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1. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
David Svoboda Problémy abstrakce a matematiky u Tomáše Akvinského
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Aquinas employs formal abstraction to secure the possibility of mathematics conceived as a theoretical Aristotelian science. Mathematics is a science that investigates real quantity and it grasps its necessary, universal, and changeless properties by means of formal abstraction. In accord with it the paper is divided into two parts. In the first part Aquinas’s conception of (formal) abstraction is explicated against the background of the Aristotelian theory of science and mathematics. In the second part the problems associated with formal abstraction in mathematics are critically assessed.
2. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
David Botting Anti-Platonism in De Anima III.5
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Famously, Plato argues that the soul pre-exists the body, continues to exist after the body dies, and can come to exist afterwards in another body. Aristotle argues against the transmigration of souls in On Generation and Corruption and for the most part appears not to endorse these Platonic doctrines. But in De Anima III.5 Aristotle also seems to argue that a part of the soul, usually dubbed the nous poiētikos, is separable from the body and eternal. This has presented interpreters of Aristotle with a problem: how can we reconcile Aristotle the naturalist philosopher with the apparently Platonist philosopher of De Anima III.5? Can we understand Aristotle’s position in De Anima III.5 in a way that does not conflict with the anti-Platonism he expresses in texts like On Generation and Corruption? I will argue that we can and offer an interpretation of De Anima III.5 that does not commit Aristotle to the position that the human soul is eternal. Even if Plato is right about the concept of the human soul, about what the human soul is in its own nature, he is wrong on ontological grounds. There are no eternal human souls.
3. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Miroslav Hanke Science as Pretence: Fictionalism in Late Medieval Nominalism
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The paper addresses the concept of useful fiction in texts authored by the fourteenth-century nominalists Henry Harclay, William Ockham, John Buridan and Nicholas Oresme. Three fundamental ideas related to fictionalism will be documented. First, the view that statements about fictions are covert conditionals with impossible antecedents. Second, the view that the primary concern with fictions is their practical utility, i.e., applicability in the context of a scientific discipline. Third, the view that it is useful to pretend that fictions of a certain kind can be used uniformly to represent physical reality, such that a natural phenomenon A is pretended to be a B, where Bs themselves are only pretended to be real.
review articles
4. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Claus A. Andersen Middle Knowledge in the Middle of the 17th Century: Notes on a Recent Book by Sven K. Knebel
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The year 2021 saw the publication of Sven K. Knebel’s new book on Middle Knowledge. It is an exceedingly important research publication which deserves scholarly attention. The book contains a long introduction (consisting of various studies) and an edition of the fourth book of the Irish Jesuit theologian Luke Wadding’s incomplete work on scholastic theology. This present review article first recapitulates the origins and historical significance of the doctrine of Middle Knowledge. Then Knebel’s book as well as the career of Luke Wadding are introduced. I then discuss the place of Wadding’s work in the Jesuit discourse of ‘concordia’ and its relation to Molinism. In the subsequent sections, I investigate various doctrines defended by Wadding. These include his view of disjunctive necessity, his variant of the doctrine known as ‘connectionism’, and his use of various kinds of distinctions in theology. The study concludes with a critical assessment of Knebel’s publication. Despite all praise, I disagree with Knebel’s all too pessimistic view of the research landscape: We will soon be pondering over why Early Modern scholasticism has received so much attention in recent scholarship, rather than why it did not do so in the past.
5. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
John A. Demetracopoulos Leonardo da Vinci’s Aphorism on the Aristotle-Alexander Legend: Sources, Meaning, And Its Reception by Francis Bacon
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One of Leonardo da Vinci’s autographed aphorisms states that Aristotle and Alexander were each other’s teachers. Interpreting it in light of those of Leonardo’s readings which instigated him to write it down along with providing him the material he needed to do so, I argue that the aphorism turns against Aristotle as an emblematically boastful, know-it-all man involved in undue occupation of all knowledge throughout history. Leonardo presents Aristotle as if he had been taught by the pernicious conqueror Alexander to act in scholarship in the way the Macedonian king had acted in politics and external affairs. The core of this critique goes back to a traditional anti-Aristotelian point in Antiquity, complies with the 15th- and 16th-century anti-Aristotelianism and goes hand-in-hand with Leonardo’s own view that intelligent men (including himself) are capable of going much further than Aristotle in the direction of discovering the truth. I identify Leonardo’s sources and I argue that Francis Bacon’s repeated bitter remark that the soul of Aristotle was infected by Alexander’s tyrannic character was quite probably based on Leonardo’s aphorism.
6. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Lanell M. Mason Meeting Harman’s Challenge: A New Theory of Moral Properties and Perception
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Gilbert Harman, in a well-known thought experiment, evokes the intuition that moral value can be perceptually seen. However, Harman dismisses the intuition, contending that moral concepts and judgments are the products of agent psychology and do not map onto mind-independent objects. Robert Audi, attempting to account for moral perception himself, fails to meet Harman’s challenge since his own ontological commitments do not allow for objects that moral concepts can map onto. This paper will offer an alternate theory of moral perception that maps moral concepts onto mind-independent entities, thereby meeting Harman’s challenge. To accomplish this, I offer that moral properties are not supervenient but are relational properties which possess their own non-reducible phenomenology.
7. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8
Prokop Sousedík Existuje změna z hlediska vztahu?
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When Aristotle deals with specific kinds of motion, he surprisingly asserts that there is no movement according to a relation. This assertion is, on the one hand, well justifiable, but, on the other hand, it is at variance with the naturalistic spirit of peripatetic philosophy. In this paper I would like to propose a solution to this dilemma. Such an achievement, however, has an implication which may be difficult to accept: viz. the necessity to quite radically transform the traditional categorial scheme.
8. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 7
Prokop Sousedík, David Svoboda Pojetí muže a ženy (nejenom) u Platóna a Aristotela: Problematika rovnosti a rozdílů obou pohlaví
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We deal with the concept of man and woman, as well as with the problem of their equality, in the two great ancient thinkers Plato and Aristotle. The discussion of Plato leads to the conclusion that there is no substantial difference between man and woman. We find Plato’s view close or similar to today’s widely held doctrine of “unisexism”. Aristotle on the other hand believes that there are important differences between man and woman and we find in his texts two approaches to the problem. In his first view the sex difference is due to the lesser perfection of woman, according to the second view both sexes are equally perfect, nevertheless each in its own way. Both conceptions have their supporters in contemporary thought (so-called theories of „polarism“ and „compatibilism“). From a systematic point of view we suggest that Aristotle´s second approach should be further developed as it is most in accord with our Christian worldview.
9. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 6
Filomathés čili o odbornosti: (z řečtiny přeložil Lukáš Novák)
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Poznámka překladatele - Čtenář si nepochybně klade otázku po původu a historickém kontextu nově objeveného sókratovského dialogu, jehož český překlad zde prezentujeme. Tomuto oprávněnému požadavku však bohužel zatím nelze dostát. Autorství a historická povaha textu jsou stále předmětem zkoumání a zásadní nejistota zatím panuje i ohledně zcela základních otázek. Prezentovat zde jakékoliv předběžné dohady by tudíž za této situace mohlo být velmi zavádějící; čekat s prezentací dialogu veřejnosti na vyřešení techto otázek se však zdálo škoda. Proto jsem se rozhodl – po poradě s redakcí časopisu – zdržet se prozatím všech vyjádření k historickým a textově kritickým otázkám spjatým s textem a předložit jej tímto způsobem v pracovním českém překladu bez jakéhokoliv dalšího komentáře. Překlad věnuji svým kolegům. - Lukáš Novák
10. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 5
Lukáš Novák Být v či nebýt v?: Tomistické a scotistické pojetí konstituce kategoriálního vztahu
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The purpose of this article is to compare the Thomist and the Scotist theory of relations. The main feature of the Thomist theory is an effort to minimize the ontological import of the specific essential ratio of relation as such, called esse ad, and to reduce the ontological import of its other aspect, the esse in or inherence understood as a common feature of all accidents, to the esse in of its foundation. The Scotists, on the other hand, have no tendency to deflate the esse ad of a relation. Moreover, according to Malafossa of Barge’s theory (adopted by B. Mastri and B. Belluto), a relation involves two different instances of esse in. The one, called esse in velut in subiecto, is that generic inherence common to all accidents (which, therefore, does not occur in the substantial relations of divine persons). The other, esse in velut in fundamento, belongs specifically to relation as such and reflects the fact that very relation, even a substantial one, is not only a relation towards something, but necessarily also a relation of something towards something else. In spite of the fact, therefore, that the Thomist and Scotist doctrines are usually grouped together as mere subvariants of anti-reductive realism, they must be regarded as substantially different.
11. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 4
Prokop Sousedík Zavádění předmětů v aristotelismu: Jsou předměty vědy abstraktní, nebo relační?
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The main purpose of this paper is to contest the Aristotelian notion that the objects of metaphysics, mathematics and physics are all abstract, which is the reason why these disciplines constitute a homogeneous class. For a reflection on the way how objects are introduced into scientific discourse leads to the conclusion that some of these objects (especially the mathematical ones) are fictions of reason an that their nature is defined purely by their mutual relationships. From this it follows that, far from being theoretical sciences, the respective disciplines are justifiedly classified as arts.
12. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 3
Tomáš Edl V čem je kouzlo neurčenosti: Příspěvek ke sporu o (i)racionalitu racionálního kompatibilismu
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Leaving aside many of the topics present in the Peroutka vs. Novák (in)compatibilist exchange in this journal, I focus on the core claim of libertarianism: that the availability of alternative possibilities (AP) is a necessary condition of freedom of the will and freedom of action. Therefore freedom and moral responsibility for one’s action requires some indeterminacy in the moment of choice being present. Contrary to what Peroutka defends in his rational compatibilism I argue that compatibilist accounts of authorship and control are not sufficient to fulfil the sourcehood condition, acknowledged by them as necessary. I maintain instead, in light of contemporary incompatibilist literature, that alternative possibilities are also important for giving a convincing account of sourcehood. I further discuss the case of innate intuition of moral laws and actions being necessarily performed upon such intuition suggested by Peroutka. I consider several interpretations of this case and argue that the libertarian one, grounded on Robert Kane’s notion of self-forming actions, seems to be the most plausible.
13. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Lukáš Novák Qui melius scit exponere, exponat!: Scotus's Metaphysical Case for the Formal Distinction
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John Duns Scotus’s famous doctrine of the formal distinction has a twofold justification: a theological one, stemming from the necessity to express coherently the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and a metaphysical one, according to which formal distinction is a necessary condition of the abstraction of universal (objective) concepts from individuals. This paper is a detailed analysis of this latter argument, presented by Scotus in Questions on Metaphysics VII, q. 19. Scotus apparently demolishes the alternative theory of intentional distinction proposed by Henry of Ghent, but not without first attempting to defend it in as refined and powerful form as possible. Given that Henry’s notion of intentional distinction is substantially the same as later Thomits’s “distinctio rationis ratiocinatae”, this rises questions about the validity about the latter notion, both in the context of Scotism (such as in the thought of Bartolomeo Mastri) and in genereal.
14. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Sven K. Knebel Puella est domina sui corporis: Schoolmen's Care for Women’s Rights
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Who owns the girl’s body, the parents, or the daughter herself? In Catholic casuistry, this issue has not only been occasionally touched upon, it has been topical among the commentators on Aquinas (STh II-II, q. 154, a. 6) from the 16th up to the 18th centuries. Nevertheless, modern scholarship ignores this big dispute. The distortion of early modern history in consequence thereof precludes a fair appraisal of the achievements of the Christian schools within the Habsburgian commonwealth. Whereas the Iberian Peninsula was the theatre of the endeavour here described (Domingo de Soto OP, Luis de Molina SJ, Gabriel Vázquez SJ, Juan de Lugo SJ, the Salmantine Carmelites), Jansenist France was forward in defeating it. The quarrel about this issue gains an additional interest by the observation that it represents the rare case where the schoolmen themselves had the keen feeling that the stand they took represented a divide between two ages, medieval and modern, viz. Pre-Tridentine and Post-Tridentine. The main purpose of the present paper, then, is to render a necessary piece of apologetics. Its focus is on the deplorable situation in which we presently are due to the rotten feminist convictions about how things went.
15. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Tero Tulenheimo Three Nordic Neo-Aristotelians and the First Doorkeeper of Logic
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I discuss the views on logic held by three early Nordic neo-Aristotelians — the Swedes Johannes Canuti Lenaeus (1573–1669) and Johannes Rudbeckius (1581–1646), and the Dane Caspar Bartholin (1585–1629). They all studied in Wittenberg (enrolled respectively in 1597, 1601, and 1604) and were exponents of protestant (Lutheran) scholasticism. The works I utilize are Janitores logici bini (1607) and Enchiridion logicum (1608) by Bartholin; Logica (1625) and Controversiae logices (1629) by Rudbeckius; and Logica peripatetica (1633) by Lenaeus. Rudbeckius’s and Lenaeus’s books were published much later than they were prepared. Rudbeckius wrote the first versions of his books in 1606, and the material for Lenaeus’s book had been prepared by 1607. Bartholin calls the treatment of the nature of logic the “first doorkeeper of logic”. To compare the views of the three neo-Aristotelians on this topic, I systematically investigate what they have to say about second notions, the subject of logic, the internal and external goal of logic, and the definition of logic. I also compare their approaches with those of Jacob Martini (teacher of Rudbeckius and Bartholin) and Iacopo Zabarella (an intellectual predecessor of all three).
16. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke Hurtado de Mendoza on the "Moral" Modality: Part 2: Hurtado’s 1630s writings
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Puente Hurtado de Mendoza (1578–1641), Iberian Jesuit and author of one of the earliest comprehensive Baroque philosophy courses, entered the debate on the modality “moral” or “morally” in the sense of a qualifier of evidence, certainty, being, and necessity or impossibility in the first half of the seventeenth century. This paper presents his analysis of the different forms (or levels) of evidence and necessity or impossibility in 1630s, where “moral” represents the weakest degree of these properties. First, it covers the notion of moral evidence in the sense of a wise decision that is in accordance with the consensus of either the majority of mankind or of the learned community, as introduced in Disputationes de Deo. Second, it covers the notions of moral necessity and impossibility, introduced in De Deo homine in terms of a strong inclination, and developed in Hurtado’s later theological texts. Third, Hurtado introduced the notion “morally” in his De actibus humanis in frequentist terms.
17. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Miroslav Hanke Scholastická logika „vědění“ III.: Logická vševědoucnost a logika inferenčního poznání
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The problem of logical omniscience breaks down to the problems of the closure of knowledge under implication and of the distribution of knowledge over implication. In late medieval scholasticism these two related issues were engaged in various genres, in particular in general analysis of validity, games of obligationes, solution to self-referential antinomies and semantics of terms. The present study analyses the corpus of fourteenth-century texts with some overreaches to the subsequent two centuries, attempting to cover representatives of both the “British” and the “Continental” tradition. With some degree of simplification, this results in a range of four basic positions: 1. knowledge is closed under “analytic entailment” (Buridan), 2. knowledge distributes over implication (Heytesbury), 3. knowledge distributes over implication provided that its consequent’s truth is being taken into consideration (Peter of Mantua), 4. knowledge does not distribute overimplication (Wyclif).
18. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Mário João Correia Experience and Natural Philosophy in the Italian Renaissance: Nicoletto Vernia and Gomes of Lisbon on the Subject-Matter of Physics
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During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, one of the most controversial intellectual disputes was the question of method in natural philosophy, or physics. The tensions between observational experience and geometrization, demonstration from the effects (demonstratio quia, a posteriori) and from the causes (demonstratio propter quid, a priori), and between Aristotle’s authority and new philosophical tendencies made some philosophers search for new solutions. Others criticized these new solutions and tried to show the validity of several medieval scholastic readings of Aristotle. With this article, I intend to present the role of experience in the dispute between Nicoletto Vernia’s approach to the subject-matter of physics and Gomes of Lisbon’s response to it. While Vernia holds that the subject-matter of physics is mobile body, Gomes argues it is natural substance. What is at stake is how to combine experience, definition, and demonstration to obtain a consistent scientific method. Only through the study of this kind of text and discussion can we gather a solid background to elucidate what has changed and what has been inherited from the past in the scientific shift of the seventeenth century.
19. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Andrew Dennis Bassford Essence, Effluence, and Emanation: A Neo-Suarezian Analysis
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The subject of this essay is propria and their relation to essence. Propria, roughly characterized, are those real properties of a thing which are natural but nonessential to it, and which are said to “flow from” the thing’s essence, where this “flows from” relation is understood to designate a kind of explanatory relation. For example, it is said that Socrates’s risibility flows from his essential humanity; and it is said that salt’s solubility in water flows from the essential natures of both salt and water. The question I raise and attempt to answer in this essay is: In what sense do propria “flow from” essences? What kind of explanatory relation is this exactly? Some suggest that it is a relation of logical consequence (e.g., Kit Fine); others, of grounding (e.g., Michael Gorman); and still others, of formal causation (e.g., David Oderberg). In this essay, I reintroduce and defend a view suggested by the late scholastic Spanish philosopher and theologian Francisco Suárez, who in 1597 wrote that effluence is best understood as a very special kind of efficient causation, which we can call the relation of emanation. The thesis of this essay, then, is that propria emanate from essences. Along the way, this paper offers a new taxonomy of types of propria; it explains the significance of propria for the metaphysics and epistemology of essences; it discusses at length varieties of efficient causation (and emanation in particular); and then it offers an extensive abductive argument in favor of Suárez’s account, whereby the former accounts of effluence are critiqued, each in turn, and Suárez’s view is motivated and ultimately shown to be superior to its competitors.
20. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Marco Stango Making Sense of ‘Being Dead’
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What does ‘being dead’ mean? Should we understand ‘being dead’ as a real property or state of a subject or as something different? Does the study of death belong to metaphysics or philosophy of nature? Does the meaning of ‘being dead’ change when referred to a corpse or to a separated soul? What kind of negation does it entail? The present paper discusses these and related questions concerning the meaning of death. To do so, the paper assesses the contemporary debate concerning the so-called “termination thesis” and provides a metaphysical argument against non-terminism.