Suárez on the Metaphysics of Habits

  • Dominik PerlerEmail author
Part of the Historical-Analytical Studies on Nature, Mind and Action book series (volume 7)


Suárez pursues a realist strategy when explaining habits: they are real qualities of the soul, acting as real causes and producing real activities. This chapter analyzes this thesis, examining it within the framework of Suárez’s metaphysics of the soul. It looks at the way he explains the necessity of habits, their generation, their co-operation with faculties, and their gradual changes. It emphasizes that habits are not simply “occult qualities,” as many early modern critics thought, but entities that play an important role. They are powers that make it possible to produce a wide range of activities in a quick and effortless way. Suárez’s realist theory of habits aims at explaining how they produce activities and why they must be accepted as parts of a complex network of psychic powers. A theory dispensing with habits would simply accept the existence of some activities as a brute fact.


Suárez Habit Soul Faculty Disposition Mental act Habituation Form Hylomorphism Aristotelianism 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PhilosophieHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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