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61. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 5
Roman Míčka Scholastický příspěvek k ideálu jednoty lidstva a jejímu politickému vyjádření v 16. a 17. století v kontextu předchozího a následného vývoje
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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’.
62. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 6
Lukáš Novák Doctrina de connotatis v barokně-scholastické diskusi
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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).
63. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 7
Lukáš Novák Iracionalita racionálního kompatibilismu: (Kritika studie Davida Peroutky)
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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.
64. 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.
65. 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.
66. 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.
67. 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.
68. 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.
69. 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.
70. 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.
71. 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.
72. 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
73. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
David Peroutka Stručně k Novákově libertariánské polemice
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In response to Novák’s polemic attack I try to remove some misunderstandings and defend compatibilism about free will. My main argument goes thus: Let us take for example two agents who both decide not to kill. The first one makes his choice out of his dilemmatic mental state of incertitude and perplexity. Conversely the second person understands the sense of moral principles so clearly that she makes the right decision with necessity. Since the morality of the second person surpasses that of the fi rst, my point is that the libertarian thinker puts in confl ict morality and freedom: The more a person (the latter agent) is virtuous, the less she is free (for the supposed necessity of her volition is taken to be incompatible with freedom in the libertarian theory). And – on the other hand – the less an agent (the former one) is moral, the more he is free. Indeed, he would be free while the latter unfree if it were true (as the libertarian believes) that freedom entails contingency. This is a peculiar rule of proportion. Compatibilism avoids such a peculiarity.
74. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Prokop Sousedík, David Svoboda Je Tomášovo pojetí matematiky instrumentalistické?: Reakce na kritiku L. Nováka
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In our contribution we continue our discussion with L. Novák, who criticised our paper “Různá pojetí matematiky u vybraných autorů od antiky po raný novověk.” Novák’s critique titled “Tomáš Akvinský instrumentalistou v matematice?” served as an incentive for us not only to clarify certain points, but also to deepen our original exposition. We focused on Aquinas’s understanding of mathematics, the middle sciences and philosophy. We still insist that two substantially different interpretations of these disciplines are possible. On the one hand, there is much evidence for Aquinas’s realistic approach to mathematics and the middle sciences. On the other hand, ideas can also be found in Aquinas’s texts supporting an instrumentalist reading. In our opinion, it is important to point out these two approaches to the mathematical sciences in order to adequately understand the subsequent evolution of the history of ideas, especially in the modern period.
75. 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.
76. 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.
77. 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.
78. 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”.
79. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Lukáš Novák (2) Odpověď prof. Sousedíkovi: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
80. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Tomáš Machula Problémy hylemorfismu: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The article deals with the concepts of matter and form. These concepts belong to the Aristotelian theory of hylomorphism which was very influential in the Middle-Ages and in the early modern second-scholastic cosmology. At present, this theory is discussed by authors of both scholastic and analytical backgrounds. The article presents and discusses some of the recent commentaries on this topic.