Authors
Brian Embry
University of Toronto, St. George Campus (PhD)
Abstract
It is necessarily true that water is H2O, but it is a contingent fact that there is any water at all. Water therefore seems ill suited to ground the necessary truth that water is H2O. One view traditionally attributed to Scotus and Henry of Ghent was that while water is contingent, the essence of water is necessary; hence, the essence of water can ground the so-called eternal truth that water is H2O. Francisco Suárez rejects this view on the grounds that it contradicts the Christian doctrine of creation, according to which everything other than God was contingently created in time. Suárez’s own view of the eternal truths has proven elusive to commentators, but I argue that Suárez ultimately endorses a version of the view he rejects: essences ground the eternal truths. But this raises several puzzles: how is Suárez’s view distinct from the views traditionally ascribed to Scotus and Henry? How does Suárez’s view escape the argument from creation, which Suárez raises against his opponents? I argue that Suárez distinguishes between his view and his opponents’ view by saying that essences have “extrinsic being,” whereas his opponents claim that essences have “intrinsic being.” The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic being has not received much attention, but I argue that it marks an important fault line in scholastic thinking about the ontological status of non-existents. I argue that the notion of extrinsic being can be explicated in terms of ontological pluralism and grounding. The notion of extrinsic being helps differentiate Suárez’s view from his Scotistic and Henrician opponents, and it allows Suárez to respond to the creation argument he raises against his opponents. On my reading, Suárez’s solution to the problem of eternal truths turns out to be both highly original and philosophically satisfying.
Keywords Francisco Suárez  Extrinsic Properties  Essence  Eternal Truths
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/ergo.12405314.0004.019
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
The Philosophical Writings of Descartes.Rene Descartes - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Descartes’ Eternal Truths, Created and Un Created.Predrag Milidrag - 2005 - Filozofija I Društvo 2005 (26):157-175.
Suárez' Doctrine of Eternal Truths.Amy Karofsky - 2001 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 39 (1):23-47.
Suárez, Francisco.Sydney Penner - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Suarez on the Eternal Truths: Part 1.Norman J. Wells - 1981 - Modern Schoolman 58 (2):73-104.
Suarez on the Eternal Truths: Part 2.Norman J. Wells - 1981 - Modern Schoolman 58 (3):159-174.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-06-21

Total views
181 ( #47,510 of 2,333,199 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
28 ( #22,355 of 2,333,199 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes