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21. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Vlastimil Vohánka Necessary laws? Seifert vs. Oderberg
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I discuss Josef Seifert, a realist phenomenologist, and David Oderberg, an Aristotelian. Both endorse essences, understood as objective quiddities. Both argue that no (a posteriori) law of nature is strongly (metaphysically) necessary: i.e. true in every possible world. But they disagree about weak necessity of laws: Seifert argues that no law is true in every possible world in which its referring expressions are non-empty, while Oderberg argues that some (indeed, any) is. I restate, relate, and review reasons of both authors for each of those theses. Seifert’s reasons include God’s ability to do miracles, conceivability of counterinstances to laws, and many others. Oderberg’s reasons include dependence of laws on particulars, depiction of laws as truths about properties necessarily connected with essences, and explanation of persistent regularities by means of that necessary connection. I argue that no reason of either Seifert or Oderberg is convincing, as its stands. But I also argue that given God and his ability to do miracles, the idea of “meaningful” but non-necessary connection between essences — an idea endorsed but insuffi ciently utilized by Seifert — is a better essentialist explanation of persistent regularities. This explanation implies that no law is necessary, be it weakly or strongly.
22. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke Analysis of Self-Reference in Martin Le Maistre’s Tractatus Consequentiarum
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Martin Le Maistre’s Tractatus consequentiarum presents an analysis of self-reference based upon the principle that sentential meaning is closed under entailment. A semantics based on such principle off ers a conservative treatment of self-referential sentences compatible with the principle of bivalence and classical rules of inference. Le Maistre’s crucial arguments are formally reconstructed in the framework recently defended by Stephen Read and Catarina Dutilh Novaes as part of an analysis of Bradwardinian semantics.
23. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Peter Forrest James Franklin: An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics: Mathematics as the Science of Quantity and Structure
24. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Michael Sullivan Edward Feser: Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction
25. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Kazimierz Twardowski Contemporary Philosophy on Immortality of the Soul
26. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Kazimierz Twardowski The Metaphysics of Soul
27. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
W. Matthews Grant, Mark K. Spencer Activity, Identity, and God: A Tension in Aquinas and his Interpreters
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Are all God’s activities identical to God? If not, which are identical to God and which not? Although it is seldom noticed, the texts of Aquinas (at least on the surface) suggest conflicting answers to these questions, giving rise to a diversity of opinion among interpreters of Aquinas. In this paper, we draw attention to this conflict and offer what we believe to be the strongest textual and speculative support for and against each of the main answers to these questions.
28. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Sonia Kamińska Kazimierz Twardowski’s Breakthrough Papers: Introduction to the Translation
29. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
William F. Vallicella Van Inwagen on Fiction, Existence, Properties, Particulars, and Method
30. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Michael W. Tkacz Metaphysics from a Biological Point of View
31. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
The Emergence of Structuralism and Formalism
32. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Ľuboš Rojka The Modal Argument for the Soul / Body Dualism
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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.
33. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke Cajetan of Thiene on the Logic of Paradox
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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.
34. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
John Kronen, Sandra Menssen Towards a Robust Hylomorphism
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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.
35. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Monika Mansfeld The Fourfold Division of Opposition in Questions on Aristotle’s “Categories” (Quaestiones super “Praedicamenta” Aristotelis) by Benedict Hesse, Paul of Pyskowice and in the Oldest Cracow Commentary on the Categories Preserved in Cod. bj 1941
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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.
36. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Louis Groarke Can Aristotelianism Make Sense of Perihelion–Aphelion Orbits?
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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.
37. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
James Franklin Elliptical Orbits and the Aristotelian Scientific Revolution Comment on Groarke
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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.
38. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
William F. Vallicella Butchvarov on the Dehumanization of Philosophy
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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.
39. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Tianyue Wu The Ontological Status of the Body in Aquinas’s Hylomorphism
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Hylomorphism is central to Thomistic philosophical anthropology. However, little attention has been paid to the ontological status of the body in this theoretical framework. This essay aims to show that in Aquinas’s hylomorphic ontology, the body as a constituent part of the compound is above all prime matter as pure potentiality. In view of the contemporary criticisms of prime matter, it examines the fundamental theoretical presuppositions of this controversial concept and offers a defensive reading of Aquinas’s conception of the body as prime matter. It also displays possible difficulties in identifying the body with prime matter and gives a clue indicating the way out. This effort will make it possible to defend the consistency of Aquinas’s conception of the body and to react to the severe criticism of hylomorphism in the philosophy of mind by contemporary philosophers such as Bernard Williams, namely by showing how hylomorphism can be formally consistent without slipping into the materialism or dualism it bitterly opposes.
40. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke The Closure Principle for Signification: (An Outline of a Dynamic Version)
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The Bradwardine-Read multiple-meanings solution to paradoxes invented in 1320s and formally reconstructed and developed in 2000s is based on the so-called “closure principle for signification”, in particular, for sentential meaning. According to this principle, sentences are assumed to signify whatever they imply. As a consequence, paradoxical sentences are proved to signify their own truth and thereby are reduced to simply false self-contradictions. One of the problems of this solution to paradoxes is that the closure principle over-generates if sentences are closed under unrestricted entailment. The present proposal will introduce a restriction based on what will be called the “dynamic closure principle”: sentential meaning will be regarded as closed under the inference steps performed in the (actual or optimal) process of evaluating the respective sentence’s truth-value.