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81. 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.
82. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Domenic D’Ettore Analogy of Disjunction: John Duns Scotus vs. Hervaeus Natalis on the Univocity or Analogy of Being
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At the beginning of his influential De Nominum Analogia, Thomas de Vio Cajetan (1469–1534) mentions three mistaken positions on analogy. He does not attach names to these positions, but each one was held by distinguished Thomists of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Furthermore, their proponents were responding to the same set of challenges from John Duns Scotus that set the agenda for the De Nominum Analogia. In this paper, I would like to do something that Cajetan did not do, and that is, directly consider the merits of the first position in his list of mistaken accounts of analogy; namely, the position that analogy is constituted by (in)disjunction. More specifically, this paper investigates the polemical use for which Hervaeus Natalis (1260–1323) deployed analogy of disjunction; the reply of John Duns Scotus; and the implications of this back and forth for understanding the Thomist-Scotist dispute over the concept of being.
83. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Claus A. Andersen Scotist Metaphysics in Mid-Sixteenth Century Padua Giacomino Malafossa from Barge’s A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics
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For more than four decades around the middle of the sixteenth century, Giacomino Malafossa from Barge († 1563) held the Scotist chair of metaphysics at the University of Padua. In his A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics, in Which Is Included the Question, Whether Metaphysics Is a Science, he developed a remarkable stance on the subject matter of metaphysics. Metaphysics has two objects: being qua being and God. However, only when it deals with the latter object can it be said to be a science in a strict sense. The reason is that the strict Aristotelian notion of science presupposes that the object of any science has demonstrable properties, which is the case with God, but not with being as being. Although being qua being does have certain properties, namely the transcendentals, these cannot be truly demonstrated. Malafossa’s Quaestio bears witness both to the clash between Averroism and Scotism at the Italian Renaissance universities and to the complexity of the Scotist tradition itself. This introductory article highlights Malafossa’s sources and traces the critical reception of his views among later Scotist authors.
84. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke Late Scholastic Analyses of Inductive Reasoning
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The late scholastic era was, among others, contemporary to the “emergence of probability”, the German academic philosophy from Leibniz to Kant, and the introduction of Newtonian physics. Within this era, two branches of the late-scholastic analysis of induction can be identified, one which can be thought of as a continual development of earlier scholastic approaches, while the other one absorbed influences of early modern philosophy, mathematics, and physics. Both branches of scholastic philosophy share the terminology of modalities, probability, and forms of (inductive) arguments. Furthermore, induction was commonly considered valid as a result of being a covert syllogism. Last but not least, there appears to be a difference in emphasis between the two traditions’ analyses of induction: while Tolomei discussed the theological presuppositions of induction, Amort’s “leges contingentium” exemplify the principles of induction by aleatory phenomena and Boscovich’s rules for inductive arguments are predominately concerned with the generalisation of macro-level observations to the micro-level.
85. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Giacomino Malafossa from Barge A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics in Which Is Included the Question Whether Metaphysics Is a Science
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Giacomino Malafossa’s A Question on the Subject of Metaphysics, in Which Is Included the Question Whether Metaphysics Is a Science, from 1551 (first printed 1553) consists of two parts. In the first part, the author discusses various positions regarding the subject matter of metaphysics. In particular, he debates which conditions any scientific object must fulfill, the most important one being that an object of a science virtually contains all of its truths. Since being as being virtually contains whatever is considered in metaphysics, this is the adequate object of metaphysics. In the second part, the author addresses the problem that the transcendental properties of being are not truly demonstrable. This endangers the status of metaphysics as a science in the strict Aristotelian sense. The author discusses various Scotist solutions to this problem. His own solution is that metaphysics indeed is a science in the strict sense, but only when it considers God, not when it considers being as being, thus unwittingly challenging Duns Scotus’s own idea that metaphysics is a “transcending science” because of its consideration of being and its transcendental properties. Malafossa’s Quaestio is an important example of the metaphysical discourse at the University of Padua in the sixteenth century.
86. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Lukáš Novák Confusion or Precision?: Disentangling the Semantics of a Pair of Scholastic Terms
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This paper is an attempt to explicate, using the method of conceptual reconstruction rather than historical, text-oriented analysis, the plurality of meanings of two connected terms that play an important role in scholastic thought: “confusio” and “praecisio”. These terms are used in a plurality of meanings by the scholastics, and sometimes even in one and the same context. The aim of this paper is to disentangle these various meanings from each other, offer their precise definitions and explore not only their interrelations, but also their role and impact in such crucial matters as theory of abstraction, realism-nominalism dispute, theory of science, or theory of analogy.
87. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Walter B. Redmond A Logic of Creating: St. Thomas’s “Existential Proof” A Modal Reading
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I describe a “logic of creating” inspired by the “existential” argument of the existence of God in St. Thomas Aquinas’s De Ente et Essentia. suggest a modal reading of his reasoning based upon states-of-affairs said to be actual, contingent, necessary and the like. I take “creating” as teasing actuality out of possibility. After explaining the modal logic that I am assuming and relating it to Christian understandings of meaning and being, I present my modal interpretation, contrasting it with the views of three modern philosophers. In an appendix I will analyze the text of St. Thomas’s existential proof.
88. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Petr Glombíček Wolterstorff on Reid’s Notion of Common Sense
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The paper addresses a mainstream contemporary view of the notion of common sense in Thomas Reid’s philosophy, as proposed by Nicholas Wolterstorff who claims that Reid was not clear about the concept of common sense, or about the principles of common sense. In contrast, this paper presents Reid’s conception as a clear and traditional Aristotelian notion of common sense and its principles as presuppositions of particular sense judgments, usually taken for granted. The alleged confusion about principles is resolved by a distinction between principles of common sense and first principles as such.
89. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Paolo C. Biondi A Rose by Any Other Name…: Reply to David Botting, “Aristotle and Hume on the Idea of Natural Necessity”
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The question of how, according to Aristotle, the principles of science are acquired remains contested among scholars. An aspect of this broader topic concerns the role of induction, and whether it is able to provide us with knowledge of natural necessity without the assistance of intuition (nous). In a recent publication in this journal, David Botting argues in favour of the enumerative/empiricist interpretation of induction and criticizes the intuitive/rationalist interpretation of it, a version of which was defended in one of my publications. He thinks that Aristotle is like Hume: both understand the cognitive process of induction similarly; and, both are equally skeptical about acquiring knowledge of natural necessity through induction. My reply argues that reading Aristotle’s induction in Humean terms is problematic in several respects. I argue, in addition, that natural necessity can be known through induction if nous is involved. My explanation of how this is possible relies on thinking of the act of noēsis in terms of an act of recognition. Botting claims, furthermore, that Aristotle only differs from Hume in that the former does have a non-inductive and non-intuitive method by which natural necessity may become known, and which Botting calls “the constructive proof of necessity”. My reply examines this method, showing how certain steps in it rely on cognitive acts that are really acts of intuition merely expressed in Humean terms. Despite the criticisms, I end with suggestions for how Botting’s account might offer original paths of research to Aristotle scholars seeking to answer the question of the acquisition of principles of science, particularly in the early stages of this process.
90. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Daniel Heider The Nature of Suárez’s Metaphysics. Disputationes Metaphysicae and Their Main Systematic Strains: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The paper presents seven basic features of Francisco Suárez’s metaphysics. They are as follows: “Univocalization” of the concept of being and transcendental properties, “reification” of the act-potency doctrine, “ontologization” of individuality, “conceptualization” of the Scotist perspective, “existential” character of the concept of being, “epistemologization” and “methodologization” of metaphysics. Whereas the first five are indicated as remaining in the preserve of the traditional scholastic philosophy, the last two are taken as portending the methodological priority of the subjective states of affairs of early modern “main-stream” philosophy.
91. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Lukáš Novák Conceptual atomism, “Aporia Generis” and a Way Out for Leibniz and the Aristotelians: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Conceptual atomism is a doctrine deeply rooted in the tradition of western thought. It originated with Aristotle, was present in the entire Aristotelian tradition and came to its most pure expression in the work of Leibniz. However, ab initio this doctrine suffered from certain difficulty labelled traditionally “aporia generis”, namely the problem of how it is possible to reconcile the absolute simplicity of the primitive concepts (or ultimate differentiae) with the existence of transcendental concepts, that is, concepts necessarily included in every concept. In this paper the entire problem is subject to an analysis and a solution is suggested, based on a distinction between two different kinds of conceptual containment: the primitive concepts do not contain the transcendentals formally, that is, as constituents thatcan be revealed by means of definitional analysis, but they nevertheless do contain them virtually, that is, they strictly imply them. It is noted that the germ of this solution is already present in Aristotle.
92. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Jordi Sales-Coderch, Josep Monserrat-Molas “A more political animal than bees”: Polity as an intermediate state, as the highest state, or as an agent of stability
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The example of the bees, as they appear in Plato’s Phaedo, taken up again in Aristotle’s Politics and in Hobbes’ commentary contained in Leviathan, shows the potential of the phenomenological reading of examples as a method of understanding the basis on which philosophical thought is determined. Sign and communication are peculiar to gregarious and political animal life. In seeking to embody the Aristotelian concept of lógos in the context of a living community, as the basis for interaction and co-existence, we must be sure that our interpretation does not reduce it to what, according to Aristotle, is simply animal behaviour. The Platonic sequence “ass, wolf, bee, god” situates the model of political life between a life in injustice and a life in wisdom. The Aristotelian variationdetermines the lógos on what is just and what is unjust as a natural increment in lucidity, compared with the mere exercising of gregariousness and sociability. Hobbes’ inversion of the Aristotelian example considers a natural reality in the light of the distortions that complicate and make it impossible. Hobbes thus shifts human politics towards artificiality that renders it viable. In each case, the example holds up a different mirror to the same reality.
93. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Peter Volek Philosophical and Theological Analysis of the Language of Prayer: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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In this paper, we examine the issue of the language of the Christian prayer from philosophical and theological point of view. We come to the conclusion that for the closer enquiry of the Christian prayer philosophy can be inspired by theology. For if we want to determine exactly between whom the relation of prayer lies, we might need to draw on the inspiration from the theological sources concerning the Holy Trinity as well as the involvement of all the saints, especially of Virgin Mary, and angels in the prayers. Within the framework of the philosophical analysis of the prayer we determine it as a participatory dialogical relation between the praying human being, the three divine persons, Virgin Mary, other saints, the angels, and the group of meaningful assertions that form the content of a prayer. Beside this on the basis of our faith we accept that every prayer is preceded by God, and the structure of this approaching of man by God we adopted from Bocheński.
94. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Miroslav Hanke John Buridan’s Propositional Semantics: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The paper deals with Buridan’s approach to the problems of propositional semantics, contained in his logical works. This question can be conceived both as semantic (definition of truth) and ontological (ontological status of states of affairs). Buridan’s solution of both of these questions is based upon a terminist theory of meaning. Theory of truth is constructed as suppositional, not as significational, which enables the definition of truth in terms of the semantic values of components of a particular kind of proposition. The other important problem, the semantic analysis of accusative and infinitive constructions (i.e. of sentential nominalizations), is solved within the semantics of terms by exhibiting the logical structure of a proposition. Buridan’s crucial strategy is therefore the elimination of the apparent ontological commitments of a particular discourse in terms of dismissing the denotative theory of meaning.
95. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Erik Åkerlund Suárez on Forms, Universals and Understanding: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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The interpretations in the secondary literature of Suárez’ position in the “classical” debate on the status of universals vary considerably. In this article, the problem is looked at from a slightly different angle: that of Suárez’ basic metaphysics of substantial forms and his views concerning understanding and knowledge. These areas of Suárez’ thought are thoroughly analysed and related to each other. Regarding the question of the status of universals it is argued that Suárez’ thought in the areas of substantial forms and of understanding generally supports the reading of Suarez as a “moderate nominalist”.
96. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Daniel D. Novotný In Defense of Baroque Scholasticism: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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Until recently Francisco Suárez (1548–1617) has been regarded as the “last medieval philosopher,” representing the end of the philosophically respectful scholastic tradition going back to the Early Middle Ages. In fact, however, Suárez stood at the beginning, rather than at the end, of a distinguished scholastic culture, which should best be labeled “Baroque scholasticism,” and which flourished throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In this paper I offer some ideas on why the study of this philosophical culture has been so far neglected by the mainstream Anglo-American philosophical historiography and argue that more attention should be paid to it.
97. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Martin Ossikovski Some Medieval Readings of Aristotle’s Argument for the Collective Superiority of “the Many”: A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
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An essential challenge of Aristotle’s Politics arises from the juxtaposition of contrasting and competing arguments in favour of virtuous monarchy, on the one hand, and the collective superiority of “the many”, on the other. This paper examines the purely theoretical reception of this contrast in the writings of some late medieval Aristotelians by focusing on a key section in Politics Γ (1280a8–1284b34). After reviewing Aristotle’s problematic position, the paper discusses its interpretation in the commentaries of Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas/Peter of Auvergne and Walter Burley, as well as its use in the works of Giles of Rome, John of Paris and Marsilius of Padua. On that basis, finally, the paper outlines some general trends with regard to how medieval scholars dealt with Aristotle’s idea of the rule of the many as opposed to that of one or few virtuous persons.
98. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Gregory B. Sadler Aneu Orexeōs Nous: Virtue, Affectivity, and Aristotelian Rule of Law
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Passages in Aristotle’s Politics Book 3 are cited in discussions of the “rule of law”, most particularly sections in 1287a where the famous characterization of law as “mind without desire” occurs and in 1286a where Aristotle raises and explores the question whether it is better to be ruled by the best man or the best laws. My paper aims, by exegetically culling out Aristotle’s position in the Politics, Nicomachean Ethics and Rhetoric, to argue that his view on the rule of law and its relations to human subjects is considerably more complex and considerably more interesting. Despite Aristotle’s dictum, laws are not expressions or institutions of a pure and passionless rationality, and in order to be framed, understood and administered well, one must both have the sort of solid understanding of virtues, vices, passions, and motives of human action that Aristotle’s moral philosophy provides and have developed, at least to some degree, certain virtues. My paper focuses particularly on three themes: the role of the passions and desires in judgment, action, virtues and vices; the inescapability of passions and desires in the functioning of law; the possibility for rule of law and a certain level of virtue to be mutually supporting.
99. Studia Neoaristotelica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Miroslav Hanke John Mair on Semantic Paradoxes: Alethic and Correspondence Paradoxes II
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John Mair (1467–1550) was an influential post-medieval scholar. This paper focuses on his Tractatus insolubilium, in which he proposed semantic analysis of self-referential phenomena, in particular on his solution to alethic and correspondence paradoxes and his treatment of their general semantic aspects as well as particular applications. His solution to paradoxes is based on the so-called “network evaluation”, i.e. on a semantics which defines the concepts of truth and correspondence with reality in contextual terms. Consequently, the relation between semantic valuation, synonymy and contradiction must be redefined.