Aristotelian Subjectivism: Francisco Suárez’s Philosophy of Perception

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2022.05.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Daniel Heider, Aristotelian Subjectivism: Francisco Suárez’s Philosophy of Perception, Springer, 2021, 304pp., $139.99 (hbk), ISBN 9783030673406.

Reviewed by Stephan Schmid, Universität Hamburg

According to a tenacious historiographical narrative which continues to influence many approaches to early modern philosophy (despite having often been challenged), it is a distinctive feature of non- or anti-Aristotelian thinkers of this period that, unlike their scholastic opponents, they put special emphasis on our subjectivity. This is so not only in ethical debates, where they emphasize the value of each individual subject, but also in theories of knowledge and cognition. According to this narrative, non-Aristotelian thinkers of the early modern period emphasize the subjective character of our cognitive states, claiming that these states typically involve a kind of self-awareness, such that I—as a thinking subject—am not only aware of my mental states, but also of the fact that these states belong to…

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