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Title: Francisco Suxc3Xa1Rez On Acting For The Sake Of The Ultimate End
Authors: Penner, Sydney
Keywords: Francisco Suxc3xa1rez
practical reason
ultimate end
Issue Date: 31-May-2011
Abstract: Despite standing as one of the most important philosophers at the threshold of early modern philosophy, Francisco Suárez (1548-1617) has been strangely ignored in twentieth-century scholarship. In my dissertation, I contribute to our picture of Suárez by exploring his views on practical reasoning. I argue that Suárez stands in the eudaemonist tradition, rather than moving towards an unappealing legalism, as has been suggested. Attributing such a legalism to Suárez depends on a narrow focus on his De legibus; to balance our picture, I focus on his often-overlooked De fine hominis, in which it quickly becomes evident that it is our happiness that provides us with reasons for action. In Chapter 2, I look at Suárez's taxonomy of different kinds of ends and then look more closely at his conception of happiness. While he recognizes the possibility of a pluralist conception, he adopts a monistic account according to which God is sufficient for happiness. This is, however, in tension with his commitment to there being other things that are intrinsically good. In Chapter 3, I look at his account of four ways in which an agent can act for the sake of an end: with actual, habitual, virtual, or interpretative intention. In Chapter 4, building on distinctions examined in earlier chapters, I look at a sequence of questions that Suárez considers about whether agents have to intend an ultimate end when acting, whether they can intend more than one, and whether they have to intend an unqualifiedly ultimate end and, if so, with what sort of intention. Finally, I look at Suárez's account of the will as a free and rational power. Suárez argues that we can only choose options that we have judged as conducive to our ends, but he insists that the will is free in a libertarian sense and so we need not choose the option judged to be most conducive to our ends. We cannot choose something purely bad but we can choose a lesser good. An appendix includes the first English translation of De fine hominis dd. 1-5 and Disputatio Metaphysica XXIII.2, the key texts on which my arguments rely.
Committee Chair: MacDonald, Scott C
Committee Member: Irwin, Terence Henry
Chignell, Andrew
Discipline: Philosophy
Degree Name: Ph.D. of Philosophy
Degree Level: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Grantor: Cornell University
No Access Until: 2016-09-29
Appears in Collections:Cornell Theses and Dissertations

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