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Francisco Suárez and Francesco Patrizi: Metaphysical Investigations on Place and Space

  • Olivier RibordyEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 48)

Abstract

At the threshold of the modern period the intense discussions generated by Aristotelian arguments on place and space gave birth to new scholastic syntheses, such as that of Francisco Suárez (1548–1617), but also some innovative theories, as can be found in the works of the humanist Francesco Patrizi (1529–1597). Suárez shares Patrizi’s critical stance on the Aristotelian definition of place as the surface of the surrounding body, but both thinkers derive widely divergent conclusions from this common starting-point. Patrizi favors a Neoplatonist cosmology that allows for the existence of void between bodies within the outermost sphere, as well as beyond it; Patrizi considers void as the essence of space. He defines three-dimensional space as true place (locus verus), which can receive bodies. According to Patrizi’s theory, immobile space is, as it were, the condition of the reception of bodies. While Patrizi supports a conception of space as existing prior to bodies, Suárez opts for a place that inheres in bodies, the ubi intrinsecum, and distinguishes it from the locus extrinsecus. Rejecting any definition of ubi focused on exteriority – be it as an enveloping surface, a physical limit, an external form or even bodily space to be filled – Suárez argues in favor of place’s interiority and brings localization back within the realm of being.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland

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