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61. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Daniel D. Novotný In Defense of Baroque Scholasticism: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Until recently Francisco Suárez (1548–1617) has been regarded as the “last medieval philosopher,” representing the end of the philosophically respectful scholastic tradition going back to the Early Middle Ages. In fact, however, Suárez stood at the beginning, rather than at the end, of a distinguished scholastic culture, which should best be labeled “Baroque scholasticism,” and which flourished throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In this paper I offer some ideas on why the study of this philosophical culture has been so far neglected by the mainstream Anglo-American philosophical historiography and argue that more attention should be paid to it.
62. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Inocent-Mária V. Szaniszló OP Ktože sú to vlastne pohania? Malé uvedenie do medzináboženského dialógu v dobe sv. Tomáša Akvinského s možnými dôsledkami pre dnešnú dobu: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Zur Zeit des Hl. Thomas von Aquin war es nicht leicht andere Religionen zu verstehen. Besonders auch deswegen nicht, weil die Verbreitung der Religion mit Macht und Krieg verbunden war. Aber gerade Thomas hat die sogenannte „Heidnische Lehre“ des Aristoteles in das Christentum eingeführt. In den Augen vieler orthodoxen Christen war dies ein unverzeihlicher Fehler. Mit dieser Lehre ist auch das Naturrecht (moralisch natürliche Gesetz) in die katholische Theologie eingeführt worden. Aber die Aristotelische Wiedereinführung (wenn nicht Revolution) in die christliche Philosophie ist bis heute nicht ohne Hindernisse geschehen. Chesterton meint, dass Thomas korrigiert Platon mit Aristoteles, der die Dinge so genommen hat, wie er sie vorgefunden hat. Thomas nimmt die Dinge so, wie sie Gott geschaff en hat. Trotz allem ist es sehr wertvoll zu denken, dass die Wahrheit und der Glaube nicht im Widerspruch stehen können, und alles was die Wissenschaft ans Licht der Welt bringt, kann nicht im Widerspruch gegenüber dem Glauben sein. In den Werken des Hl. Thomas ist immer die Welt der positiven Schöpfung gegenwärtig. In dieser Arbeit möchten wir die Bedingungen der Zeit des Dialogs mit dem Islam und dem Judentum als Hintergrund für die Zusammenfassung der Summa contra Gentiles analysieren nach den Gedanken von M.-D. Chenu, O. H. Pesch, J. Weisheipl, K. G. Chesterton und anderen, die uns ein Bild über die nicht einfache aber trotzdem erreichbare Begegnung mit anderen Religionen zeigen und auch die Gefahr aufzeigen, die sich in einer nicht konsequenten Philosophie birgt.
63. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Peter Volek Die Lehre des Thomas von Aquin über die Entstehung des Menschen: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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This paper attempts to show that if we carefully distinguish between the biological and metaphysical assumptions of Thomas Aquinas, it is possible, with the help of contemporary systems biology, to find good reasons for the thesis that the animation of a human individual takes place at conception. Systems biology is able to identify crucial events on the molecular level. The same would hold also for the possible human clone. In the paper I try to show that it is possible to maintain the notion of simultaneous animation along with the metaphysical assumptions of Thomas Aquinas, despite the fact that Thomas Aquinas himself advocated successive animation, due to his biological knowledge and the common opinions held in his times.
64. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Claudio Antonio Testi Analogy and Formal Logic: from Leśniewski’s Ontology to Aquinas’ Metaphysics
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In this essay, an attempt is made to formalize the idea of analogy in a way which is as faithful as possible to Thomas Aquinas’ theory of analogy. To accomplish this, we must first present Aquinas’ theory of analogy as it appears in his main works; we then express the contents of Aquinas’ theory of analogy using Leśniewski’s Ontology, a symbolic language which is both rigorous and true to the spirit of Aquinas’ philosophy. In doing this we present definitions and theorems lying outside the scope of Leśniewski’s Elementary Ontology and we demostrate that the notion of “to be the definition of” is not an extensional functor.
65. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Miroslav Hanke The Simple Paradoxes of Validity and Bradwardinian-Buridanian Semantics: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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This paper deals with the simple paradoxes of validity and with the possibility of solving them in terms of Bradwardinian-Buridanian semantics. The paradoxes of validity as conceived here are cases of semantic pathology, which result due to the use of terms signifying the validity of inference. Semantic paradoxes are a semantico-epistemological phenomenon which is a symptom of the need to revise several apparently acceptable semantic assumptions. The analysis of possible solutions to the paradoxes focuses on Bradwardinian-Buridanian semantics and as a result on the closed, token-based semantic theories that assume the existence of an implicit meaning of propositions. The key theses, as far as the solution to the paradoxes is concerned, are the principle of truth-implication which claims that every proposition expresses or implies its own truth and the closure principle which claims that every proposition asserts or expresses everything that follows from it logically. The present paper advances on recent research in claiming that (with certain reservations) the application of these principles can effectively solve inconsistency-paradoxes but not indeterminacy-paradoxes of validity.
66. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
David Svoboda Participace v díle Tomáše Akvinského: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The paper deals with Aquinas’s concept of participation. Its goal is to introduce the reader to the problem, since no significant attention has been paid to it in Czech literature so far. The article is divided into three main parts: first a general description and division of participation is given, second the mutually opposite properties “to be through essence” and “to be through participation” are explained and finally the other general characteristics of participation are put forth.
67. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
David Peroutka OCD Imagination, Intellect and Premotion A Psychological Theory of Domingo Báñez: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The notion of physical premotion (praemotio physica) is usually associated with the theological topic of divine concurrence (concursus divinus). In the present paper I argue that the Thomist Domingo Báñez (1528–1604) applied the concept of premotion (though not the expression “praemotio”) also in his psychology. According to Báñez, the active intellect (intellectus agens) communicates a kind of “actual motion” to the phantasma (i.e. the mental sensory image perceived by the imagination) in order to render it a collaborator of intellectual cognition. Such an actual motion is, in other words, a premotion to the effect, as the phantasma is, in Báñez’s view, “elevated” to the production of an effect that transcends its proper powers. This Báñez’s theory was largely accepted in the subsequent development of Thomism.
68. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
P. Banks O filosofické interpretaci logiky aristotelský dialog: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
69. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
James Franklin Aristotelianism in the Philosophy of Mathematics: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Modern philosophy of mathematics has been dominated by Platonism and nominalism, to the neglect of the Aristotelian realist option. Aristotelianism holds that mathematics studies certain real properties of the world – mathematics is neither about a disembodied world of “abstract objects”, as Platonism holds, nor it is merely a language of science, as nominalism holds. Aristotle’s theory that mathematics is the “science of quantity” is a good account of at least elementarymathematics: the ratio of two heights, for example, is a perceivable and measurable real relation between properties of physical things, a relation that can be shared by the ratio of two weights or two time intervals. Ratios are an example of continuous quantity; discrete quantities, such as whole numbers, are also realised as relations between a heap and a unit-making universal. For example, the relation between foliage and being-a-leaf is the number of leaves on a tree,a relation that may equal the relation between a heap of shoes and being-a-shoe. Modern higher mathematics, however, deals with some real properties that are not naturally seen as quantity, so that the “science of quantity” theory of mathematics needs supplementation. Symmetry, topology and similar structural properties are studied by mathematics, but are about pattern, structure or arrangement rather than quantity.
70. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Luca Gili The Order Between Substance and Accidents in Aquinas’s thought: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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In this paper I examine Aquinas’s commentary on a text of Aristotle in which the type of order between substance and accidents is discussed. I claim that Aquinas maintains that there cannot be any reference to sensibility, despite any prima facie interpretation of Aristotle’s texts, according to which it could be thought that substance is temporally prior to accidents and, hence, that we must presuppose a perceivable change in the world on the basis of which it is possible to consider something temporally prior to something else. This interpretation – which is possible on the basis of Aristotle’s texts – would be a misinterpretation, according to Aquinas. Aquinas’s assumption is philosophically worthwhile because it confi rms that every metaphysical proposition must abstract from sensibility.
71. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Helen Hattab Suárez and Descartes: A Priori Arguments Against Substantial Forms and the Decline of the Formal Cause
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In hac dissertatione primo ostendo Cartesii “argumentum a priori” contra formas substantiales proprie intelligendum esse ex definitione formae substantialis, quam F. Suarez proposuit, et ex ipsius argumentis a priori pro ea. Hoc quidem argumentum Cartesianum non nisi polemicam vim habere videtur, nam Cartesius potius ex superioritate explanationum mechanicarum a se percepta formas substantiales impugnavit. Tamen ipsum factum, Cartesium scil. in doctrinamSuarezianam de forma substantiali incurrisse, doctrinae Suarezianae auctoritatem et famam contestatur. Aliis verbis, Descartes sane demonstrationem, qua Suarezii argumenta ad absurdum reducentur, maiori momenti esse exspectavit quam argumentationem contra doctrinam Thomisticam de forma substantiali. Secundo ostendo definitionem Suarezianam formae substantialis novam conceptionem causalitatis formalis exegisse. Suarez causalitatem formalem ad modum unionis formae substantiali cum materia limitavit, quo pacto vim eius in philosophia naturali diminuit significantiamque causarum materialis ac efficientis in nova philosophia mechanistica anticipavit. Hoc modo serior metaphysica scholastica indirecte velut dispositionem fundamentalem praebuit ad rerum naturalium explanationes mechanisticas recipiendas ac sustinendas.In this paper I first show that Descartes’ a priori argument against substantial forms is properly understood against the background of Suárez’s definition of and a priori arguments for the substantial form. Even though Descartes’ a priori argument appears to have only a polemical value since his own path to the elimination of substantial forms was based on the perceived superiority of mechanical explanations, the fact that Descartes targeted Suárez’s account of the substantial form in his polemical argument bears witness to its widespread influence. In other words, Descartes expected that a proof that reduced Suárez’s argument to absurdity would have a greater impact than an argument directed against Aquinas’ account of substantial forms. Secondly, I show that Suárez’s definition of the substantial form prompted a reconceptualization of the role of formal causality. Suárez limits formal causality to the mode of union between the substantial form and matter, thus deemphasizing its importance to natural philosophical explanations and anticipating the emphasis on material and efficient causes typical of the new mechanical philosophy. In this indirect manner, late Scholastic metaphysics provided a general framework in which mechanical explanations of natural phenomena could find a place and take hold.
72. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Peter Volek Hylomorphism as a Solution for Freedom and for Personal Identity: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Secundum Petrum Bieri dualismus ontologicus hoc trilemma generat: 1) Status mentis non sunt status physici. 2) Status mentis causalitatem exerceunt in regionem statuum physicorum. 3) Regio statuum physicorum est causaliter clausa. Haec tertia propositio a Bieri “physicalismum methodologicum” exprimere dicitur. Ut hoc trilemma solvat, Bieri unum eius membrorum reicere suadet. Hylemorphismus causalitatem mentis ut causalitetem formalem explicat, relationem vero hominis ad mundum ut causalitatem efficientem. Unde clausura causalis mundi de causalitate efficiente intelligi potest, quae in physica investigatur. Liberum arbitrium ab intentione mentis originem trahit. Etiam possibilitas libertatis humanae ex intentionalitate mentis explicari potest. Libertas adhuc hominis ut electio unae duarum optionum intelligi potest. Homo eligens rationes ponderat, quae sunt abstractae et distinctae a causis efficientibus rerum materialium, quae sunt concretae. Doctrina hylemorfica insuper fundamenum sufficiens ad problema identitatis personae per tempus solvendum praebere potest. Quoniam omnia elementa materialia in homine per tempus mutantur – imo DNA mutari potest –, principium identitatis immateriale esse debet. Pro principio identitatis igitur forma substantialis personae accipi potest, quae est metaphysica explicatio naturae mentis, quae actionem liberam electione deliberata per intentionalitatem libertatemque arbitrii inchoare potest)Peter Bieri formulates the assumptions of the ontological dualism via a trilemma: 1) Mental states are not physical states. 2) Mental states have causal effects in the realm of physical states. 3) The realm of physical states is causally closed. Bieri labels the third sentence of this trilemma as methodological physicalism. In order to solve this trilemma Bieri proposes to abandon one of the three premises. Hylomorphism explains mental causality as formal causality, and the relation between human beings and the world as efficient causality. Thus, the causal closure of the world can be understood as closure of the efficient causes, which are studied by physics. Free decision begins with the intentionality of the mind. The possibility of human freedom can also be explained through the intentionality of the mind. Human freedom can be understood as a choice between two alternatives. When choosing, human beings weigh reasons which are abstract and distinct from the efficient causes of material objects that are concrete. Hylomorphism can, further, provide sufficient grounds for solving the issue of personal identity through time. Since all the material elements in a human being change through time – even the DNA can change – the principle of identity cannot be material in character. Thus, it is the substantial form of a person (i.e. the metaphysical explanation of the mind, which is capable of initiating free action through its intentionality and freedom of choice in deliberate decision making) that can be accepted as the principle of identity.
73. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Yehuda Halper The Convergence of Religious and Metaphysical Concepts: Mofet and Devequt in the Hebrew Translation of Averroës’ Long Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics
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Translators of Aristotle’s and Averroës’ metaphysical works into 14th C Hebrew often associated important philosophical concepts with Hebrew terms that were also used to signify central Jewish and Biblical religious concepts. Here I examine how two such terms, “mofet” and “devequt”, were used to refer to extraordinary, divine wonders and to clinging (in particular to God) respectively in the religious texts, but to Aristotelian demonstration and continuity (especially noetic continuity) respectively in the translations of Averroës’ Long Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. This kind of convergence of metaphysical and religious terms makes possible, indeed encourages, a re-interpretation of the religious concepts along Aristotelian lines. Biblical expressions of God’s wonders are thus to be interpreted to refer to Aristotelian demonstration and the mystical desire to cling to God is to refer to unifi cation with the Active Intellect.Translatores, qui Aristotelis et Averrois opera metaphysica in linguam Hebraicam saeculi 14. transferebant, notabilibus conceptibus philosophicis saepe nomina Hebraica assignaverut, quibus et principales notiones religiosae Judaicae ac Biblicae solebant exprimi. In hac dissertatione investigatur, quomodo duo talium nominum, scil. “mofet” et “devequt”, quae in textibus religiosis “extra ordinaria miracula divina” et “adhaerentiam” (praecipue ad Deum) proprie significant, in translationibus Averrois Commentarii Magni in Aristotelis Metaphysicam ad demonstrationem Aristotelicam et continuationem (praecipue noeticam) significandas transumebantur. Huiusmodi nominum metaphysicorum cum religiosis coniunctio conceptus religiosos iuxta sensum Aristotelicum denuo explicari permittit, imo suadet. Hinc dicta Biblica quae miracula Dei olim significaverunt ad demonstrationes Aristotelicas relata sunt; item desiderium mysticum adhaerendi ad Deum de unione cum Intellectu Agenti intellectum est.
74. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke John Mair on Semantic Paradoxes: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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John Mair (1467–1550) was an influential post-medieval scholar. This paper focuses on his Tractatus insolubilium, in which he proposed semantic analysis of self-referential phenomena, in particular on his solution to alethic and correspondence paradoxes and his treatment of their general semantic aspects as well as particular applications. His solution to paradoxes is based on the so-called “network evaluation”, i.e. on a semantics which defines the concepts of truth and correspondence with reality in contextual terms. Consequently, the relation between semantic valuation, synonymy and contradiction must be redefined.
75. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
James Franklin Science by Conceptual Analysis: The Genius of the Late Scholastics
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The late scholastics, from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, contributed to many fields of knowledge other than philosophy. They developed a method of conceptual analysis that was very productive in those disciplines in which theory is relatively more important than empirical results. That includes mathematics, where the scholastics developed the analysis of continuous motion, which fed into the calculus, and the theory of risk and probability. The method came to the fore especially in the social sciences. In legal theory they developed, for example, the ethical analyses of the conditions of validity of contracts, and natural rights theory. In political theory, they introduced constitutionalism and the thought experiment of a “state of nature”. Their contributions to economics included concepts still regarded as basic, such as demand, capital, labour, and scarcity. Faculty psychology and semiotics are other areas of significance. In such disciplines, later developments rely crucially on scholastic concepts and vocabulary.
76. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Michał Głowala What Kind of Power is Virtue? John of St. Thomas OP on Causality of Virtues and Vices: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The following paper discusses John of St. Thomas’ study of the way in which a habit (moral or epistemic virtue or vice) is a cause of an action it prompts. I begin with contrasting the question of causality of habits with the general question of the causal relevance of dispositions (2). I argue that habits constitute a very peculiar kind of dispositions marked by the connection with the properties of being difficult and being easy, and there are some special reasons to admit the irreducibility of dispositions of this kind. I argue also that there is a special sort of causal connection between a habit and an action it actually prompts. Then I present an analysis of four theses of John of St. Thomas on the causality of habits, which, I think, constitute the most mature and reliable study of the causality of habits in the scholastic tradition: (i) Habits are efficient causes of actions they prompt (3.1). (ii) Virtues do determine the very natures of actions they prompt (3.2); (iii) Virtues do not have a proper counterpart among the characteristics of actions they prompt (3.3); (iv) The formal object of causality of virtue is a masterpiece performance of an action (3.4). In my analyses of John’s arguments for these theses I make three claims: not all powers are “in state of readiness for action”; habits are powers of powers or dispositions of powers; the general concept of a strategy is the key to grasp the properties of being difficult and being easy, and habits should be analysed as a kind of strategies.
77. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Paul Richard Blum The Epistemology of Immortality: Searle, Pomponazzi, and Ficino
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The relationship between body and mind was traditionally discussed in terms of immortality of the intellect, because immateriality was one necessary condition for the mind to be immortal. This appeared to be an issue of metaphysics and religion. But to the medieval and Renaissance thinkers, the essence of mind is thinking activity and hence an epistemological feature. Starting with John Searle’s worries about the existence of consciousness, I try to show some parallels with the Aristotelian Pietro Pomponazzi (1462–1525), and eventually show the Neoplatonic approach in Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499). The guiding question is: how can one philosophically address the problem of cognition in terms of corporeality and incorporeality? Searle maintains there is mind, although essentially related to a biological basis, and he is comparable to the Renaissance thinkers for his taking the interaction of the mental and the corporeal seriously.
78. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Martin Ossikovski Some Medieval Readings of Aristotle’s Argument for the Collective Superiority of “the Many”: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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An essential challenge of Aristotle’s Politics arises from the juxtaposition of contrasting and competing arguments in favour of virtuous monarchy, on the one hand, and the collective superiority of “the many”, on the other. This paper examines the purely theoretical reception of this contrast in the writings of some late medieval Aristotelians by focusing on a key section in Politics Γ (1280a8–1284b34). After reviewing Aristotle’s problematic position, the paper discusses its interpretation in the commentaries of Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas/Peter of Auvergne and Walter Burley, as well as its use in the works of Giles of Rome, John of Paris and Marsilius of Padua. On that basis, finally, the paper outlines some general trends with regard to how medieval scholars dealt with Aristotle’s idea of the rule of the many as opposed to that of one or few virtuous persons.
79. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Gregory B. Sadler Aneu Orexeōs Nous: Virtue, Affectivity, and Aristotelian Rule of Law
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Passages in Aristotle’s Politics Book 3 are cited in discussions of the “rule of law”, most particularly sections in 1287a where the famous characterization of law as “mind without desire” occurs and in 1286a where Aristotle raises and explores the question whether it is better to be ruled by the best man or the best laws. My paper aims, by exegetically culling out Aristotle’s position in the Politics, Nicomachean Ethics and Rhetoric, to argue that his view on the rule of law and its relations to human subjects is considerably more complex and considerably more interesting. Despite Aristotle’s dictum, laws are not expressions or institutions of a pure and passionless rationality, and in order to be framed, understood and administered well, one must both have the sort of solid understanding of virtues, vices, passions, and motives of human action that Aristotle’s moral philosophy provides and have developed, at least to some degree, certain virtues. My paper focuses particularly on three themes: the role of the passions and desires in judgment, action, virtues and vices; the inescapability of passions and desires in the functioning of law; the possibility for rule of law and a certain level of virtue to be mutually supporting.
80. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Miroslav Hanke John Mair on Semantic Paradoxes: Alethic and Correspondence Paradoxes II
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John Mair (1467–1550) was an influential post-medieval scholar. This paper focuses on his Tractatus insolubilium, in which he proposed semantic analysis of self-referential phenomena, in particular on his solution to alethic and correspondence paradoxes and his treatment of their general semantic aspects as well as particular applications. His solution to paradoxes is based on the so-called “network evaluation”, i.e. on a semantics which defines the concepts of truth and correspondence with reality in contextual terms. Consequently, the relation between semantic valuation, synonymy and contradiction must be redefined.