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1. 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.
2. 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
3. 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.
4. 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
5. 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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6. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
David S. Oderberg On a So-called Demonstration of the Causal Power of Absences
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Tyron Goldschmidt has recently published a non-paper in which he claims to demonstrate the causal power of absences. His non-paper is, precisely, an empty page. The non-paper is ingenious and at first “glance” the “reader” might think that the absence of words on the page does prove that negative beings can literally cause states such as surprise or disappointment. Closer analysis, however, shows that Goldschmidt’s clever non-paper not only lacks words but also lacks causal power. Serious metaphysical problems pile up if we suppose otherwise.
7. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7
Jan Čížek Encyklopedismus J. H. Alsteda jako jedna z inspirací Komenského pansofismu?
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The paper aims to introduce the encyclopaedic project presented by the reformed philosopher and theologian Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588–1638) and study it as one of the possible sources of the pansophism of the Czech philosopher, theologian and educational reformer Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670). For this reason, the author first briefly describes the genesis, development and structure of Alsted’s encyclopaedic work with a special focus on his mature and monumental Encyclopaedia septem tomis distincta (1630). The crucial part of the paper is devoted to comparing Alsted’s and Comenius’s conceptions of metaphysics, physics (or philosophy of nature) and other important fields of their shared interest. The author concludes that Comenius was undoubtedly influenced by Alsted in structural and terminological matters; furthermore, that both Alsted and Comenius inclined to base their philosophy of nature on so-called Mosaic physics and tended to understand metaphysics as a primary science not only in view of its dignity, but also with regard to its place in the system of sciences and in the curriculum.
8. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 6
Miroslav Hanke Scholastická logika „vědění“ II.: Axiomy introspekce a iterované modality mezi 15. a 16. stoletím
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Further development of the research on the fourteenth-century logic of iterated modalities (Heytesbury, Wyclif, and Peter of Mantua) leads to further exploration in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian scholasticism, in particular, the contributions of Paul of Venice and his followers (including Paul of Pergula, Cajetan of Thiene, and Domenico Bianchelli). The research confirms the well-established notion of “British logic in Italy”, as the major logical strategies used in the analysed works can be traced back to earlier British authors. Logically speaking, the problem of iterated epistemic modalities (such as knowledge and doubt) was framed as debate on the consistency of the hypothesis that an agent doubts whether she knows φ and the hypothesis that an agent knows φ and doubts whether she knows φ, in which the principles of positive and negative introspection play a major part. Philosophically speaking, the debate on the possibility of doubting one’s own knowledge utilised theories of evidence and scientific proof and philosophy of the mind (including the problems of direct and reflexive mental acts and of propositional attitudes).
9. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 5
Miroslav Hanke Scholastická logika „vědění“ I.: Axiomy introspekce a iterované modality v logice 14. století
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Fourteenth-century logic gave rise, among others, to the genre De scire et dubitare, which offered a unified framework for discussing different forms of epistemic sophisms by utilising the underlying systems of epistemic logic. One of the problems introduced in this context already by the founding father of this genre, William Heytesbury, was the so-called axiom of positive introspection, i.e., the principle that an agent who knows that something is the case, knows that she knows that it is the case. Owing to Heytesbury’s enormous popularity in the subsequent centuries, discussion of this problem became relatively widespread. This debate was addressed already in Boh’s seminal Epistemic Logic in the Later Middle Ages, which, despite its limitations acknowledged by its author, is a standard source. The present study elaborates on Boh by extending the corpus of his works (both in the sense of including new authors and of utilising manuscripts along with printed editions) and drawing new connections based on that. The core of the survey consists of an analysis of the positions of William Heytesbury and John Wyclif (both pertaining to the context of Merton College), their Italian reception by Peter of Mantua, and the “continental” reception of Heytesbury by John of Holland. The main goals of this study are to formalise the key arguments, which makes it possible to address the underlying systems of epistemic logic and their respective “strength”, and to articulate the conceptual background of those arguments and systems (the concepts of evidence, attention, and order of cognitive operations). The gist of the debate is, on one of the sides, an attempt to prove that it is impossible to doubt whether one knows that something is the case by employing whether the principles of positive introspection and of distribution of knowledge over implication, or the principles of positive and negative introspection combined.
10. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Lukáš Lička Intencionalita a pojem poznání ve středověké Filosofii
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The paper investigates relations between the notions of intentionality and cognition in medieval philosophy. (The investigation is restricted to Latin works written between ca. 1240–1320, mainly those by Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, John Duns Scotus, and Peter Auriol.) It is argued that two different conceptions of intentionality (or esse intentionale) were endorsed by medieval philosophers. In the first conception (called “Aristotelian” here) “to be intentional” is a physical property of the form insofar as abstracted from the matter. On the contrary, the proponents of the second conception (called “Scotistic”) ascribe the property of being intentional to the objects insofar as they are grasped by a cognitive act. Further, it is argued and documented (against some Thomistic commentators) that only the second notion of intentionality relates to the notion of cognition. Esse intentionale in the first meaning, as demonstrated here, is neither sufficient nor even necessary condition of being cognitive.
11. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Franz Brentano, Hynek Janoušek Ontologický důkaz Boží existence: překlad a úvodní studie
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12. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Tero Tulenheimo Johannes Rudbeckius’s View on the Nature of Logic
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Johannes Rudbeckius (1581–1646), one of Sweden’s most influential figures in theology, pedagogy, and church-state relations in the 17th century, published two books on logic: Logica ex optimis et præstantissimis autoribus collecta & conscripta (1625) and Controversiæ logices vel potius earum epitome (1629). In this paper, I present and critically discuss Rudbeckius’s view on the nature of logic as it can be reconstructed from these two works. This requires, in particular, identifying the larger intellectual framework within which Rudbeckius operated. The single most important philosopher having affected Rudbeckius’s ideas on logic is Jacopo Zabarella (1533–1589), which leads me to consider at some length the views on logic that Zabarella puts forward in his De Natura Logicæ (1578).
13. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Lidia Lanza, Marco Toste Sixteenth-Century Sentences Commentaries from Coimbra: The Structure and Content of Some Manuscripts
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In the second half of the sixteenth century, many universities influenced by Salamanca adopted the Summa theologiae as the textbook for teaching scholastic theology. At the same time, the universities decided that some minor chairs should teach one of the Sentences commentaries written by one of the following authors: Duns Scotus, Durand of Saint-Pourçain, or Gabriel Biel. As a result, some commentaries on these commentaries (so-called supercommentaries) started to appear. This is most notably the case when it comes to the University of Coimbra, where Aquinas’s Summa became the textbook only very late and where the chairs of Scotus, Durand and Biel were instituted in the second half of the century. This article provides a list of questions making up thirteen commentaries produced in Coimbra, where, unlike what happened in Salamanca, the professors belonged to different religious orders (the commentaries presented here were written by one Cistercian, one Carmelite, two Augustinians, one Franciscan and one secular). It also presents the list of questions of one commentary connected with a Franciscan convent. Some reflections on the need to study late-scholastic manuscripts as well as on the structure of these commentaries are also offered.
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14. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Rudolf Schuessler Was There a Downturn in Fifteenth-Century Scholastic Philosophy?
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In the history of scholastic philosophy, the fifteenth century is traditionally regarded as a period of decay, a downturn between the heights of fourteenth-century nominalism and the Spanish revival of scholasticism in the sixteenth century. This paper sets out to challenge this received view. First, however, the received view is confirmed on the basis of sixteenth-century lists of ecclesiastical writers containing very few notable scholastic philosopher-theologians for the fifteenth century. On the other hand, the same lists show a significant increase in notable scholastics in the fields of practical ethics and jurisprudence. The overall picture signals a shift of philosophical and theological activity from theoretical towards practical concerns. If practical philosophy is not considered to be of lesser rank than theoretical philosophy, there was thus no downturn of scholastic philosophy in the fifteenth century.
15. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Claus A. Andersen Comprehension at the Crossroads of Philosophy and Theology: The Case of Mastri and Belluto’s Disputationes in De anima (1643)
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Duns Scotus and Aquinas agree that whereas God comprehends Himself or even is his own comprehension, no creature can ever comprehend God. In the 17th century, the two Scotists Bartolomeo Mastri and Bonaventura Belluto discuss comprehension in their manual of philosophical psychology. Although they attempt to articulate a genuine Scotist doctrine on the subject, this article shows that they in fact defend a stance close to the one endorsed by contemporary scholastics outside the Scotist school. The article situates their discussion within 17th-century scholasticism (authors cited include, among others, the Scotists Theodor Smising and Claude Frassen, the Jesuit philosopher-theologians Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza, Luis de Molina, Rodrigo de Arriaga, and Diego Ruiz de Montoya, as well as the eclecticist Jean Lalemandet). The article furthermore highlights the theological motifs in Mastri and Belluto’s discussion of comprehension. Although they claim that their discussion does not transgress the limits of Aristotelian psychology, all of their arguments are theological in nature. From this I conclude that in this particular context (within their Cursus philosophicus) our two Scotists clearly start out with a set of theological convictions, rather than with any particular philosophico-epistemological beliefs.
16. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Martin Cajthaml Von Hildebrand’s Concept of Value
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The paper aims to present a critical evaluation of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s account of value. This account is von Hildebrand’s most important and original contribution, not just to general value theory but to philosophy as such. I first present this account by explaining, in detail, his analysis of the so-called categories of importance. Then I critically examine the philosophical originality and merit of von Hildebrand’s account of value. I do so by arguing against his claim that value, in the sense of the important in itself, is not in the centre of “traditional ethics”.
17. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5
Martin Cajthaml Hodnotová slepota podle von Hildebranda
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The paper describes the theory of the so-called “value-blindness” created by Dietrich von Hildebrand. The importance of the topic becomes apparent especially as its elaboration reveals a complex and dynamic relationship between moral cognitivity (esp. the cognition of values and disvalues) and fundamental moral attitudes (moralische Grundhaltungen) of the cognizing subject. The article presents Hildebrand’s teaching on moral blindness as a coherent theory that was first introduced in the early work Sittlichkeit und ethische Werterkenntnis, and subsequently in the late Graven Images. By way of a conclusion the author examines the relation between Hildebrand’s theory of moral blindness to Aristotle’s doctrine of acrasia. The significance of Hildebrand’s theory for fundamental systematic questions and problems of moral philosophy thus becomes manifest.
18. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Prokop Sousedík, David Svoboda Je Tomášovo pojetí matematiky instrumentalistické?: Reakce na kritiku L. Nováka
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In our contribution we continue our discussion with L. Novák, who criticised our paper “Různá pojetí matematiky u vybraných autorů od antiky po raný novověk.” Novák’s critique titled “Tomáš Akvinský instrumentalistou v matematice?” served as an incentive for us not only to clarify certain points, but also to deepen our original exposition. We focused on Aquinas’s understanding of mathematics, the middle sciences and philosophy. We still insist that two substantially different interpretations of these disciplines are possible. On the one hand, there is much evidence for Aquinas’s realistic approach to mathematics and the middle sciences. On the other hand, ideas can also be found in Aquinas’s texts supporting an instrumentalist reading. In our opinion, it is important to point out these two approaches to the mathematical sciences in order to adequately understand the subsequent evolution of the history of ideas, especially in the modern period.
19. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
David Peroutka Stručně k Novákově libertariánské polemice
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In response to Novák’s polemic attack I try to remove some misunderstandings and defend compatibilism about free will. My main argument goes thus: Let us take for example two agents who both decide not to kill. The first one makes his choice out of his dilemmatic mental state of incertitude and perplexity. Conversely the second person understands the sense of moral principles so clearly that she makes the right decision with necessity. Since the morality of the second person surpasses that of the fi rst, my point is that the libertarian thinker puts in confl ict morality and freedom: The more a person (the latter agent) is virtuous, the less she is free (for the supposed necessity of her volition is taken to be incompatible with freedom in the libertarian theory). And – on the other hand – the less an agent (the former one) is moral, the more he is free. Indeed, he would be free while the latter unfree if it were true (as the libertarian believes) that freedom entails contingency. This is a peculiar rule of proportion. Compatibilism avoids such a peculiarity.
articles
20. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Peter A. Kwasniewski Divine Wisdom, Natural Order, and Human Intervention: Leibniz on the Intersection of Theology, Teleology, and Technology
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In the Discourse on Metaphysics Leibniz addresses how human beings ought to intervene in a preharmonized world and contribute to the unfolding of its goodness. His view exhibits an instructive tension between belief in a providentially fixed natural order, on the one hand, and, on the other, a characteristically early modern belief in a world of infinite possibilities for human actors, that is, developers of technology. Other texts in Leibniz, as well as comparison with Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant, helps to reveal the extent to which Leibniz is torn between venerating the ancient tradition of natural philosophy, a purely “contemplative” discipline, and embracing the modern project of mastery of nature, a pragmatic and transformative enterprise.