By Edward Feser
Scholastic Metaphysics: a latest advent offers an summary of Scholastic methods to causation, substance, essence, modality, id, endurance, teleology, and different matters in basic metaphysics. The booklet interacts seriously with the literature on those matters in modern analytic metaphysics, so that it will facilitate the analytic reader’s realizing of Scholastic rules and the Scholastic reader’s figuring out of latest analytic philosophy. The Aristotelian concept of reality and potentiality presents the organizing topic, and the the most important dependence of Scholastic metaphysics in this concept is confirmed. The ebook is written from a Thomistic standpoint, yet Scotist and Suarezian positions are taken care of in addition the place they diverge from the Thomistic place.
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Extra info for Scholastic Metaphysics
And the trouble with this, we are told, is that we have no guarantee that the “intuitions” or “folk notions” the conceptual analyst appeals to really track reality, and indeed good reason to think they do not insofar as science often presents us with descriptions of reality radically different from what common sense supposes it to be like. (Cf. Ladyman, Ross, Spurrett, and Collier 2007, Chapter 1) Now, one problem with this sort of argument is that it falla ciously takes science’s methodological exclusion of certain commonsense features from its picture of the natural world as a discovery that those features don’t really exist there.
Other than what is pure actuality, any cause only ever has a certain specific range of effects. It is not unlimited in what it may produce (pace Hume, whose views will be addressed below). A magnet can attract metal in a way a piece of wood cannot; a piece of wood can make a noise when it hits another solid object in a way that smoke cannot; and so on. A causal power qua potency just is that which limits efficacy, of itself actual and unlimited, to a specific range of outcomes. Wood has the power to generate noise under certain circumstances, but not the power to attract metal.
Here too the method of retorsion might be deployed. If there is no stability of any sort, how could the Heraclitean philosopher so much as reason through the steps of his own argument so as to be convinced by it? For there will on the Heraclitean view be no persisting subject, so that the person who reaches the conclusion will not be the same as the person who entertained the premises. (Cf. Geisler 1997, pp. 65-66) Nor will there be any such thing as “the” ar- Edward Feser 37 Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction gument for his conclusion – some single, stable pattern of reasoning which the Heraclitean might rehearse in his attempts to convince his critics, or even repeat to himself on future occasions.
Scholastic Metaphysics by Edward Feser