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articles
1. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Lukáš Novák Confusion or Precision?: Disentangling the Semantics of a Pair of Scholastic Terms
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This paper is an attempt to explicate, using the method of conceptual reconstruction rather than historical, text-oriented analysis, the plurality of meanings of two connected terms that play an important role in scholastic thought: “confusio” and “praecisio”. These terms are used in a plurality of meanings by the scholastics, and sometimes even in one and the same context. The aim of this paper is to disentangle these various meanings from each other, offer their precise definitions and explore not only their interrelations, but also their role and impact in such crucial matters as theory of abstraction, realism-nominalism dispute, theory of science, or theory of analogy.
2. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Walter B. Redmond A Logic of Creating: St. Thomas’s “Existential Proof” A Modal Reading
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I describe a “logic of creating” inspired by the “existential” argument of the existence of God in St. Thomas Aquinas’s De Ente et Essentia. suggest a modal reading of his reasoning based upon states-of-affairs said to be actual, contingent, necessary and the like. I take “creating” as teasing actuality out of possibility. After explaining the modal logic that I am assuming and relating it to Christian understandings of meaning and being, I present my modal interpretation, contrasting it with the views of three modern philosophers. In an appendix I will analyze the text of St. Thomas’s existential proof.
3. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Petr Glombíček Wolterstorff on Reid’s Notion of Common Sense
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The paper addresses a mainstream contemporary view of the notion of common sense in Thomas Reid’s philosophy, as proposed by Nicholas Wolterstorff who claims that Reid was not clear about the concept of common sense, or about the principles of common sense. In contrast, this paper presents Reid’s conception as a clear and traditional Aristotelian notion of common sense and its principles as presuppositions of particular sense judgments, usually taken for granted. The alleged confusion about principles is resolved by a distinction between principles of common sense and first principles as such.
discussion articles
4. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Paolo C. Biondi A Rose by Any Other Name…: Reply to David Botting, “Aristotle and Hume on the Idea of Natural Necessity”
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The question of how, according to Aristotle, the principles of science are acquired remains contested among scholars. An aspect of this broader topic concerns the role of induction, and whether it is able to provide us with knowledge of natural necessity without the assistance of intuition (nous). In a recent publication in this journal, David Botting argues in favour of the enumerative/empiricist interpretation of induction and criticizes the intuitive/rationalist interpretation of it, a version of which was defended in one of my publications. He thinks that Aristotle is like Hume: both understand the cognitive process of induction similarly; and, both are equally skeptical about acquiring knowledge of natural necessity through induction. My reply argues that reading Aristotle’s induction in Humean terms is problematic in several respects. I argue, in addition, that natural necessity can be known through induction if nous is involved. My explanation of how this is possible relies on thinking of the act of noēsis in terms of an act of recognition. Botting claims, furthermore, that Aristotle only differs from Hume in that the former does have a non-inductive and non-intuitive method by which natural necessity may become known, and which Botting calls “the constructive proof of necessity”. My reply examines this method, showing how certain steps in it rely on cognitive acts that are really acts of intuition merely expressed in Humean terms. Despite the criticisms, I end with suggestions for how Botting’s account might offer original paths of research to Aristotle scholars seeking to answer the question of the acquisition of principles of science, particularly in the early stages of this process.
articles
5. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Domenic D’Ettore Analogy of Disjunction: John Duns Scotus vs. Hervaeus Natalis on the Univocity or Analogy of Being
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At the beginning of his influential De Nominum Analogia, Thomas de Vio Cajetan (1469–1534) mentions three mistaken positions on analogy. He does not attach names to these positions, but each one was held by distinguished Thomists of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Furthermore, their proponents were responding to the same set of challenges from John Duns Scotus that set the agenda for the De Nominum Analogia. In this paper, I would like to do something that Cajetan did not do, and that is, directly consider the merits of the first position in his list of mistaken accounts of analogy; namely, the position that analogy is constituted by (in)disjunction. More specifically, this paper investigates the polemical use for which Hervaeus Natalis (1260–1323) deployed analogy of disjunction; the reply of John Duns Scotus; and the implications of this back and forth for understanding the Thomist-Scotist dispute over the concept of being.
6. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke Late Scholastic Analyses of Inductive Reasoning
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The late scholastic era was, among others, contemporary to the “emergence of probability”, the German academic philosophy from Leibniz to Kant, and the introduction of Newtonian physics. Within this era, two branches of the late-scholastic analysis of induction can be identified, one which can be thought of as a continual development of earlier scholastic approaches, while the other one absorbed influences of early modern philosophy, mathematics, and physics. Both branches of scholastic philosophy share the terminology of modalities, probability, and forms of (inductive) arguments. Furthermore, induction was commonly considered valid as a result of being a covert syllogism. Last but not least, there appears to be a difference in emphasis between the two traditions’ analyses of induction: while Tolomei discussed the theological presuppositions of induction, Amort’s “leges contingentium” exemplify the principles of induction by aleatory phenomena and Boscovich’s rules for inductive arguments are predominately concerned with the generalisation of macro-level observations to the micro-level.
translations
7. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Claus A. Andersen Scotist Metaphysics in Mid-Sixteenth Century Padua Giacomino Malafossa from Barge’s A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics
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For more than four decades around the middle of the sixteenth century, Giacomino Malafossa from Barge († 1563) held the Scotist chair of metaphysics at the University of Padua. In his A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics, in Which Is Included the Question, Whether Metaphysics Is a Science, he developed a remarkable stance on the subject matter of metaphysics. Metaphysics has two objects: being qua being and God. However, only when it deals with the latter object can it be said to be a science in a strict sense. The reason is that the strict Aristotelian notion of science presupposes that the object of any science has demonstrable properties, which is the case with God, but not with being as being. Although being qua being does have certain properties, namely the transcendentals, these cannot be truly demonstrated. Malafossa’s Quaestio bears witness both to the clash between Averroism and Scotism at the Italian Renaissance universities and to the complexity of the Scotist tradition itself. This introductory article highlights Malafossa’s sources and traces the critical reception of his views among later Scotist authors.
8. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Giacomino Malafossa from Barge A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics in Which Is Included the Question Whether Metaphysics Is a Science
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Giacomino Malafossa’s A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics, in Which Is Included the Question Whether Metaphysics Is a Science, from 1551 (first printed 1553) consists of two parts. In the first part, the author discusses various positions regarding the subject matter of metaphysics. In particular, he debates which conditions any scientific object must fulfill, the most important one being that an object of a science virtually contains all of its truths. Since being as being virtually contains whatever is considered in metaphysics, this is the adequate object of metaphysics. In the second part, the author addresses the problem that the transcendental properties of being are not truly demonstrable. This endangers the status of metaphysics as a science in the strict Aristotelian sense. The author discusses various Scotist solutions to this problem. His own solution is that metaphysics indeed is a science in the strict sense, but only when it considers God, not when it considers being as being, thus unwittingly challenging Duns Scotus’s own idea that metaphysics is a “transcending science” because of its consideration of being and its transcendental properties. Malafossa’s Quaestio is an important example of the metaphysical discourse at the University of Padua in the sixteenth century.
9. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 5
Prokop Sousedík Dvojí pohled na Tomášův traktát o Trojici
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The author shows that Aquinas’s treatise on the Trinity can be viewed in two ways. According to the first, now prevailing opinion, the thoughts of the Angelic Doctor are too speculative and in essence they harm our personal relationship with God. He aims to show that the main source of inspiration for this approach are those currents in modern and contemporary philosophy according to which any metaphysics is impossible. Adherents of the other view do not reject metaphysics, and so they are also sympathetic towards Aquinas’s connecting speculation with the Trinity doctrine. They see a great advantage in this connexion, as it allows us to understand more deeply the mysteries of faith and so to demonstrate the uniqueness of the Christian message. The author aims to show that both approaches are justified and one should not be sacrificed for the other. He believes that a philosophical framework allowing the old and the new Trinitarian theologies to coexist is provided by Wittgenstein’s conception of speech games.
10. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 4
Petr Pavlas Komeniáni v Karteziánském Zrcadle: Boj o definice některých metafyzických pojmů v polovině 17. století
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The article picks up the threads of especially Martin Muslow’s 1990s research and describes the distinctiveness of the “relational metaphysics of resemblance” in the middle of the seventeenth century. The late Renaissance metaphysical outlines, carried out in the Comenius circle, are characteristic for their relationality, accent on universal resemblance, providentialism, pansensism, sensualism, triadism – and also for their effort to define metaphysical terms properly. While Comenians share the last – and only the last – feature with Cartesians, they differ in the other features. Therefore, Cartesians and Comenians cannot come to terms in the issue of the proper definitions either. Quite on the contrary, they oppose each other on this issue. By means of Johann Clauberg’s criticism of Georg Ritschel and René Descartes’s only supposedly “mysterious” and “solipsist” second meditation, the article turns a Cartesian mirror to the Comenian metaphysical project. In its light, the definitions of Georg Ritschel, Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld and Jan Amos Comenius turn out to be unacceptable for Cartesians (and also for Thomists and, in part, for Baconians). Despite their superficially Aristotelian-scholastic appearance, their content is notably Paracelsian-Campanellian (with a Timplerian foundation). Even though Comenian definitions of metaphysical terms had been refused and refuted by Cartesians, they experienced a second lifespan in their robust influence on Leibniz and Newton.
11. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 3
Petr Dvořák Neurčitá Identita v Kvantové Oblasti a Strukturní Realismus
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The paper deals with the problem whether there can exist indeterminate identity. If one accepts Evans’s argument, then statements about indeterminate identity can be true, but only those, in which at least one of the singular terms does not refer determinately. One does not have to explain all vagueness as semantic, i.e. as indeterminacy of meaning, because some such statements can be true on account of indeterminacy of reality. This can be shown in the particular quantum case introduced by Lowe concerning the identity of an absorbed and emitted electron. The singular terms within the identity statements in this example are to be understood in the way pointed out by Abasnezhad and in the manner Barnes and Williams take names in statements of identity between Kilimanjaro and one of the precise aggregates of particles of which the mountain consists: One of the names refers indeterminately. This indeterminacy is of the kind belonging to indefinite descriptions. The issue of individuality on quantum level can be understood using resources of structural realism of James Ladyman.
articles
12. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
David Botting Aristotle and Hume on the Idea of Natural Necessity
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There is a tension in scholarship about Aristotle’s philosophy, especially his philosophy of science, between empiricist readings and rationalist readings. A prime site of conflict is Posterior Analytics II.19 where Aristotle, after having said that we know the first principles by induction suddenly says that we know them by nous. Those taking the rationalist side find in nous something like a faculty of “intuition” and are led to the conclusion that by “induction” Aristotle has some kind of idea of “intuitive induction”. Those taking the empiricist side resist this temptation but then struggle to explain how we can know first principles by induction and usually end by relegating induction to a mere subsidiary role; well-known problems of induction, with which Aristotle shows some familiarity, militate against taking anything we learn from induction to be a first principle or even certain. I am on the side of the empiricists, and would like to adopt as a methodological assumption that no concept of intuition occurs in any of Aristotle’s works. That is a far more ambitious project than I am attempting here, however. Here, I want to defend a non-intuitive, enumerative kind of induction against a raft of criticisms raised against it in the collection Shifting the Paradigm: Alternative Approaches to Induction (Biondi & Groarke 2014). I want to defend the position that Hume and Aristotle have basically the same conception of induction and of what it can and cannot do. What it cannot do, for both, is prove natural necessities. A paradigm shift is neither necessary nor desirable for a proper understanding of Aristotle’s philosophy of science. Aristotle is still the empiricist philosopher we all thought he was before reading Posterior Analytics II.19
13. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Davis Kuykendall Leibniz on Spontaneity, The Eduction of Substantial Forms, and Creaturely Interaction: A Tension
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Leibniz argued that (i) substantial forms only begin to exist via Divine creation; (ii) created substances cannot transeuntly cause accidents in distinct substances; and yet (iii) created substances immanently produce their accidents. Some of Leibniz’s support for (i) came from his endorsement of a widely-made argument against the eduction of substantial forms. However, in defense of eduction, Suárez argued that if creatures cannot produce substantial forms, they also cannot produce accidents, threatening the consistency of (i) and (iii). In this paper, I argue that Leibniz successfully defends the consistency of (i) and (iii) against Suárez’s argument, but at the expense of the consistency of (ii) and (iii).
14. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
T. Allan Hillman, Tully Borland Duns Scotus on the Nature of Justice
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Duns Scotus has a remarkably unique and comprehensive theory concerning the nature of justice. Alas, commentators on his work have yet to full flesh out the details. Here, we begin the process of doing so, focusing primarily on his metaethical views on justice, i.e., what justice is or amounts to. While Scotus’s most detailed account of justice can be found in his Ordinatio (IV, q. 46 especially), we find further specifics emerging in a number of other contexts and works. We argue that Scotus offers a unique contribution in the history of philosophy: justice in God is a formality (formalitas), in humans a virtue, and when attributed to actions, a relation. Even though formalities, virtues, and relations are ontologically distinct items, each can satisfy Scotus’s preferred Anselmian definition of justice—rectitude of will preserved for its own sake—since each characterizes a will aimed at rendering to goodness what is its due.
15. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
David Svoboda, Prokop Sousedík The Emergence of (Instrumental) Formalism and a New Conception of Science
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According to formalism, a mathematician is not concerned with mysterious metaphysical entities but with mathematical symbols. As a result, mathematical entities become simply sensible signs. However, the price that has to be paid for this move seems to be too high, for mathematics, at present considered to be the queen of sciences, turns out to be a to a contentless game. That is why it seems absurd to regard numbers and all mathematical entities as mere symbols. The aim of our paper is to show the reasons that have led some philosophers and mathematicians to adopt the view that mathematical terms in the proper sense refer to nothing and mathematical propositions have no real content. At the same time we want to explain how formalism helped to overcome the traditional concept of science.
review
16. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Jiayu Zhang Christopher Byrne: Aristotle’s Science of Matter and Motion
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17. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Christopher Byrne Reply to Jiayu Zhang
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articles
18. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Vlastimil Vohánka Love or Contemplation?: Hildebrandian and Aristotelian Ways to High Happiness
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This is an article in the philosophy of happiness — but one with an untypical focus. It clarifies the claim of the phenomenologist Dietrich von Hildebrand that (H) high happiness comes especially from loving others, and compares it with the apparently rival Aristotelian claim that (A) high happiness comes especially from contemplating God. The former claim is understood to be about felt love (love defined as an emotional rather than volitional state). Both claims are understood to be about felt happiness (happiness defined as an emotional state rather than a state of objective flourishing). The article argues that, in fact, the two claims are not rival but mutually consistent, since the beloved person can be God, and the contemplation can be a loving one. Both claims are also consistent with scientific evidence, although it is tangential and tentative. Moreover, both claims are plausible, since both are backed up by intuitive explanations of why they should be regarded as true. However, both are in need of a further philosophical or scientific research that could confirm them even more.
19. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Michele Paolini Paoletti Respects of Dependence
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In this paper I consider respects of dependence, namely, the fact that some entities depend on other entities in some respect or another. In the first section, I provide a characterization of contemporary debates on dependence based on respects of dependence. I also single out seven desiderata a good theory of dependence should satisfy and three ways of interpreting respects of dependence. In the second section, I criticize two such ways and, in the third section, I defend the remaining option, namely, that respects of dependence correspond to different dependence-relations between entities (e.g., existence-dependence, identity-dependence, and so on). In the fourth section, I develop my theory of Respect-of-Dependence (RD ) Relations in order to distinguish between partial and full dependence and between specific and generic dependence, and to qualify RD -relations in temporal and modal terms. Finally, in the last section, I anticipate and reply to three objections against dependence pluralism.
discussion articles
20. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Louis Groarke A Response to “How (Not) to Be an Aristotelian with Regard to Contemporary Physics”
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