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Studia Neoaristotelica

A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Volume 13

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Displaying: 1-12 of 12 documents

1. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 7
Lukáš Novák Orcid-ID

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This discussion article is a critique of the theory of “rational compatibilism”, as presented in D. Peroutka’s eponymous article. The author raises the following nine objections against Peroutka’s conception: (1) Peroutka’s notion of liberty is ill-defined; (2) Peroutka’s argument “from growing probability” suffers from the confusion of logical and epistemic probability; (3) the charge of “irrationality” raised against the libertarian analysis of choice is either unsubstantiated or innocuous; (4) assigning the determining force to a final (rather than efficient) cause makes no difference with regard to freedom; (5) it is inexplicable in Peroutka’s conception why only a rational (as opposed to sensual) good can determine the will in a “compatibilist” way, i.e. without thereby compromising freedom; (6) Peroutka’s conception reduces “libertarian” situations to “perplexed” or “dilemmatic” situations, and so reduces all moral evil to evil “from ignorance”, leaving no room for evil “from weakness” and “from malice”; (7) the “asymmetry” in Peroutka’s conception (only evil acts have to be libertarian) only arises because the possibility of superrogatory acts has been ignored; (8) Peroutka’s conception turns libertarian freedom into an unjustifiable evil; and finally, (9) in his reply to Sartre Peroutka upholds Sartre’s proton pseudos: viz. the confusion of logical and deontic modality (viz. necessity and obligation). In an appendix the author shows that although Peroutka’s conception of rational compatibilism shares some points with Aquinas’s theory, as a whole it cannot be ascribed to him.

2. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 6
Lukáš Novák Orcid-ID

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In Baroque scholasticism the medieval semantic theory of connotation as a property of terms, originally elaborated by Ockham and others, received an ontological application or re-interpretation in the context of the theory of relations. The main proponent of this ontologized “doctrina de connotatis” seems to have been Suárez. Subsequently, this doctrine was severely criticised by the Jesuits Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza and Rodrigo de Arriaga, but also by the “princeps Scotistarum” Bartholomeo Mastri; whereas another Scotist, John Punch, adopted a theory of relations close to this doctrine. The fates of the original semantic theory of connotation, the ontologized “doctrina de connotatis” and the broader context of the relevant discussions (especially the new res–modus ontology established around 1600) document the complexity of the history of scholastic ideas, irreducible to any simple paradigm (like that of the realism–nominalism strife).

3. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 5
Roman Míčka

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This paper is concerned with the idea of unity of mankind and the possibilities of its political expression, particularly with respect to the contribution of the Spanish scholastics Francisco de Vitoria and Francisco Suárez, who gave a crucial impetus to the development of the concept of ius gentium. Then it discusses how the issue was developed in the work of Hugo Grotius and how political expression of the unity of mankind was reflected on in modern scholasticism — in the work of Luigi Taparelli and Jacques Maritain. In the conclusion it briefl y evaluates the differences and the potential impact on the social doctrine of the Church and contemporary political thinking in the context of Christian social thought, particularly with regard to the concept of a ‘global political authority’.

4. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Lukáš Novák Orcid-ID

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P. Sousedík and D. Svoboda, in their paper “Různá pojetí matematiky u vybraných autorů od antiky po raný novověk: Je matematika teoretická věda nebo pouhá technika?”, proposed an interpretation of Aquinas’s understanding of the nature of mathematics which the author regards as unsatisfactory. The purpose of this review article is to point out its problems and to suggest in its stead an adequate interpretation of Aquinas’s mind, on the basis of a detailed analysis of his texts. The author shows that Aquinas was by no means an instrumentalist in mathematics but considered mathematical truths to be directly applicable to “physical matter”. Such an application takes place in sciences like astronomy, harmonics or optics, which, although sometimes subsumed under mathematics broadly conceived, nevertheless form a special category qua the so-called “middle sciences” (viz. situated between mathematics and physics) and are thus no true species of mathematics. The fact that these sciences are also regarded as “arts” does not preclude their scientific character at all, since the two categories are not mutually exclusive, according to St. Thomas.

5. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Lukáš Lička

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This paper investigates what conditions are to be met for sensory perception to occur. It introduces two different theories of perception that were held by two medieval Franciscan thinkers — namely, Roger Bacon (1214/1220–1292) and Peter Olivi (ca. 1248–1298). Bacon analyses especially the causal relation between the object and the sensory organ in his doctrine of the multiplication of species. In his view, a necessary condition of perception is the reception of the species in a fully disposed sensory organ. On the contrary, Olivi stresses the active role of the sensory power. A necessary condition of sensation is the aspectus — i.e. the focus of our power’s attention on the object. Furthermore, the paper investigates whether and how each of the two thinkers can deal with the arguments proposed by his opponent — namely whether Bacon’s theory is able to explain attention and what the causal role of the object in Olivi’s theory is.


6. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Monika Mansfeld

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In the first half of the 15ᵗʰ century there was a coherent philosophical system of teaching at the Jagiellonian university, so-called ars vetus, concerning the interpretation of three treatises: Aristotle’s Categories and Hermeneutics and Porphyry’s Isagoge. The question-commentaries on the Categories that have been preserved in several manuscripts show astonishing similarity in solving individual problems – there are three copies of Benedict Hesse’s commentary (BJ 2037, BJ 2043, BJ 2455) and one copy of Paul of Pyskowice’s work (BJ 1900), moreover, in BJ 1941 there is an anonymous commentary on the Categories that is also very close to the ones mentioned before, to prove that fact. This paper, discussing the four-fold division of opposition in those Polish commentaries on Aristotle’s Categories, is part of the studies on the manuscript material that has not been critically edited yet. The main goal is to show the philosophical views on contraries, contradictories, relatives and possession and privation in a wider perspective, comparing the Polish commentaries’ doctrine with the authoritative text itself.

discussion articles

7. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Louis Groarke

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In general historical treatments, one often encounters the idea that Kepler’s and Newton’s discovery of elliptical planetary orbits marked a decisive break with tradition and definitively undermined any possibility of an Aristotelian approach to physics and astronomy. Although Aristotle had no understanding of gravity, I want to demonstrate that elliptical orbits were a refinement of earlier models and that one can produce an Aristotelian account of elliptical orbits once one corrects his crucial mistake about gravity. One interesting side-effect of this straightforwardly Aristotelian approach is that it eliminates the empty, second focal point around which any elliptical system revolves. I should emphasize that the present paper is not intended to contradict, oppose, or replace any aspect of contemporary mathematical physics or astronomy. The point is not to propose a new scientific theory—we all know that planetary orbits are elliptical—but to demonstrate that metaphysical Aristotelianism is more versatile than is generally supposed.
8. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
James Franklin

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The Scientific Revolution was far from the anti-Aristotelian movement traditionally pictured. Its applied mathematics pursued by new means the Aristotelian ideal of science as knowledge by insight into necessary causes. Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s elliptical planetary orbits from the inverse square law of gravity is a central example.

review article

9. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
William F. Vallicella

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This review article examines Panayot Butchvarov’s claim that philosophy in its three main branches, epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics, needs to be freed from anthropocentrism.


10. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
John Kronen, Sandra Menssen

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Over the past fi fty years or so analytic philosophers (such as David Wiggins and Baruch Brody) have developed accounts of the nature of material objects that can plausibly be described as neo-Aristotelian. We argue that what we term non-robust neo-Aristotelian accounts of hylomorphism fail: if hylomorphism is true, then some species of robust hylomorphism is true. In Section 2 we explain what we take non-robust and robust hylomorphism to be and distinguish two species of non-robust hylomorphism (formal and substantial). In Section 3 we examine Aquinas’s definition of substance. It has much to recommend it, but precludes any sort of non-robust hylomorphism. So we consider whether there is an alternative definition of substance that might be employed in defense of non-robust hylomorphism. The only promising alternative, we suggest, is one inspired by Udayana, the great 10ᵗʰ-century Vaiśeṣika metaphysician, a definition that relies on the concept of inherence. In Section 4 we argue that formal non-robust hylomorphism is false under the alternative defi nition of substance, and that substantial non-robust hylomorphism, too, is false under that definition. And in Section 5 we offer a few final remarks, including a word of thanks to the neo-Aristotelians we so strongly criticize, for their work has signifi cantly benefitted those who, like us, favor a more traditional form of hylomorphism.Philosophi, ut aiunt, analytici (puta David Wiggins, Baruch Brody), postremis quinquaginta annis explicationem rerum materialium naturae, quae rite Neoaristotelica nuncupari potest, elaborant. Arguunt vero huius tractationis auctores, Neoaristotelicas hylemorphismi explicationes, quas ipsi “mitigatas” nominant, parum succedere: si hyle mor phismus verus sit, aliquam hylemorphismi non mitigati speciem veram esse debere. In sectione 2 auctores rationes hylemorphismi mitigati et non mitigati explicant duasque hyle morphismi mitigati species distinguunt: “ formalem” scil. et “substantialem”. In sectione 3 auctores substantiae defi nitionem examinant a S. Thoma propositam. Quae defi nitio nonnullis praestat virtutibus, hylemorphismum vero mitigatum omnino excludit. Hac de causa auctores aliam substantiae defi nitionem quaerunt, qua accepta hylemorphismus mitigatus vindicari possit. Non tamen videtur ulla posse inveniri nisi elaboratio aliqua defi nitionis quam Udayana proposuit (metaphysicus scil. praeclarus qui saec. 10 in India fl orebat, scholae quae “Vaiśeṣika” dicitur sectator): quae defi nitio inhaerentiae conceptui innixa est. In sectione 4 auctores arguunt, hylemorphismum mitigatum tam formalem quam substantialem esse falsum hac altera substantiae defi nitione posita. In sectione 5 auctores paucis quibusdam notulis tractationem concludunt, gratias quoque agentes philosophis Neoaristotelicis, quos ipsi impugnaverunt: eorum enim labore auctores magis traditionali hylemorphismi faventes speciei (huiusce tractationibus auctoribus non exclusis), multum profecerunt.
11. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Ľuboš Rojka

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The modal argument for the existence of a Cartesian human soul proposed by Richard Swinburne more than thirty years ago, if slightly adjusted and interpreted correctly, becomes a plausible argument for anyone who accepts modal arguments. The difficulty consists in a relatively weak justification of the second premise, of the real possibility of a disembodied existence, as a result of which the argument does not provide a real (conclusive) proof. The argument is best understood in the following terms: (1) Special divine action is excluded from the metaphysical possibilities and only the natural possibilities are considered; (2) the “conceivable” possibility of the existence of a person without a body is interpreted as a metaphysical (real) possibility, and inductive support for its reality is provided by apparent first-person-conceivability of a disembodied existence, detailed descriptions of out-of-body and near-death experiences, a priori trust in introspection in psychology and the cognitive sciences, and by the unity of consciousness and the possibility of its extension to peripersonal space; (3) statements about having a soul or being a material substance are excluded from the domain of the premises; and finally, (4) one accepts the Kripkean principle that having a body or a soul is an essential component of a person. If these conditions are met, the argument is valid, and the conclusion is made more plausible by Swinburne’s modal argument than it would be without it.Argumentum modale pro animae humanae “Cartesianae” existentia, quod R. Swinburne ante plures quam 30 annos proposuit, acceptabile reddi potest cuicumque argumenta modalia non generatim respuenti, si paululum emendetur recteque intelligatur. Omnis huius argumenti diffi cultas consistit in iustifi catione debiliore secundae eius praemissae (possibilitatem realem existendi sine corpore statuentis), quo pacto argumentum ineffi cax redditur. Argumentum vero optime intelligetur his quattuor punctis animadversis: Primo, possibilitas metaphysica non nisi possibilitates naturales comprehendere intelligatur, omni speciali Dei ingerentia exclusa. Secundo, personae possibilitas “conceptibilis” sine corpore existendi intelligatur ut realis possibilitas metaphysica. Cui realitati argumenta favent inductiva tum ex possibilitate imaginandi (aspectu primae personae) existentiam sine corpore; tum ex minutatim enarratis testimoniis experiendi status “extra corpus” et “prope mortem”; tum ex fi de fundamentali veritatis introspectionis in psychologia scientiis que cognitivis; tum ex unitate conscientiae ac possibilitate eam in spatium extra corpus extendendi. Tertio, e praemissarum congerie assertiones excludantur quibus homo animam habere vel substantiam materialem esse assumeretur. Quarto, principium S. Kripkii accipiatur, scil. corporis vel animae habitum personae essentialem esse debere. His omnibus servatis argumentum Swinburnii validum evadit, conclusionem suam plus credibilem reddens quam secus esset.
12. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke

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In the first half of the fifteenth century, the Italian logician, natural philosopher, and doctor of medicine Cajetan of Thiene wrote a commentary on William Heytesbury’s Regulae solvendi sophismata, which later became a part of the printed edition of Heytesbury’s treatises. Several late fifteenth century reprints sustained its circulation and further influence. Following Heytesbury, Cajetan listed four alternative treatments of paradoxes, where the first three were formulated in general logico-semantic terms and the last one in terms of obligationes. The present analysis reconstructs the first three positions in terms of the theories of logical operators endorsed as part of the solution to paradoxes. This reconstruction uncovers different underlying views of operators, namely context-sensitive (the function of operators is sensitive to contextual factors), value-functional (the function of operators is purely compositional), and supervaluationist (the function of operators saves classical tautologies by disregarding other factors).Priore dimidia parte saeculi 15 Caietanus de Thiena, logicus, physicus et medicus, commentarium super G. Hentisberi Regulis solvendi sophismata conscripsit, quod posterius una cum Hentisberi tractatibus typis impressum est. Cuius commentarii notitiam auctoritatemque continuam iteratae nonnullae eius editiones in fi ne 15 saeculi factae sustinebant. Caietanus (Hentisberum secutus) quattuor vias tractandi insolubilia distinxit, quarum tres primae conceptibus generalibus logico-semanticis, quarta doctrina de obligationibus innixae sunt. In analysi hic proposita auctor primas tres vias reconstruit, doctrinas varias de logicis coniunctionibus vel notis reserans, super quibus illae viae solvendi paradoxa fundantur. Quarum prima vim notarum a contextu sermonis dependentem facit. Altera notas pure “compositionaliter” tractat. Tertia iuxta modum doctrinae de “supervaluatione” omnes formales tautologias servat, aliis considerationibus neglectis.