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181. 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.
182. 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).
183. 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.
184. 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.
185. 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.
186. 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.
187. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Louis Groarke A Response to “How (Not) to Be an Aristotelian with Regard to Contemporary Physics”
188. 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.
189. 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.
190. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
David Botting Aristotle and Hume on the Idea of Natural Necessity
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There is a tension in scholarship about Aristotle’s philosophy, especially his philosophy of science, between empiricist readings and rationalist readings. A prime site of conflict is Posterior Analytics II.19 where Aristotle, after having said that we know the first principles by induction suddenly says that we know them by nous. Those taking the rationalist side find in nous something like a faculty of “intuition” and are led to the conclusion that by “induction” Aristotle has some kind of idea of “intuitive induction”. Those taking the empiricist side resist this temptation but then struggle to explain how we can know first principles by induction and usually end by relegating induction to a mere subsidiary role; well-known problems of induction, with which Aristotle shows some familiarity, militate against taking anything we learn from induction to be a first principle or even certain. I am on the side of the empiricists, and would like to adopt as a methodological assumption that no concept of intuition occurs in any of Aristotle’s works. That is a far more ambitious project than I am attempting here, however. Here, I want to defend a non-intuitive, enumerative kind of induction against a raft of criticisms raised against it in the collection Shifting the Paradigm: Alternative Approaches to Induction (Biondi & Groarke 2014). I want to defend the position that Hume and Aristotle have basically the same conception of induction and of what it can and cannot do. What it cannot do, for both, is prove natural necessities. A paradigm shift is neither necessary nor desirable for a proper understanding of Aristotle’s philosophy of science. Aristotle is still the empiricist philosopher we all thought he was before reading Posterior Analytics II.19
191. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Davis Kuykendall Leibniz on Spontaneity, The Eduction of Substantial Forms, and Creaturely Interaction: A Tension
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Leibniz argued that (i) substantial forms only begin to exist via Divine creation; (ii) created substances cannot transeuntly cause accidents in distinct substances; and yet (iii) created substances immanently produce their accidents. Some of Leibniz’s support for (i) came from his endorsement of a widely-made argument against the eduction of substantial forms. However, in defense of eduction, Suárez argued that if creatures cannot produce substantial forms, they also cannot produce accidents, threatening the consistency of (i) and (iii). In this paper, I argue that Leibniz successfully defends the consistency of (i) and (iii) against Suárez’s argument, but at the expense of the consistency of (ii) and (iii).
192. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
David Svoboda, Prokop Sousedík The Emergence of (Instrumental) Formalism and a New Conception of Science
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According to formalism, a mathematician is not concerned with mysterious metaphysical entities but with mathematical symbols. As a result, mathematical entities become simply sensible signs. However, the price that has to be paid for this move seems to be too high, for mathematics, at present considered to be the queen of sciences, turns out to be a to a contentless game. That is why it seems absurd to regard numbers and all mathematical entities as mere symbols. The aim of our paper is to show the reasons that have led some philosophers and mathematicians to adopt the view that mathematical terms in the proper sense refer to nothing and mathematical propositions have no real content. At the same time we want to explain how formalism helped to overcome the traditional concept of science.
193. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
T. Allan Hillman, Tully Borland Duns Scotus on the Nature of Justice
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Duns Scotus has a remarkably unique and comprehensive theory concerning the nature of justice. Alas, commentators on his work have yet to full flesh out the details. Here, we begin the process of doing so, focusing primarily on his metaethical views on justice, i.e., what justice is or amounts to. While Scotus’s most detailed account of justice can be found in his Ordinatio (IV, q. 46 especially), we find further specifics emerging in a number of other contexts and works. We argue that Scotus offers a unique contribution in the history of philosophy: justice in God is a formality (formalitas), in humans a virtue, and when attributed to actions, a relation. Even though formalities, virtues, and relations are ontologically distinct items, each can satisfy Scotus’s preferred Anselmian definition of justice—rectitude of will preserved for its own sake—since each characterizes a will aimed at rendering to goodness what is its due.
194. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Christopher Byrne Reply to Jiayu Zhang