The idea of a special connection between the thought of John Duns Scotus and that of his forebear, Henry of Ghent, goes back to the time of Duns himself, and in the modern scholarly world it is as old as the critical study of medieval philosophy. Moreover in the last four decades there has been a proliferation of articles claiming that one cannot understand Duns until one has mastered the work of Henry. Nowhere has the connection between the two stood (...) out in sharper relief than in the related areas of epistemology and noetics, and here most especially on the matter of the analogy or univocity of the concept of being. (shrink)
In this article, the theory of argumentation set out by the Dutch scholars Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst is brought to bear in subjecting the general form of the argument from coherence to a critical analysis. First, a distinction is brought out between two basic kinds of argument from coherence: in one use this argumentative structure occurs as a sequence of two arguments establishing that a standpoint constitutes a particular instantiation or a inherent quality of the system it will (...) become part of (symptomatic argument); in the other use we have a main symptomatic argument supported by a subordinate argument appealing to instrumental considerations (pragmatic argument). It is then claimed that arguments from coherence are complex types of argumentation, structured at various argumentative levels, where the premises must be taken together to yield an adequate defence of the conclusion (coordinative argumentation). Finally, an evaluative assessment is made as to whether arguments from coherence can serve acceptably as tools for settling disputes: it will be maintained that we can generally welcome these argumentative structures as sound and fully acceptable provided we are aware of the interpretive discretion their use entails. (shrink)
In this paper we present a method to reduce the decision problem of several infinite-valued propositional logics to their finite-valued counterparts. We apply our method to Łukasiewicz, Gödel and Product logics and to some of their combinations. As a byproduct we define sequent calculi for all these infinite-valued logics and we give an alternative proof that their tautology problems are in co-NP.
The turn to modern science in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century is typically characterized as dependent on the novel adoption of a mechanical hypothesis for operations in nature. In fact, the Middle Ages saw a partial anticipation of this phenomenon in the scholastic physics of the thirteenth century. More precisely, it was just the two factors, denial of action at a distance and an emphasis on the primary materiality of causation, that constituted this early mechanism—or "protomechanism." The latter's (...) emergence can be seen most clearly where scholastic thinkers—here, William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas and Giles of Rome—confronted the theoretical limits of natural cause and effect in their efforts to determine the reality of magic and locate its place in the natural world. (shrink)
In Benet Perera’s De communibus, the question on the first object of the intellectual knowledge is not addressed as a particular topic. On the contrary, it does constitute the general background in which Perera tries to sketch an original theory of the knowledge. Starting from this premise, the following article aims to demonstrate how Perera’s quaestio de primo cognito can clarify, for its reader, the nature of the intellectual knowledge, the relationship between the intellectual knowledge and the sensible knowledge, and (...) the ontology presupposed by this noetics.Through a detailed analysis of Perera’s arguments and of his claim that the first object of the intellect is the singular, the article focuses on some consequences of the solution proposed by the Spanish Jesuit. To this end, particular attention is given to Perera’s doctrine of the intellect and to the theoretical consequences of its formulation, in connection to the question of the relationship between sensible and intellectual knowledge. (shrink)
This collection of eight essays on Augustine’s most widely read work focuses, as William Mann says in his introduction, on Augustine as a philosopher. Not every reader will agree that Augustine did indeed philosophize. Many would insist that whatever speculation Augustine engaged in, it was solely as a theologian. Yet each of the authors in this superb volume approaches Augustine in the context of the philosophy of the late Roman world, especially Neoplatonic philosophy. Their success in showing how the themes (...) of the Confessions resonate with the language of philosophers of the time—Plotinus chief among them—and wrestle with many of the same issues vindicates Mann’s claim. Anyone interested in understanding the.. (shrink)
The desire of knowledge constitutes, as it is well known, the opening ‘theme’ of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. This article focuses on the figure of Dominic of Flanders, one of the commentators of Aristotle’s Metaphysics who much developed this topic. Dominicus deals with it in the second question of the first book of his commentary. What makes the interest of Dominic’s account is its originality, in so far as, according to him, the beginning of Aristotle’s Metaphysics aims to stress the very primacy (...) of Metaphsyics, and not only, the primacy of science in general. In this sense, the desire of knowledge constitutes for Dominic the most efficacious argument for the primacy of Metaphsyics. However, this is possible only if the desiderium sciendi is related to two other principles: the first is that desirability entails perfection, and the second is that the desirability of an object depends on its intelligibility. (shrink)