this work was used to develop philosophical vocabulary and theoretical frameworks for understanding the political and social nature of human beings. This research forms the core of my project Human Sociability in Medieval Philosophy (Academy of Finland, 2013-16), the results of which will be published as a monograph with the same title.

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