Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy

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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.

CV | | Publications | LINK

  • Ihmisenkaltainen eläin : näkökulmia rationaalisuuteen, ihmisyyteen ja eläimyyteen.” In A. Laitinen, J. Saarinen, H. Ikäheimo, P. Lyyra, & I. Niemi (Eds.), Sisäisyys & suunnistautuminen: juhlakirja Jussi Kotkavirralle (pp. 264-286). SoPhi (125). Jyväskylä, Finland: Jyväskylän yliopisto (2014).
  • Perception and the Internal Senses. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers (2013). Investigating Medieval Philosophy, 5.
  • “Perceptual Self-Awareness in Seneca, Augustine, and Olivi.” ournal of the History of Philosophy, 51 (3), 355-382 (2013).

Intellectual Traditions in Ethics and Politics is an interdisciplinary research group working on theoretical questions concerning the nature of political agency, ethical subjectivity and human personhood.