•  70
    phers] to be a demonstration of the fact that the human species (and in every case the species of all generable and corruptible individuals) began to exist at a time when previously it had not existed at all, a question is raised: whether, following the Philosopher’s method, the human species (and in every case any given species of generable and corruptible [individuals]) began to exist at a time when previously it had not existed at all.
  •  7
    (A sunny town square somewhere in the Peloponnese. Anna Kalypsas and Mel Etitis are standing, holding open books; Kathy Merinos is watching and listening to them, also with an open book in front of her. Theo Logos appears and spots them. He stops to listen.).
  •  33
    Le rôle des concepts selon Ockham
    Philosophiques 32 (2): 435-447. 2005.
    Philosophiques 32 (2005), 435-447. [An English version is available here.].
  •  119
    Duns Scotus on Singular Essences
    Medioevo 30 111-137. 2005.
    Socrates, for example, has an essence that includes more than his human nature, which is his specific essence; he has an essence proper to himself alone, an essence that cannot be had by anyone else. Although Socrates does have singular (individualized) forms, his singular essence is not a form—there is no form Socrateity for the singular essence parallelling the form humanity for the specific essence. Instead, Socrates has his singular essence in consequence of being an individual, that is, in …Read more
  •  4
    The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (4): 612-613. 2012.
  •  58
    That it is: According to the Commentator, Met. 7 com. 11 ([Iuntina 8 fol. 76r]): The definition is the same as the substance of the thing. Hence it is in some way outside the soul, and consequently all its parts are in some way outside the soul. But the definition is composed of universals. Hence [the universal is outside the soul]
  •  139
    Mediaeval psychological theory was a “faculty psychology”: a confederation of semiautonomous sub-personal agents, the interaction of which constitutes our psychological experience. One such faculty was intellective appetite, that is, the will. On what grounds was the will taken to be a distinct faculty? After a brief survey of Aristotle's criteria for identifying and distinguishing mental faculties, I look in some detail at the mainstream mediaeval view, given clear expression by Thomas Aquinas,…Read more
  •  69
    In one corner Socrates; in the other, on the mat, his cat Felix. Socrates, of course, thinks (correctly) that Felix the Cat is on the mat. But there’s the rub. For Socrates to think that Felix is on the mat, he has to be able to think about Felix, that is, he has to have some sort of cognitive grasp of an individual — and not just any individual, but Felix himself. How is that possible? What is going on when we think about things?
  •  97
    Aristotle was the first thinker to devise a logical system. He drew upon the emphasis on universal definition found in Socrates, the use of reductio ad absurdum in Zeno of Elea, claims about propositional structure and negation in Parmenides and Plato, and the body of argumentative techniques found in legal reasoning and geometrical proof. Yet the theory presented in Aristotle’s five treatises known as the Organon—the Categories, the De interpretatione, the Prior Analytics, the Posterior Analyti…Read more
  •  32
    [1] In twelve quite demanding chapters, outstanding scholars provide an overall view of the key issues of Scotus’s philosophical thought. To this a very concise introduction is added, concerning the life and works of John Duns (very good, especially the survey of works and the information on critical editions etc.). Throughout the book, I find the information clear and the difficult topics well explained. Moreover, the volume gives a quick entrance to the vast literature. Among the topics discus…Read more
  •  8
    1 Scotus on Metaphysics
    In Thomas Williams (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus, Cambridge University Press. pp. 15. 2003.
  •  26
    B      opens his discussion of the problem of universals, in his second commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge, with a destructive dilemma: genera and species either exist or are concepts; but they can neither exist nor be soundly conceived; therefore the enquiry into them should be abandoned (In Isag. maior . ). Boethius’ strategy to get around this dilemma is well known. He follows the lead of Alexander of Aphrodisias, distinguishing several ways in which genera and species can be conceive…Read more
  •  84
    In the first volume of Capital, Marx introduces a labor theory of value. The theory is supposed to form the basis of his “laying bare” the “inner workings” of capitalism. The theory rests on two claims, and at the outset Marx uses it to explain four features of capitalist production. Yet by the end of the final volume of Capital, he abandons both claims and offers alternative accounts of all four features of capitalism. We hold that Marx’s introduction of the labor theory of value is not the presen…Read more
  •  6
    Chapter 10. Duns Scotus on the Reality of Self-Change
    In James G. Lennox & Mary Louise Gill (eds.), Self-Motion: From Aristotle to Newton, Princeton University Press. pp. 227-290. 2017.
  •  56
    Boethius: The First of the Scholastics
    Carmina Philosophiae 16 23-50. 2007.
    forthcoming in Carmina philosophiae
  •  2
    The works translated here deal with two major themes in the thinking of St Augustine : free will and divine grace. On the one hand, free will enables human beings to make their own choices; on the other hand, God's grace is required for these choices to be efficacious. 'On the Free Choice of the Will', 'On Grace and Free Choice', 'On Reprimand and Grace' and 'On the Gift of Perseverance' set out Augustine's theory of human responsibility, and sketch a subtle reconciliation of will and grace. Thi…Read more
  •  37
    Abelard's Answers to Porphyry
    Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 18 249-270. 2007.
    Abelardo eredita dall'Isagoge di Porfirio una questione filosofica fondamentale, relativa al problema degli universali, posto al centro della metafisica. Abelardo si pone subito fuori da questa linea interpretativa. L'A. esamina le risposte di Abelardo ai quattro quesiti di Porfirio formulati all'inizio dell'Isagoge punto per punto, attraverso l'esame di Dialectica, Logica «Ingredientibus» nella parte relativa al commento all'Isagoge, in rapporto con il Commentarius maior in Isagogen Porphyrii d…Read more
  •  61
    Augustine’s Encounter with Neoplatonism
    Modern Schoolman 82 (3): 213-226. 2005.
  •  58
    Two Conceptions of Experience
    Journal of Nietzsche Studies 11 (2): 203-226. 2003.
  • Forming the Mind (edited book)
    Springer Verlag. 2005.
  •  54
  •  17
    Novelists and other producers of fiction can make many mistakes (including becoming novelists and other producers of fiction), but there are three kinds of mistake that stem from the writer's ignorance. First, there's the purely external mistake, which occurs in the..
  •  126
    One answer: Because medieval philosophy is just the continuation of ancient philosophy by other means—the Latin language and the Catholic Church— and, as Wallace Matson pointed out some time ago, the mind-body problem isn’t ancient
  • Reaction: Against the Modern World
    Imprint Academic. 2012.
    In this book the author explores the different facets of reaction and suggests that there is more to the concept than just a gratuitous insult. He argues that reaction depends on two things: first, a particular view of the world that favours tradition and the way that things are; and second, the disposition to avoid change and its consequences and so to prefer a settled and steady life. These two facets can be articulated as a coherent set of arguments, which have indeed been made by thinkers of…Read more
  •  22
    I take "philosophy" to be an English word referring to a certain kind of thinking, a certain kind of approach to a certain kind of problem. To explain those "certain kind of"s would take a book; perhaps the best I can do here is gesture at what it is that English-language philosophers do.
  •  171
    Augustine on testimony
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2). 2009.
    Philosophical work on testimony has flourished in recent years. Testimony roughly involves a source affirming or stating something in an attempt to transfer information to one or more persons. It is often said that the topic of testimony has been neglected throughout most of the history of philosophy, aside from contributions by David Hume (1711–1776) and Thomas Reid (1710–1796).1 True as this may be, Hume and Reid aren’t the only ones who deserve a tip of the hat for recognizing the importance …Read more
  •  114
    Wilfrid Sellars charged that mediaeval philosophers confused the genuine intentionality of thinking with what he called the “pseudo-intentionality” of sensing. I argue that Sellars’s charge rests on importing a form of mind/body dualism that was foreign to the Middle Ages, but that he does touch on a genuine difficulty for mediaeval theories, namely whether they have the conceptual resources to distinguish between intentionality as a feature of consciousness and mere discriminative responses to …Read more
  •  32
    Susan James, in her recent work Passion and Action: The Emotions in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy (Oxford: Clarendon 1997), prefaces her investigation of emotions in the seventeenth century with a series of remarks about the earlier career of the emotions, in particular their treatment in the Middle Ages. In brief, she takes the ‘new’ analyses of the passions put forward in the seventeenth century to be a philosophical sideshow to the main event: the dethronement of Aristotelian natural philoso…Read more