65 research outputs found

    Relations Without Polyadic Properties: Albert the Great On the Nature and Ontological Status of Relations

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    I think it would be fair to say that, until about 1900, philosophers were generally reluctant to admit the existence of what are nowadays called polyadic properties.1 It is important to recognize, however, that this reluctance on the part of pre-twentieth-century philosophers did not prevent them from theorizing about relations. On the contrary, philosophers from the ancient through the modern period have had much to say about both the nature and the ontological status of relations. In this paper I examine the views of one such philosopher, namely, Albert the Grea

    Platonism about Goodness—Anselm’s Proof in the Monologion

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    In the opening chapter of the Monologion, Anselm offers an intriguing proof for the existence of a Platonic form of goodness. This proof is extremely interesting, both in itself and for its place in the broader argument for God’s existence that Anselm develops in the Monologion as a whole. Even so, it has yet to receive the scholarly attention that it deserves. My aim in this article is to begin correcting this state of affairs by examining Anslem’s proof in some detail. In particular, I aim to clarify the proof’s structure, motivate and explain its central premises, and begin the larger project of evaluating its overall success as an argument for Platonism about goodness

    Aristotelian vs. Contemporary Perspectives on Relations

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    Matter

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    Matter, form, and individuation

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    Abstract The aim of the article is to provide a systematic introduction to Aquinas's primary or basic notions of matter and form. Aquinas considered matter and form as if they were entities belonging to specific ontological types or categories such as concrete, individuals and properties. He identified the matter of the statue example with a lump of bronze, which he regarded as a concrete individual and he identified the forms of the same example with different shapes, which he regarded as contingent properties or accidents. Aquinas denied that matter and form could be identified with entities of either type. Aquinas believed that there is the existence of change in which an immaterial (or spiritual) substance acquires a new contingent property or accident. This change will involve the generation and corruption of hylomorphic compounds, and hence entities composed of both matter and form. The matter of this change will itself be immaterial. Aquinas thought that all of the changes belong to a single type namely, ones involving a substance changing with respect to one of its contingent properties or accidents. Aquinas described prime matter as the primary principle of individuation, even though he reserved a role for a certain type of accident to play. Aquinas invoked matter and form to account for certain relations of sameness and difference holding between distinct individuals.</jats:p

    Platonism about Goodness—Anselm’s Proof in the Monologion

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    In the opening chapter of the Monologion, Anselm offers an intriguing proof for the existence of a Platonic form of goodness. This proof is extremely interesting, both in itself and for its place in the broader argument for God’s existence that Anselm develops in the Monologion as a whole. Even so, it has yet to receive the scholarly attention that it deserves. My aim in this article is to begin correcting this state of affairs by examining Anslem’s proof in some detail. In particular, I aim to clarify the proof’s structure, motivate and explain its central premises, and begin the larger project of evaluating its overall success as an argument for Platonism about goodness

    Aquinas on the Problem of Universals

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    Aquinas’s solution to the problem of universals has received a great deal of attention, both from historians and from non-historians alike.1 Even so, the proper understanding of his solution remains a hotly disputed question. Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that debates on this score have reached an impasse—with some commentators classifying Aquinas as a realist, others classifying him as a nominalist, and yet others classifying him as something in between (say, as a moderate realist or conceptualist) or even as inconsistent. Brian Leftow provides a good sense of the controversy when he writes: Aquinas ’ theory of attributes is one of the most obscure, controversial parts of his thought. There is no agreement even on so basic a matter as where he falls in the standard scheme of classifying such theories: to Copleston, he is a resemblance-nominalist; to Armstrong, a ‘concept nominalist’; to Edwards and Spade, ‘almost as strong a realist as Duns Scotus’; to Gracia, Pannier, and Sullivan, neither realist nor nominalist; to Hamlyn, the Middle Ages ’ ‘prime exponent of realism, ’ although his theory adds elements of nominalism and ‘conceptualism’; to Wolterstorff, just inconsistent. (Leftow 2003, p. 1)2 The lack of consensus in these debates, as well as the sheer range of interpretations on offer, makes the proper understanding of Aquinas’s views about universals all the more pressing. How are we to understand them? But they also raise a further, second-order question about their difficulty. Why are Aquinas’s views on this issue so hard to classify? 1 For Aquinas’s works, I rely on the following abbreviations

    Anselm on Ethics

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