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Lombard, Peter (1095-1160)

Italian theologian and philosopher whose Sententiae in quattuor libris distinctae (Four Books of Sentences) (1158) compiled the assertions and arguments of ancient philosophers and patristic theologians, providing a traditional background upon which late medieval scholasticism frequently commented.

Recommended Reading: Marcia L. Colish, Peter Lombard (Brill, 1994).

Also see IEP, The Franciscan Archive, EB, ELC, and .

Lorenz, Konrad (1903-1989)

Austrian biologist; author of King Solomon's Ring (1949) and Man Meets Dog (1950). Lorenz's comparative studies of animal behavior led to the development of the discipline of ethology. He is best known for On Aggression (1966), an exploration of the instinctual foundations of aggressive behavior in animals, including human beings. He shared the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1973.

Recommended Reading: Animal and Human Aggression, ed. by Pierre Karli and S.M. Carmona and The Foundations of Ethology (Springer Verlag, 1981).

Also see EB, and Austria-Forum.

Lotze, Rudolf Hermann (1817-1881)

German philosopher. As a committed idealist, Lotze argued in Mikrocosmus (1856-1864) that the apparent success of mechanistic explanations of the natural world derives only from the organic unity of consciousness through laws of nature which express the will of the Absolute. This position was a significant influence on Royce and Santayana.

Recommended Reading: George Santayana, Lotze's System of Philosophy; Hermann Lotze, Grundzuge der praktischen Philosophie (Rodopi, 1969); and Hermann Lotze, Outlines of Psychology (Ayer, 1973).

Also see SEP, IEP, EB, and ELC.

Lovejoy, Arthur Oncken (1873-1962)

American philosopher whose Revolt against Dualism (1930) defended perceptual realism by arguing that material objects exist independently of our perception of them. The historical sweep of Lovejoy's The Great Chain of Being introduced an influential set of methods for the study of the history of ideas and used them to trace the recurrence of the principle of plenitude in Western philosophy.

Recommended Reading: Arthur O. Lovejoy and George Boas, Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity (Johns Hopkins, 1997) and The History of Ideas: Canon and Variations, ed. by Donald R. Kelley (Rochester, 1990).

Also see EB, and .

Lucretius, Titus Lucretius Carus (99-55 BCE)

Roman philosopher. Lucretius's philosophical poem De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) (50 B.C.E.) expounded the atomism of Leucippus, Democritus, and Epicurus. Lucretius denied the immortality of the soul and criticized the superstitious adherence to religious belief.

Recommended Reading: G. D. Hadzsits, Lucretius and His Influence (Cooper Square, 1930) and K. A. Algra, M. H. Koenen, and P. H. Schrijvers, Lucretius and his Intellectual Background (Royal Netherlands Academy, 1997).

Also see SEP, IEP, EB, and ELC.

Lukács, György (1885-1971)

Hungarian philosopher. In Geschichte und Klassen-bewußtsein (History and Class Consciousness) (1923) Lukács offered an extended defense of European communism as a means of overcoming the harmful effects of alienation. He also applied the philosophy of Marx to literary theory in Die Eigenart des Äesthetischen (The Specificity of the Aesthetic) (1963), articulating an influential conception of "socialist realism."

Recommended Reading: The Lukacs Reader, ed. by Arpad Kadarky (Blackwell, 1995); Mary Gluck, Georg Lukacs and His Generation, 1900-1918 (Harvard, 1991); Eugene Lunn, Marxism and Modernism: An Historical Study of Lukacs, Brecht, Benjamin, and Adorno (California, 1984); Agnes Heller, Lukacs Reappraised (Columbia, 1984); and Galin Tihanov, The Master and the Slave: Lukács, Bakhtin, and the Ideas of the Time (Oxford, 2000).

Also see EB, and Andy Blunden.

Lukasiewicz, Jan (1878-1956)

Polish logician whose Aristotle's Syllogistic from the Standpoint of Modern Formal Logic (1957) introduced a bracketless logical notation and developed an axiomatic treatment of Aristotelean syllogistic. He also proposed the use of a three-valued logic for interpretation of future contingent propositions as neither true nor false but merely possible, in order to vitiate the difficulties traditionally associated with the principle of bivalence.

Recommended Reading: Aristotle & Lukasiewicz on the Principle of Contradiction, ed. by Frederick Seddon (Modern Logic, 1996) and Philosophical Logic in Poland, ed. by Jan Wolenski (Kluwer, 1994).

Also see Francesco Coniglione, ELC, and MMT.

Luxemburg, Rosa (1871-1919)

Polish political activist, author of Sozialreform oder Revolution? (Social Reform or Revolution?) (1899) and Die Akkumulation des Kapitals: Ein Beitrag zur Okonomischen Erklarung des Imperialismus (The Accumulation of Capital: An Anti-Critique) (1913). After studying law and economics in Switzerland, Luxemburg helped to establish socialist revolutionary movements in both Poland and Germany. Although she supported the Russian revolution, she disagreed with Lenin about the totalitarian structure of the state. The War and the Workers (1916) was written during her imprisonment in Germany. She was assassinated in Berlin.

Recommended Reading: Rosa Luxemburg: Writings and Reflections, ed. by Paul Le Blanc (Humanity, 1999); Rosa Luxemburg and Emma Goldman: A Bibliography, ed. by Joan Nordquist (Reference & Research Services, 1996); Rosa Luxemburg Speaks, ed. by Mary-Alice Waters (Pathfinder, 1979); Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary for Our Times, ed. by Stephen Eric Bronner (Penn. State, 1997); and Raya Dunayevskaya, Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution (Illinois, 1991).

Also see Rosa Luxemburg Institut, FTW, EB, and Akamac.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois (1924-1998)

French philosopher and literary theorist. Lyotard maintained in Le Différend (The Differend) (1983) that human discourses occur in any number of discrete and incommensurable realms, none of which is privileged to pass judgment on the success or value of any of the others. Thus, in Économie libidinale (Libidinal Economy) (1974), La Condition postmoderne: Rapport sur le savoir (The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge) (1979), and Au juste: Conversations (Just Gaming) (1979), Lyotard attacked contemporary literary theories and encouraged experimental discourse unbounded by excessive concern for truth.

Recommended Reading: Jean-Francois Lyotard, Political Writings, tr. by Kevin P. Geiman (Minnesota, 1993); Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, tr. by Rachel Bowlby and Geoffrey Bennington (Stanford, 1992); The Lyotard Reader, ed. by Andrew Benjamin (Blackwell, 1989); Jean-Francois Lyotard, Phenomenology, tr. by Brian Beakley (SUNY, 1991); Jean-Francois Lyotard, Postmodern Fables, tr. by Georges Van Den Abbeele (Minnesota, 1999); James Williams, Lyotard: Towards a Modern Philosophy (Polity, 1998); David Carroll, Paraesthetics: Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida (Routledge, 1987); James Williams, Lyotard and the Political (Routledge, 2000); Emilia Steuerman, Bounds of Reason (Routledge, 1999); Judging Lyotard, ed. by Andrew Benjamin (Routledge, 1992); and Jean-Francois Lyotard: Time and Judgment, ed. by Robert Harvey and Lawrence R. Schehr (Yale, 2001).

Also see SWIF, EB, ELC, and Pradeep Dhillon.


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Last modified 12 November 2011.
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