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71. 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.
72. 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.
73. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Lukáš Lička Vnímání, kauzalita a pozornost Roger Bacon a Petr Olivi
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This paper investigates what conditions are to be met for sensory perception to occur. It introduces two different theories of perception that were held by two medieval Franciscan thinkers — namely, Roger Bacon (1214/1220–1292) and Peter Olivi (ca. 1248–1298). Bacon analyses especially the causal relation between the object and the sensory organ in his doctrine of the multiplication of species. In his view, a necessary condition of perception is the reception of the species in a fully disposed sensory organ. On the contrary, Olivi stresses the active role of the sensory power. A necessary condition of sensation is the aspectus — i.e. the focus of our power’s attention on the object. Furthermore, the paper investigates whether and how each of the two thinkers can deal with the arguments proposed by his opponent — namely whether Bacon’s theory is able to explain attention and what the causal role of the object in Olivi’s theory is.
74. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Lukáš Novák Tomáš Akvinský instrumentalistou v matematice?: (Kritika Sousedíkovy a Svobodovy interpretace)
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P. Sousedík and D. Svoboda, in their paper “Různá pojetí matematiky u vybraných autorů od antiky po raný novověk: Je matematika teoretická věda nebo pouhá technika?”, proposed an interpretation of Aquinas’s understanding of the nature of mathematics which the author regards as unsatisfactory. The purpose of this review article is to point out its problems and to suggest in its stead an adequate interpretation of Aquinas’s mind, on the basis of a detailed analysis of his texts. The author shows that Aquinas was by no means an instrumentalist in mathematics but considered mathematical truths to be directly applicable to “physical matter”. Such an application takes place in sciences like astronomy, harmonics or optics, which, although sometimes subsumed under mathematics broadly conceived, nevertheless form a special category qua the so-called “middle sciences” (viz. situated between mathematics and physics) and are thus no true species of mathematics. The fact that these sciences are also regarded as “arts” does not preclude their scientific character at all, since the two categories are not mutually exclusive, according to St. Thomas.
75. 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’.
76. 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).
77. 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.
78. 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.
79. 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.
80. 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.