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Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 16, Issue 4, 2019

Series Bohemoslovaca

Petr Pavlas
Pages 41-77

Komeniáni v Karteziánském Zrcadle
Boj o definice některých metafyzických pojmů v polovině 17. století

The article picks up the threads of especially Martin Muslow’s 1990s research and describes the distinctiveness of the “relational metaphysics of resemblance” in the middle of the seventeenth century. The late Renaissance metaphysical outlines, carried out in the Comenius circle, are characteristic for their relationality, accent on universal resemblance, providentialism, pansensism, sensualism, triadism – and also for their effort to define metaphysical terms properly. While Comenians share the last – and only the last – feature with Cartesians, they differ in the other features. Therefore, Cartesians and Comenians cannot come to terms in the issue of the proper definitions either. Quite on the contrary, they oppose each other on this issue. By means of Johann Clauberg’s criticism of Georg Ritschel and René Descartes’s only supposedly “mysterious” and “solipsist” second meditation, the article turns a Cartesian mirror to the Comenian metaphysical project. In its light, the definitions of Georg Ritschel, Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld and Jan Amos Comenius turn out to be unacceptable for Cartesians (and also for Thomists and, in part, for Baconians). Despite their superficially Aristotelian-scholastic appearance, their content is notably Paracelsian-Campanellian (with a Timplerian foundation). Even though Comenian definitions of metaphysical terms had been refused and refuted by Cartesians, they experienced a second lifespan in their robust influence on Leibniz and Newton.

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