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Ens rationis from Suarez to Caramuel: A Study in Scholasticism of the Baroque Era

Ens rationis from Suarez to Caramuel: A Study in Scholasticism of the Baroque Era

Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 302
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  • Book Info
    Ens rationis from Suarez to Caramuel: A Study in Scholasticism of the Baroque Era
    Book Description:

    The influence of the Spanish Jesuit Francisco Suarez (1548-1617) on 17th-century philosophy, theology, and law can hardly be underestimated. In this groundbreaking book, Daniel D. Novotny explores one of the most controversial topics of Suarez's philosophy: "beings of reason." Beings of reason are impossible intentional objects, such as blindness and square-circle. The first part of this book is structured around a close reading of Suarez's main text on the subject, namely Disputation 54. The second part centers on texts on this topic by other outstanding philosophers of the time, such as the Spanish Jesuit Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza (1578-1641), the Italian Franciscan Bartolomeo Mastri (1602-73), and the Spanish-Bohemian-Luxembourgian polymath Juan Caramuel de Lobkowitz (1606-82). The book should be of interest not just to those concerned with beings of reason but also for all those with a broader interest in the history of the period. It is written in a clear style that will make it appealing both to historians of philosophy and to anyone interested in applying analytical tools to the history of philosophy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-5037-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xx)
  5. 1 Scholasticism of the Baroque Era
    (pp. 1-22)

    In this chapter I briefly discuss the broader historical context of the texts analyzed in this book. Although the chapter provides some information on Baroque scholastic culture, which these texts belong to, it is by no means intended to be a short history of Baroque scholasticism. The chapter offers only preliminary and general considerations with elementary bio-bibliographical data. The focus of the chapter is not to provide details of Baroque scholasticism but rather to answer the question of why to study it. I shall argue, first, that seventeenth-century scholasticism is best labeled ‘Baroque scholasticism’ and should not be subsumed under...

  6. 2 Problems Posed by Beings of Reason
    (pp. 23-35)

    Having discussed the historical context of the scholasticism of the Baroque era and the motivation for investigating it, I introduce in this chapter the main philosophical target of my study, namelyens rationis(being of reason). I will do so from a systematic point of view, attempting to make this chapter accessible even to those who are not interested too much in philosophical historiography. The chapter provides a broad conceptual framework within which the various elements of the theories of Suárez, Hurtado, Mastri/Belluto, and Caramuel, dealt with in later chapters, may be located. The chapter is divided into three parts....

  7. 3 Suárez’s Objectualism: The Nature of Beings of Reason
    (pp. 36-57)

    The aim of the following three chapters (3–5) is to provide the reader with a thorough understanding of Suárez’s theory of beings of reason, a peculiar version of Objectualism. The present chapter deals with a somewhat broad range of issues centered on the question of what beings of reason are. I have subsumed these issues under the heading “nature.” The chapter is divided into three parts. First, I deal with Suárez’s metatheoretical claim that, although the proper task of metaphysics is to study real beings, beings of reason also belong to metaphysics. Second, I discuss what Suárez has to...

  8. 4 Suárez’s Objectualism: The Causes of Beings of Reason
    (pp. 58-79)

    In this chapter I deal with Suarez’s views on the causes of beings of reason. Suárez takes up the question of causes in section 2 of Disputation 54. His discussion is divided into three parts; the sections of this chapter are divided accordingly. First, Suárez argues that beings of reason can have only an efficient cause, though he then seems to qualify this claim rather substantially by allowing other types of causes (section A). Second, he argues that only the intellect can be such an efficient cause, though again, he then qualifies this view substantially by stressing the role of...

  9. 5 Suárez’s Objectualism: The Division of Beings of Reason
    (pp. 80-110)

    In this chapter I deal with Suárez’s views on the division of beings of reason and also provide an overview and evaluation of Suárez’s entire theory. The chapter is divided into five parts. First, I discuss Suárez’s views on whether the traditional division of beings of reason into negation, privation, and relation is exclusive (section A). Second, I turn to his views on whether this division is exhaustive (B). Third, I present his position on the commonalities and differences between negations and privations (C). Fourth, I add a few words about relations of reason (D). And finally, I summarize Suárez’...

  10. 6 Hurtado’s Fallibilism
    (pp. 111-137)

    The aim of the following three chapters (6–8) is to provide detailed accounts of some of the theories of beings of reason that emerged in Baroque scholasticism after Suárez. In the present chapter I focus on the theory of beings of reason of Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza (1578–1641) who was a younger Jesuit colleague of Suárez at the Salamanca College. Hurtado takes up beings of reason in Metaphysical Disputation 19 (On Beings of Reason), published in two versions: first in hisDisputations in General Philosophy(1615/19) and then in hisUniversal Philosophy(1624). Although the two works overlap,...

  11. 7 Mastri/Belluto’s Modified Objectualism
    (pp. 138-163)

    In this chapter, I deal with the theory of beings of reason of Bartolomeo Mastri (1602–73) and Bonaventura Belluto (1600–76). Mastri and Belluto (henceforth Mastri/Belluto) were two Italian Franciscan Conventuals and self-professed Scotists. Mastri/Belluto take up beings of reason at two occasions, first in theirDisputations of Organon(1628) and then again inDisputations of Metaphysics(1646). In this chapter I deal only with their theory as it was presented in the former work. The chapter is divided into three parts. First, I discuss Mastri/Belluto’s views about the existence and actuality of beings of reason (section A). Second,...

  12. 8 Caramuel’s Linguistic Eliminativism
    (pp. 164-179)

    In this chapter I deal with the theory of beings of reason of Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz (1606–82). Caramuel was a Luxemburgian-Czech Cistercian, born in Spain, who distanced himself from all established philosophical schools of the Baroque era (he often praised Thomas Aquinas but explicitly denied being a Thomist). Caramuel takes up beings of reason on several occasions, lastly in his essayLeptotatos(1681). The chapter is divided into three parts. First, I discuss Caramuel’s views on the nature of beings of reason (section A). Second, I turn to his views on other issues, namely the causes and the...

  13. Conclusion: Lessons from the History of Philosophy
    (pp. 180-184)

    During the Middle Ages, beings of reason were discussed in various contexts: logical (second intentions), epistemological and metaphysical (universals), natural (privation as a principle of change), ethical (evil), and theological (God’s relation to creatures). These discussions were normally affected by their contexts and prompted by concerns with other philosophical problems. Until the publication Suárez’s Disputation 54 (1597), there seems to have been no attempt to treat beings of reason comprehensively, within a unified theory.¹ Suarez’s theory of beings of reason promised to give a definitive solution to the issues of mind-dependency, nonbeing, impossibility, fictions, and relations, among others. Unfortunately, solving...

    (pp. 185-192)
  15. NOTES
    (pp. 193-270)
    (pp. 271-290)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 291-296)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 297-300)