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Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2010

A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Jan Palkoska
Pages 28-48

Descartova ontologie mentální reprezentace a otázka Suárezova vlivu
A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

The aim of the article is to critically assess the widespread surmise according to which Descartes was in certain important aspects of his thought infl uenced by Suárez’s Metaphysical Disputations. In the article this question is addressed with regard to the problem of the ontological background of the representational acts of a finite mind. Descartes’ position is reconstructed on the basis of an analysis of Meditation III and consequently of Descartes’ polemic with Johan de Kater in the First Objections and Replies; the reconstruction is accomplished by means of terms and concepts commonly used in the late scholastic thought of the end of the 16th century. An analysis of the key passage of Section 2 of Disputation 54 of the Metaphysical Disputations of Suárez (concerned with the distinction between extrinsic denominations and beings of reason) then shows, first, that Suárez’s position concerning the ontology of mental representation does indeed agree with that of Descartes, not Kater; second, that the implications of Suárez’s critique of certain theses concerning the identity of extrinsic denominations and beings of reason probably form an important part of the conceptual framework presupposed in the polemic between Decartes and Kater.

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