Quaestio disputata 2023 | HPhil Seminar: May 18, 2023

May 18, 2023

The HPhil (History of Philosophy) Research Group of the Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon announces the 2022/23 edition of its permanent seminar on the history of philosophy, devoted to the presentation of conferences by renowned specialists while also creating opportunities to emerging scholars, aiming to promote advanced studies in groundbreaking debates and the permanent training of its academic community.

In this special session of the seminar, the Quaestio disputata 2023 will take place with Gyula Klima (Fordham University) presenting a paper entitled “Aquinas vs. Buridan on the intellectus essentiae argument for the real distinction of essence and existence in creatures” (abstract below), and Boaz Schuman (University of Copenhagen), Ricardo Santos (University of Lisbon, CFUL),  and Sofia Miguens (University of Porto) as discussants.

The session will take place on May 18, 2023 at 4 p.m., in the Room C201.J (Room Mattos Romão, Department of Philosophy). The entrance is free.



In this paper I will argue that although Anthony Kenny’s objections to Aquinas’s “intellectus essentiae” argument for the real distinction of essence and existence in creatures miss their target, the argument with its proper understanding is still open to an objection offered by John Buridan in his Questions on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. The discussion of how Aquinas could handle Buridan’s objection will show that the conflict between their judgments concerning the validity of the argument rests on a fundamental difference between Aquinas’s and Buridan’s conceptions of how our concepts latch onto things in the world. These considerations will lead at the end of the paper to some general and rather sketchy reflections on the possibility of arguing “across” paradigmatically different conceptual frameworks.