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41. 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.
42. 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.
43. 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”.
44. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Augustin Riška An aristotelian theory of power (metaphysical reflections): A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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In this essay I investigate the interplay between actual and potential properties of a thing within an Aristotelian conceptual framework. A minimal formal treatment of such interplay is proposed, outlining the actual or possible causal impact of these properties with respect to the changes of a thing in question. I also mention the historically interesting controversy between Aristotle and the Megarians concerning the relationship between power and act, as well as Hintikka’s application of the Principle of Plenitude. The essay ends with certain suggestions for treating the problems of actual and potential properties by means of dispositions and contrary-to-fact conditionals.
45. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Petr Dvořák Some Thomists on Analogy: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The article is a presentation of the Thomist response to Scotist criticism of analogy; namely, the defense of St. Thomas’ teaching in some leading renaissance and post-renaissance Thomists: Thomas de Vio, better known as Cajetan, Sylvester of Ferrara, John Versor and John of Saint Thomas. The author first explains the general core of the semantic doctrine of analogy and outlines the basic terminology. Then he exposes the way Cajetan and other Thomists knit Aquinas’ dispersed remarks on analogy into a systematic doctrinal whole.
46. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Lukáš Novák The Scotist Theory of Univocity: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The article explains the notion of univocity in line with the mature Scotistic doctrine, which plays so crucial a role in the Scotistic rejection of analogy as a middle ground between univocity and pure equivocity. Since univocity of a concept is found to consist in its perfect unity, and the perfect unity of a concept is achieved by means of perfect abstraction, the notion of this so-called abstraction by precision is made clear and contrasted with the so-called abstraction by confusion, by means of which analogical concepts are supposed to be formed by the Thomists.
47. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Daniel Dominik Novotný Prolegomena to a Study of Beings of Reason in Post-Suarezian Scholasticism, 1600–1650: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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In 1597 Francisco Suárez published a comprehensive treatise on beings of reason (entia rationis) as part of his Disputationes metaphysicae. Subsequent scholastic philosophers vigorously debated various aspects of Suárez’s theory. The aim of this paper is to identify some of the most controversial points of these debates, as they developed in the first half of the seventeenth century. In particular, I focus on the intension and the extension of ‘ens rationis’, its division (into negations, privations and relations of reason) and its causes. Additionally, I will discuss how Suárez’s views sparked a number of debates within the classical view, debates which ultimately led to the emergence of various alternative theories, especially among the Jesuits. These non-classical views radically revise the previous classical conception of beings of reason.
48. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Patricia Díaz-Herrera The Notion of Time in Francisco Suárez and its Contemporary Relevance: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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In the fiftieth disputation of his Disputationes metaphysicae (1597), Francisco Suárez distinguishes three notions of time. Suárez offers an account of the ways in which the predicate ‘when’ can be taken and presents a more general perspective based on the principle of duration, rather than the Aristotelian definition of time. His view differs from Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ account because Suárez emphasizes that time cannot be reduced to the number of the movement of the last sphere in the Aristotelian model of the cosmos. The intrinsic duration of a thing is its true time; this duration can be taken in an absolute or a relative sense. In an absolute sense, intrinsic time is an internal property of a thing that cannot be really distinguished from existence itself and cannot be compared with other durations. In a relative sense, we can imagine this intrinsic duration as filling up a certain interval within an infinitely extended imaginary succession. This imaginary succession is an ens rationis. The third concept of time is the Aristotelian notion: this is just an extrinsic time, a measurement of one movement by means of a comparison with another movement, especially the motion of the last sphere. Finally, in order to show the value of Suárez’s insights, I compare them with some contemporary issues in the analytic philosophy of time.
49. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Paul E. Oppenheimer, Edward N. Zalta Reflections on the Logic of the Ontological Argument: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The authors evaluate the soundness of the ontological argument they developed in their 1991 paper. They focus on Anselm’s first premise, which asserts that there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater can be conceived. After casting doubt on the argument Anselm uses in support of this premise, the authors show that there is a formal reading on which it is true. Such a reading can be used in a sound reconstruction of the argument. After this reconstruction is developed in precise detail, the authors show that the conclusion, a reading of the claim “God exists”, does not quite achieve the end Anselm desired.
50. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Petr Dvořák Freedom and Necessity: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The paper deals with various species of fatalism originating either in causal determinism, in the semantic fact that propositions about the future may be true in the present, or in divine omniscience. The common argument form is identified as well as the relevant notion of modality at play, that of power necessity. Finally, the paper examines briefly a strategy to combat theological fatalism, the socalled Ockhamism and various attempts to disprove the underlying transfer principle (of power necessity).
51. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
David Svoboda Francisco Suárez on the Addition of the One to Being and the Priority of the One over the Many: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Suárez’s solution to the problem of the conceptual Addition of the One to being follows firstly the Aristotelian-Averroistic tradition mediated by Aquinas. According to this tradition, the One adds to being only a negative determination. Suárez claims that the One does not signify any positive perfection either really or conceptually distinct from being as such. Suárez’s own solution to the problem is presented in a critical discussion with many different conceptions, but Suárez pays most attention to the theory of certain, mainly Franciscan, authors who hold that the One adds to being a positive perfection which is only conceptually distinct from being as such. The main argument for this thesis is based on the assumption that indivision is to be taken as a double negation, by which an affirmation is expressed. This concept of indivision was, according to Suárez, also defended by Aquinas, who holds that the negation which is expressed by the One negates the division of one being from another. Suárez rejects this solution and proposes his own conception, according to which the One does not negate the negative moment of the division of one being from another, but the positive moment of an essential division of a being in itself. The One thus negates a real positive division of being in itself. On the basis of this theory, Suárez further rejected Aquinas’s (and the Thomistic) conception of a conceptual priority of the One over the Many, which was put forth as an answer to the old Aristotelian problem of a privative opposition between the One and the Many. Suárez defends the real priority of an indivision over a division as well as a real and conceptual priority of the One over the Many. Suárez’s conception seems to us to be compatible with his concept of a negative Addition of the One to being.
52. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Prokop Sousedík Co je podle Wittgensteina řeč?: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The author shows that, after some considerations about the nature of speech, we can take two substantially different paths. Wittgenstein’s early philosophy is the paradigm of the first path, his later the paradigm of the second. According the author, the difference between these two conceptions is that in the late Wittgenstein, as opposed to his early conception, rejects the search for, and the clarification of, the essence of our language.
53. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Pavel Materna, Josef Petrželka Definition and Concept. Aristotelian Definition Vindicated: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The modern (Russellian) theory of definition conceives definitions as abbreviations, so that the question of adequateness (let alone of truth-value) of definitions becomes meaningless. In this paper we show that beside Russellian conception of definitions understood as abbreviations, there is an Aristotelian conception, which exploits the notion of essence and that this conception can be rehabilitated from the standpoint of the modern logic (in particular by means of Pavel Tichý’s Transparent Intensional Logic). Also Carnap’s ‘explication’ indicates that what we feel to be a definition is frequently distinct from a Russellian definition.
54. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Petr Dvořák Thomas Aquinas on Contingency in Nature: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The paper deals with Aristotle’s argument against determinism and in favor of contingency in nature as interpreted by Thomas Aquinas. The case against determinism is based on the idea that there are properly uncaused accidental events in reality. This means that in case there is some coincidental future event e, one cannot trace an unbroken causal chain leading to e back to the present or the past. For a Christian Aristotelian, such as Aquinas, there arises a difficulty concerning divine foreknowledge and volitional determination of events of this sort. Thomas’s solution is based on the claim that the latter divine acts are not within the scope of modal determination (necessity/contingency).
55. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Daniel Heider The Nature of Suárez’s Metaphysics. Disputationes Metaphysicae and Their Main Systematic Strains: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The paper presents seven basic features of Francisco Suárez’s metaphysics. They are as follows: “Univocalization” of the concept of being and transcendental properties, “reification” of the act-potency doctrine, “ontologization” of individuality, “conceptualization” of the Scotist perspective, “existential” character of the concept of being, “epistemologization” and “methodologization” of metaphysics. Whereas the first five are indicated as remaining in the preserve of the traditional scholastic philosophy, the last two are taken as portending the methodological priority of the subjective states of affairs of early modern “main-stream” philosophy.
56. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Lukáš Novák Conceptual atomism, “Aporia Generis” and a Way Out for Leibniz and the Aristotelians: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Conceptual atomism is a doctrine deeply rooted in the tradition of western thought. It originated with Aristotle, was present in the entire Aristotelian tradition and came to its most pure expression in the work of Leibniz. However, ab initio this doctrine suffered from certain difficulty labelled traditionally “aporia generis”, namely the problem of how it is possible to reconcile the absolute simplicity of the primitive concepts (or ultimate differentiae) with the existence of transcendental concepts, that is, concepts necessarily included in every concept. In this paper the entire problem is subject to an analysis and a solution is suggested, based on a distinction between two different kinds of conceptual containment: the primitive concepts do not contain the transcendentals formally, that is, as constituents thatcan be revealed by means of definitional analysis, but they nevertheless do contain them virtually, that is, they strictly imply them. It is noted that the germ of this solution is already present in Aristotle.
57. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Jordi Sales-Coderch, Josep Monserrat-Molas “A more political animal than bees”: Polity as an intermediate state, as the highest state, or as an agent of stability
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The example of the bees, as they appear in Plato’s Phaedo, taken up again in Aristotle’s Politics and in Hobbes’ commentary contained in Leviathan, shows the potential of the phenomenological reading of examples as a method of understanding the basis on which philosophical thought is determined. Sign and communication are peculiar to gregarious and political animal life. In seeking to embody the Aristotelian concept of lógos in the context of a living community, as the basis for interaction and co-existence, we must be sure that our interpretation does not reduce it to what, according to Aristotle, is simply animal behaviour. The Platonic sequence “ass, wolf, bee, god” situates the model of political life between a life in injustice and a life in wisdom. The Aristotelian variationdetermines the lógos on what is just and what is unjust as a natural increment in lucidity, compared with the mere exercising of gregariousness and sociability. Hobbes’ inversion of the Aristotelian example considers a natural reality in the light of the distortions that complicate and make it impossible. Hobbes thus shifts human politics towards artificiality that renders it viable. In each case, the example holds up a different mirror to the same reality.
58. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Peter Volek Philosophical and Theological Analysis of the Language of Prayer: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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In this paper, we examine the issue of the language of the Christian prayer from philosophical and theological point of view. We come to the conclusion that for the closer enquiry of the Christian prayer philosophy can be inspired by theology. For if we want to determine exactly between whom the relation of prayer lies, we might need to draw on the inspiration from the theological sources concerning the Holy Trinity as well as the involvement of all the saints, especially of Virgin Mary, and angels in the prayers. Within the framework of the philosophical analysis of the prayer we determine it as a participatory dialogical relation between the praying human being, the three divine persons, Virgin Mary, other saints, the angels, and the group of meaningful assertions that form the content of a prayer. Beside this on the basis of our faith we accept that every prayer is preceded by God, and the structure of this approaching of man by God we adopted from Bocheński.
59. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Miroslav Hanke John Buridan’s Propositional Semantics: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The paper deals with Buridan’s approach to the problems of propositional semantics, contained in his logical works. This question can be conceived both as semantic (definition of truth) and ontological (ontological status of states of affairs). Buridan’s solution of both of these questions is based upon a terminist theory of meaning. Theory of truth is constructed as suppositional, not as significational, which enables the definition of truth in terms of the semantic values of components of a particular kind of proposition. The other important problem, the semantic analysis of accusative and infinitive constructions (i.e. of sentential nominalizations), is solved within the semantics of terms by exhibiting the logical structure of a proposition. Buridan’s crucial strategy is therefore the elimination of the apparent ontological commitments of a particular discourse in terms of dismissing the denotative theory of meaning.
60. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Erik Åkerlund Suárez on Forms, Universals and Understanding: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The interpretations in the secondary literature of Suárez’ position in the “classical” debate on the status of universals vary considerably. In this article, the problem is looked at from a slightly different angle: that of Suárez’ basic metaphysics of substantial forms and his views concerning understanding and knowledge. These areas of Suárez’ thought are thoroughly analysed and related to each other. Regarding the question of the status of universals it is argued that Suárez’ thought in the areas of substantial forms and of understanding generally supports the reading of Suarez as a “moderate nominalist”.