Volume 18, Issue 1, 2021
Hurtado de Mendoza on the “Moral” Modality
Part 1: Hurtado’s Writings Prior to 1630
One of the prominent debates of post-Tridentine scholasticism addressed probability, often expressed by the term “moral” (or adverbially, “morally”), originally motivated by the epistemology of decision-making and the debates on predestination and “middle knowledge”. Puente (or Pedro) Hurtado de Mendoza (1578–1641), an Iberian Jesuit and the author of one of the earliest Jesuit philosophy courses, entered this debate in the early-seventeenth century. This paper presents his 1610s and 1620s analyses of different forms or degrees of evidence, certainty, and necessity or impossibility, addressing the commonly-used trichotomy of the “metaphysical”, “physical”, and “moral”, in which “moral” is the weakest form of a modality, together with the paradigmatic examples and interesting applications of the framework.