The Notitia Intuitiva and Notitia Abstractiva of the External Senses in Second Scholasticism: Suárez, Poinsot and Francisco de Oviedo

In: Vivarium
Author: Daniel Heider1
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  • 1 Faculty of Theology, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice & Institute of Philosophy, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic

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This paper analyzes the theories of three representatives of Second Scholasticism, namely Francisco Suárez, sj, John Poinsot, op, and Francisco de Oviedo, sj, on the issue of the intuitive and abstractive cognition of the external senses. Based on a comparison of their theories, linked to the historical starting point of the debate in the first decades of the fourteenth century (Peter Auriol, John Duns Scotus, Francis of Meyronnes, William of Ockham and Walter Chatton), the paper argues that the doctrinal and argumentative matrix of these authors’ texts is significantly ‘present’ in the Second Scholastics as well. 1) As far as naturally produced sensation is concerned, all these authors, including Poinsot, follow the Scotistic justification of the natural infallibility of the external senses; 2) regarding the possibility of supernaturally caused objectless perception, Poinsot’s position can be labelled, surprisingly, Scotistic; 3) Suárez’s theory, although partly similar to the doctrine of the late Ockham, is an idiosyncratic stance; 4) Oviedo’s conception, even more distant from that of Ockham, can be characterized as ‘Auriolian’ and ‘Chattonian’.

  • 12

    The translation is from Pasnau, The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, 205.

  • 59

    For this see Perler, Zweifel und Gewissheit, 272.

  • 91

    S.K. Knebel, “Aureol and the Ambiguities of the Distinction of Reason,” 325; see also his Wille, Würfel und Wahrscheinlichkeit. Das System der moralischen Notwendigkeit in der Jesuitenscholastik 1550-1750 (Hamburg, 2000), 23, n. 89.

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  • 92

    Knebel, “Aureol and the Ambiguities of the Distinction of Reason,” 330.

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