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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.