"John Poinsot." 1994. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68 (3).
Special issue on John Poinsot (John of St. Thomas) - Table of contents: John Deely: A morning and evening star: editor's introduction pp.
259-278; Mauricio Beuchot: Intentionality in John Poinsot pp. 279-296; John C. Cahalan: If Wittgenstein had read Poinsot: recasting the problem of signs and
mental states pp. 297-320; Jeffrey S. Coombs: John Poinsot on how to be, know, and love a non-existent possible pp. 321-336; John P. Doyle: Poinsot on
knowability of beings of reason pp. 337-362; Vincent Guagliardo: Being-as-first-known in Poinsot: a priori or aporia? pp. 363-394; Michael Raposa: Poinsot on
the semiotic of awareness pp. 395-408; Douglas B. Rasmussen: The significance for cognitive realism of the thought of John Poinsot pp. 409-424; Norman J.
Wells: John Poinsot on created eternal truths vs. Vasquez, Suárez and Descartes pp- 425-446.
Ashworth, Earline Jennifer. 1988. "The Historical Origins of John Poinsot's Treatise on Signs." Semiotica no.
"In 1631-1632 John Poinsot (otherwise known as John of St. Thomas) published his Ars Logica at Alcalá. From this massive work John Deely
has extracted all those parts relating to the theory of signs, and has given them the general heading of Tractatus de Signis (Treatise on Signs), though it
should be noted that the Treatise on Signs proper consists of just three Questions related to Aristotle's Perihermenias. The project is a valuable one, for
Poinsot was an interesting writer in his own right who frequently had original observations to make. Deely's contribution, so far as the edition and
translation are concerned, is superb; and the book itself is a splendid example of the printer's art. However, I have some very grave reservations about
Deely's interpretation of Poinsot's work, and it is these reservations that I intend to discuss here. Others (notably Sebeok 1986) have already sung the
praises of Deely and Poinsot; and as one of the few philosophers who has actually read some of the sixteenth-century authors to whom Poinsot was indebted, I
feel it incumbent on me to point out that there is another side to the coin. However, I do not intend my remarks to detract in any way from the achievement
represented by Deely's version of the Treatise on Signs.
I shall first discuss Deely's attitude toward the historical interpretation of Poinsot and how it differs from my own. In so doing, I shall
show that there was a tradition of placing the discussion of signs in a Perihermenias commentary. Second, I shall discuss the topic of relations, since Deely
claims that the 'revolutionary' nature of Poinsot's doctrine of signs stems from his classification of relations. I shall remark that a very similar
classification of relations is found in at least one of Poinsot's sources, namely Domingo de Soto (1494-1560). Third, I shall discuss the details of the theory
of signs as described by some early sixteenth-century writers, and I shall show that the general lines of Poinsot's classification are due to Domingo de Soto.
Finally, I shall make some remarks about other aspects of the translation and editorial material which seem to need further comment.
* John N. Deely (trans. and ed.), with Ralph Austin Powell, Tractatus de Signis. The Semiotic of John Poinsot. Berkeley: University
of California Press, 1985.
Bellerate, Bruno. 1958. "Conceito de existência em João de s. Tomás." Filosofia no. 5:154-169.
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———. 1960. L'analogia tomista nei grandi commentatori di S. Tommaso. Roma: Editrice Salesiana.
Beuchot, Mauricio. 1980. "La doctrina tomista clásica sobre el signo: Domingo de Soto, Francisco de Araújo y Juan de santo Tomás."
———. 1989. "El problema de los universales en Juan de santo Tomás." Revista de filosofía (Maracaibo) no. 12:33-42.
———. 1994. "Intentionality in John Poinsot." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:279-296.
———. 1999. Semiótica, filosofía del lenguaje y argumentación en Juan de santo Tomás. Pamplona: Universidad de Navarra.
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Cahalan, John C. 1994. "If Wittgenstein had read Poinsot: recasting the problem of signs and mental states." American Catholic
Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:297-319.
Coombs, Jeffrey S. 1994. "John Poinsot on how to be, know, and love a non-existent possible." American Catholic Philosophical
Quarterly no. 68:321-335.
Dalcourt, Gerard J. 1994. "Poinsot and the mental imagery debate." Modern Schoolman no. 72:1-12.
Doyle, John J. 1953. "John of st. Thomas on Mathematical Logic." New Scholasticism no. 27:3-38.
Doyle, John Patrick. 1994. "Poinsot on the Knowability of Beings of Reason." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no.
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———. 1997. "The constitution of the object in Immanuel Kant and John Poinsot." Review of Metaphysics no. 51:55-75.
"Kant was unaware, as are most academic philosophers today, that late Latin scholastics, especially on the Iberian peninsula, had also
struggled for an account of the intellect's ability to order our experience of the real and so constitute a properly scientific object. The results of this
effort were, of course, quite unlike those of the Kantian solution and compatible with a completely different view of the natural order. Even more important
for the history of Western philosophy, the results were immediately and thoroughly eclipsed by the rise of Cartesianism. The great scholastic effort to
understand how scientific objects are constituted passed from the modern period into intellectual oblivion.
Yet there are ample reasons to think that an exploration of these forgotten, pre-Kantian views might shed some light on contemporary efforts
to fashion a postclassical epistemology and philosophy of science. Despite the more primitive cosmology, basic concepts of epistemological theory developed by
the Latins are far more easily disengaged from medieval physics than are Kantian concepts from Newtonian mechanics. Kant is committed in principle to the view
that space, for example, is mathematizable a priori in a completely deterministic manner. This is a much more wide-ranging and deeply-rooted metaphysical
commitment than is the claim, for example, that there are only six observable planets.
What follows is an examination of a generally forgotten theory of objective constitution--one that avoids unnecessary entanglements with the
determinism of Newtonian mechanics if only by predating the Cartesian and Kantian turns. It is a theory that in principle allows nature to live by other rules
than those of mechanical necessity and one that, I believe, rightly recognizes that nature's laws can suffer exception without thereby destroying the
possibility of scientific knowledge. Moreover, it is a 'bridge' theory that unites classical and contemporary philosophic tendencies, for despite its strong
medieval roots, it is a theory largely committed to the fundamental insight of modernity that the knower, in some measure, must condition the object
known." p. 55
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