Friday, October 5, 2012

More on Descartes' Relation to the Scholastics

David Clemenson, Descartes' Theory of Ideas, Continuum 2007, p. 5:
The philosophy of cognition contained in these texts [Descartes' Jesuit textbooks at La Fleche] is mainstream Scholasticism, but it is not the Thomism of the great Dominican commentators Cajetan and Poinsot (John of St. Thomas). The intellectual tradition of the Franciscan order, especially Scotism, exerted an important influence on Jesuit cognitive philosophy, including that of Fonseca and the Coimbran school. Not that the Jesuits were doctrinaire Scotists. But they do reject Aquinas, in favour of Scotus or his early fourteenth-century Franciscan successors, on at least three controversial points in the philosophy of cognition: (a) the possiblity of a direct and immediate (human) intellectual perception of singular matter-form composites (and not just of universal forms, as Aquinas thought), (b) the possibility of direct intellectual cognition of non-existent objects and (c) the doctrine of objective or intentional esse as an intrinsic denomination of the perceived object. Descartes sides with the Jesuits (and thus the Franciscans) on each of these points.
See! Brad Gregory and Fr. Robert Barron were right!

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