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1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Martin Cajthaml Teleological Foundations of Moral Language in MacIntyre’s Philosophical Project
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The paper focuses on MacIntyre’s account of teleology and the role of teleology in explaining value language and grounding ethical normativity. It isolates three distinct albeit interrelated notions of teleology emerging gradually from Macintyre’s philosophical project. It investigates how moral language is explained and moral norms justified on the bases of these three articulations of the teleological motif. It subjects the weakness of this reasoning to criticism.
5. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Front Matter
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articles
6. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Petr Dvořák On the Alleged Inconsistency in Van Inwagen’s Rebuttal of Evans’ Argument
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The paper attempts to interpret P. van Inwagen’s refutation of Evans’ argument that there cannot be vague objects and defend it against the charge of inconsistency raised by Radim Bělohrad. However, such an interpretation is not without a cost. Therefore another interpretation of van Inwagen’s example of the Cabinet is offered which evades Evans’ charge of inconsistency against indeterminate identity as it does not need the notion at all.
7. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Michele Paolini Paoletti Respects of Dependence and Symmetry
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In this article I discuss several apparent counterexamples to the asymmetry of ontological dependence. These counterexamples were introduced in discussions about grounding, but they can affect every theory of ontological dependence. I show that, if one adopts metaontological pluralism (i.e., the view according to which there are many dependence relations), one has some advantages when it comes to defending the asymmetry of dependence. In Section 1, I introduce metaontological pluralism and my own version of it, which is based on Respect-of-Dependence Relations (rd-relations). I then single out five strategies to deal with apparent cases of symmetric dependence and show that two of them are only available to metaontological pluralists. In Sections 2, 3, and 4 I deal with cases of symmetric dependence by adopting these strategies. Finally, in Section 5, I anticipate and reply to three objections against my account.
8. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke Hurtado de Mendoza on the “Moral” Modality: Part 1: Hurtado’s Writings Prior to 1630
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One of the prominent debates of post-Tridentine scholasticism addressed probability, often expressed by the term “moral” (or adverbially, “morally”), originally motivated by the epistemology of decision-making and the debates on predestination and “middle knowledge”. Puente (or Pedro) Hurtado de Mendoza (1578–1641), an Iberian Jesuit and the author of one of the earliest Jesuit philosophy courses, entered this debate in the early-seventeenth century. This paper presents his 1610s and 1620s analyses of different forms or degrees of evidence, certainty, and necessity or impossibility, addressing the commonly-used trichotomy of the “metaphysical”, “physical”, and “moral”, in which “moral” is the weakest form of a modality, together with the paradigmatic examples and interesting applications of the framework.
9. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Mauricio Lecón Are We Responsible for Laughing?: Suárez on Laughter’s Voluntariness
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In his Commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima, Francisco Suárez offers a rich account of the psychology and physiology of laughter. Among other claims, he asserts that laughter is a voluntary act, without giving any further explanation. The aim of this paper is to glean from his texts a philosophically compelling argument for this claim. I will claim that for Suárez laughter is a commanded act of the will, since it somehow needs the will’s consent to be elicited. This kind of voluntariness is enough to make laughter morally relevant.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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
13. 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
14. 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.
15. 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
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.