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41. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Ľuboš Rojka A Probabilistic Argument for the Reality of Free Personal Agency
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If the influence of libertarian free will on human behaviour is real, the frequency of certain freely chosen actions will differ from the probability of their occurrences deduced from the statistical calculations and neuroscientific observations and laws. According to D. Pereboom, contemporary science does not prove the efficacy of libertarian free will. According to P. van Inwagen, there is always a random element in free decisions, and hence the effect of the free will remains unknown. Swinburne observes that it is not correct to conclude that libertarian free will has no causal effect in the physical world. One can only conclude that these choices are not neurologically real. People sometimes choose to act on abstract principles, and they can do so on a regular and long-term basis. Consequently, human behaviour can be predicted and explained in terms of personal agency and the reasons upon which the people have chosen to act. Probabilistic calculations strengthen the argument that the best way to explain and predict such rational behaviour is to affirm the efficacy of the libertarian free will, which can overcome neurophysiological motivational states of the body and which guarantees a kind of long-term rational determinism.
42. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Lukáš Novák How (Not) to Be an Aristotelian With Respect to Contemporary Physics
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Haec tractatio est responsio critica ad tractationem Ludovici Groarke, titulo “Orbitae ellipticae, possintne Aristotelice explicari?”, necnon ad commentationem Jacobi Franklin, cui titulus “De orbitis ellipticis ac Aristotelica revolutione scientifica”. Auctor imprimis ostendit (ultra censuram a J. Franklin factam procedens) explanationem “Aristotelicam” orbitarum ellipticarum a L. Groarke propositam non solum analysi Newtonianae repugnare, sed etiam in se esse incohaerentem. Porro auctor alia L. Groarke proposita impugnat: scil. nostri temporis physicam mathematicam esse essentialiter Platonicam, item Newtonianam orbitarum ellipticarum explicationem assymetriam prae se ferre inexplicabilem (cui sententiae J. Franklin quoque assentit). Auctor e contra arguit, textibus nonnulis S. Thomae Aquinatis innixus, physicam modernam, mathematica sui methodo non exclusa, realisticae epistemologiae Aristotelicae esse congruam, immo pure Aristotelice intelligi posse (ac debere). Auctor tamen reicit quod J. Franklin insinuat, scil. physicam modernam nunc Aristotelicae philosophiae naturalis explere munia. Physica mathematica enim, methodo sua constricta, quaestiones genuine philosophicas (nempe ad essentias rerum spectantes) movere non potest, ac proinde philosophiae naturalis vice fungi nequit.This discussion article is a critical reaction to L. Groarke’s paper “Can Aristotelianism Make Sense of Perihelion–Aphelion Orbits?” and J. Franklin’s comment “Elliptical Orbits and the Aristotelian Scientific Revolution”. In the first place, the author shows (going beyond Franklin’s criticism) that Groarke’s proposed “Aristotelian” explanation of elliptical planetary orbits is inconsistent both in itself and with the Newtonian analysis. Furthermore, he challenges Groarke’s claims that modern mathematical physics is inherently Platonic and that the Newtonian explication of elliptical orbits involves unexplained assymmetries (a claim endorsed by Franklin as well). With the help of several Aquinas’s texts the author argues that modern physics, including its maths-driven methodology, is not incompatible with Aristotelian realist epistemology but can (and should) be interpreted in a purely Aristotelian vein. On the other hand, the author rejects the view implied by Franklin that modern physics is an up-to-date replacement of Aristotelian philosophy of nature. Due to its methodological limits, mathematical physics is incapable of asking genuinely philosophical questions concerning the essence of bodies, and so it cannot be expected to do the job of natural philosophy.
43. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Peter A. Kwasniewski Divine Wisdom, Natural Order, and Human Intervention: Leibniz on the Intersection of Theology, Teleology, and Technology
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In the Discourse on Metaphysics Leibniz addresses how human beings ought to intervene in a preharmonized world and contribute to the unfolding of its goodness. His view exhibits an instructive tension between belief in a providentially fixed natural order, on the one hand, and, on the other, a characteristically early modern belief in a world of infinite possibilities for human actors, that is, developers of technology. Other texts in Leibniz, as well as comparison with Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant, helps to reveal the extent to which Leibniz is torn between venerating the ancient tradition of natural philosophy, a purely “contemplative” discipline, and embracing the modern project of mastery of nature, a pragmatic and transformative enterprise.
44. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Markku Keinänen, Jani Hakkarainen Kind Instantiation and Kind Change: A Problem for Four-Category Ontology
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In Lowe’s Four-Category Ontology, instantiation is a basic formal ontological relation between particulars (objects, modes) and their kinds (kinds, attributes). Therefore, instantiation must be considered as a metaphysically necessary relation, which also rules out the metaphysical possibility of kind change. Nevertheless, according to Lowe, objects obtain their identity conditions in a more general level than specific natural kinds, which allows for kind change. There also seem to be actual examples of kind change. An advocate of Four-Category Ontology is obliged to resolve the tension between these mutually incompatible claims. In this article, we argue that the only viable option for an advocate of Four-Category Ontology is to bite the bullet and stick to the necessity of each of the most specific natural kinds to the object instantiating it. As a major drawback, the four-category ontologist does not have any credible means of allowing for kind change or determination of the identity conditions on a more general level.
45. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Ben Page Thomas Aquinas, “the Greatest Advocate of Dispositional Modality”: Fact or Fiction?
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Aquinas has been labelled “the greatest advocate of dispositional modality”, by one contemporary power theorist. This paper’s goal is to critically analyse this claim. Before doing so, however, it first explicates some components of Aquinas’s ontology of powers, putting him in dialogue with contemporary discussions. Next it explicates the two competing views of the modality of powers, dispositional modality and conditional necessity, and proceeds to examine the textual basis as to which of the two Aquinas held. Ultimately the paper finds evidence in favour of the latter. The paper then concludes with a suggestion as to how Aquinas would explain examples given by those who advocate the dispositional modality position. In answer to the title, therefore, the paper argues that thinking of Aquinas as the greatest advocate of dispositional modality is a fiction, and that this award belongs to someone else.
46. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Paul Richard Blum Philosophie des Humanismus und der Renaissance (1350–1600)
47. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Tero Tulenheimo Johannes Rudbeckius’s Conclusio Collegii Logici (1609): Introduction to the Translation
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Propono hic conversionem in linguam Anglicam conclusionis Collegii Logici, anno 1608–1609 semestri studiorum spatio hiberno a Johanne Rudbeckio Wittenbergæ habiti. Hic commentarius prooemium in conversionem est. Rudbeckius (1581–1646) primus Suecus erat, qui librum didacticum de logica publicavit. Maiorem partem libri iam anno 1606 scripserat, cum Mathesis Professor Upsaliensis esset, sed Logica ex optimis et præstantissimis autoribus collecta & conscripta non ante annum 1625 edita sit. Cum Johanne Canuti Lenæo (1573–1669), collega suo, Rudbeckius primas partes agebat in inducenda in Sueciam scholastica Lutherana, cuius rei scopus defensio erat fidei Lutheranæ per logicam et metaphysicam Aristotelicam. In primo capite condiciones conclusionis Rudbeckii commentor. Secundum caput brevem Rudbeckii vitæ descriptionem offert. Tertium quartumque capita de scripto converso et de ipsa conversione observationes quasdam continent.This note is an introduction to the English translation of the concluding speech of the Collegium Logicum that Johannes Rudbeckius taught in Wittenberg during the winter semester 1608–1609. Rudbeckius (1581–1646) was the first Swede to publish a textbook on logic; his Logica ex optimis et præstantissimis autoribus collecta & conscripta (299 pages) appeared in 1625. The first version of the textbook was completed already in 1606 when Rudbeckius was professor of mathematics at Uppsala University in Sweden. Together with his colleague Johannes Canuti Lenæus (1573–1669), Rudbeckius played a key role in the introduction of Lutheran scholasticism in Sweden; this was a movement within the Lutheran Church whose aim was to defend the Lutheran faith by making use of Aristotelian logic and metaphysics. In Section 1, I comment on the context of Rudbeckius’s discourse. Section 2 offers a short biography of Rudbeckius. Sections 3 and 4 contain, respectively, some remarks about the text translated and about the translation itself.
48. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Johannes Rudbeckius Concluding Speech of the Collegium Logicum That Was Held in Wittenberg: from 20th October 1608 until 12th January 1609
49. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5
Martin Cajthaml Hodnotová slepota podle von Hildebranda
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The paper describes the theory of the so-called “value-blindness” created by Dietrich von Hildebrand. The importance of the topic becomes apparent especially as its elaboration reveals a complex and dynamic relationship between moral cognitivity (esp. the cognition of values and disvalues) and fundamental moral attitudes (moralische Grundhaltungen) of the cognizing subject. The article presents Hildebrand’s teaching on moral blindness as a coherent theory that was first introduced in the early work Sittlichkeit und ethische Werterkenntnis, and subsequently in the late Graven Images. By way of a conclusion the author examines the relation between Hildebrand’s theory of moral blindness to Aristotle’s doctrine of acrasia. The significance of Hildebrand’s theory for fundamental systematic questions and problems of moral philosophy thus becomes manifest.
50. 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.
51. 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.
52. 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”.
53. 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.
54. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Anna Klimeková Etika, spoločenské vzt'ahy, spoločnost': A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
55. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Stanislav Sousedík Bohemia Jesuitica 1556–2006 Oznámení o konání mezinárodní vědecké konference v Praze: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
56. 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.
57. 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.
58. 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.
59. 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.
60. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Daniel Dominik Novotný Report of the Caramuel Conference 2006: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism