Volume 19, Issue 1, 2022
Hurtado de Mendoza on the "Moral" Modality
Part 2: Hurtado’s 1630s writings
Puente Hurtado de Mendoza (1578–1641), Iberian Jesuit and author of one of the earliest comprehensive Baroque philosophy courses, entered the debate on the modality “moral” or “morally” in the sense of a qualifier of evidence, certainty, being, and necessity or impossibility in the first half of the seventeenth century. This paper presents his analysis of the different forms (or levels) of evidence and necessity or impossibility in 1630s, where “moral” represents the weakest degree of these properties. First, it covers the notion of moral evidence in the sense of a wise decision that is in accordance with the consensus of either the majority of mankind or of the learned community, as introduced in Disputationes de Deo. Second, it covers the notions of moral necessity and impossibility, introduced in De Deo homine in terms of a strong inclination, and developed in Hurtado’s later theological texts. Third, Hurtado introduced the notion “morally” in his De actibus humanis in frequentist terms.