Volume 10, Issue 2, 2013
A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism
Mark K. Spencer
Transcendental Order in Suárez
Francisco Suárez’s account of the transcendentals in Disputationes Metaphysicae 3 has been noted by Aertsen, Courtine, Darge, and Sanz for its reductionism; Suárez argues that all proposed transcendentals reduce to unum, verum, and bonum. This scholarship overlooks a key feature of Suárez’s account. In addition to providing his own theory, Suárez also works out a meta-metaphysical framework with which it can be shown how any proposed metaphysical item, including those that do not fit into Suárez’s own theory, relates to Being; he also works out rules for ordering these items. The way in which Suárez orders and reduces items related to Being involves several different kinds of reduction, and is more complex than current interpretations allow. Suárez’s framework and rules provide
a neutral standard for assessing the truth of any theory of transcendentals; this is shown through examining four accounts of the proposed transcendental aliquid using Suárez’s framework and rules.