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John P. Doyle



'Big fleas have little fleas that on their backs do bite'm,

and little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.'
After Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)


W ITH his own intention of instructing novices, Luis de Lossada, S.J. (1681-
1748), has summarized the new, yet old, terminology of the disputed
Scholastic doctrine of intellectual intentionality.1 Although the Scholastics (and I
to entitle the present essay) have ambiguously used the term intentionfirst in
relation to will and then to understanding,2 in executing his intention Lossada has
employed it simply to designate an act of the human intellect.3 Such an act may be
either first or second, depending upon whether it directly represents the physical
reality of its object or reflexly represents an object as already known or insofar as
it has some being derived from the intellect.4 From these intellectual acts, the
words which signify things as first and directly conceived are called terms of first
intention, while those which signify things as secondly and reflexly known are
called terms of second intention, that is to say terms corresponding to a second
intending by the intellect. Examples of the former terms may be man, animal,
or sun, while terms like universal, genus, species, subject, or predicate are
examples of the latter.5 Moreover, since objects are customarily named from the
knowledges they terminate, both first and second intentions (whether one looks at
acts of understanding or the words which express them) may be either formal or
As Lossadas Jesuit predecessor and idol,7 Francisco Surez, (1548-1617),
had earlier used it in at least one place, the term intentio was all but synonymous
with the objective concept (conceptus objectivus). Connected and contrasted
with the formal concept, which was simply an act of the mind conceiving some
thing or common character (ratio),8 the objective concept was the thing or the
character properly and immediately known or represented through a formal con-
cept.9 Strictly speaking, it was not a concept at all; rather it was the object with
regard to which the formal concept was employed and which was directly intend-

The Modern Schoolman, LXXIX, November 2001 57

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ed by the minds thrust.10 For this reason, Surez suggests, some people, follow-
ing Averroes, have called it intentio intellecta which is to say, an understood

1Ut terminorum hujus controversiae vetusta Universale, Genus, Species, Subjectum,

novitas inclarescat tyronibus, aliqua praenoto, Praedicatum, etc. ibid.
. . . Cursus philosophici (hereafter CP), 6Sed quia cognitionum objecta solent etiam

Logica, Tr. I, disp. 2, c. 4, n. 1; ed. Barcinonae: earum nominibus appellari, idcirco tam prima,
Apud Vid. et Fil. J. Subirana, 1883 [originally: quam secunda Intentio, alia est formalis, alia
Salamanca, 1724], vol. 1, p. 204. objectiva. ibid. Also, cf.: Duplex est, for-
2So at times, intention was taken properly malis et objectiva: formalis est ipse actus,
as designating an act of the will and then by objectiva objectum ab actu cognitum, sicut
transference one of the intellect; cf. e.g. fides dicitur vel actus quo credimus, vel res
Intentio licet proprie loquendo sit actus volun- ipsa credita, sicut etiam dicimus definitio for-
tatis quo tendimus in finem, sumitur nihilomi- malis et definitio objectiva. T. Compton
nus hic pro actu intellectus, per quem tendimus Carleton, Philosophia . . ., Logica, d. 14, s. 3,
in objectum, seu illi attendimus. Thomas n. 2 (p. 80); and George Reeb, S.J. (1594-
Compton Carleton, S.J. (1591-1666), 1662), Thesaurus philosophorum seu distinc-
Philosophia universa (Antwerpiae: Apud tiones et axiomata philosophica, a J. M.
Jacobum Meursium, 1649), Logica, d. 14, s. 3, Cornoldi recognita et aucta (Brixinae: Typis
n. 1 (p. 80) . In different passages St. Thomas Wagnerianis, 1871 [originally: Ingolstadt,
brings out the ambiguity here; cf. e.g.: . . . cum 1629]), p. 76.
dicitur: Finis prior est in intentione, intentio 7Cf. ibid., Venerabili P. Francisco Suarez

sumitur pro actu mentis, qui est intendere. De . . ., (vol. 1, pp. 721).
veritate 21, 3, ad 5; ed. (IX) R. Spiazzi, O.P. 8Conceptus formlis dicitur actus ipse, seu

(Taurini: Marietti, 1953), p. 380; . . . intentio (quod idem est) verbum quo intellectus rem ali-
est actus voluntatis; . . . Non tamen est actus quam seu communem rationem concipit . . .,
voluntatis absolute, sed in ordine ad rationem. Disputationes Metaphysicae (hereafter referred
ibid., 22, 13c; ed. Spiazzi, pp. 410-411. For to as DM and cited by disputation, section, and
both sides of the Scholastic doctrine in this, cf. paragraph, plus volume and page number in
P. Engelhardt, Intentio, in Historisches parentheses from Surezs Opera omnia [ed.
Wrterbuch der Philosophie, IV (Basel/ Vivs: Paris, 1856-66]), 2. 1. 1 (25: 64); cf.
Stuttgart: Schwabe & Co. Verlag, 1971), cols. also: ibid., 8.4.2 (p. 290); ibid., 48.2.16ff (26:
466-74. On the intellectual side of intentionali- 878).
ty after Brentano, cf. Roderick Chisholm, 9Conceptus objectivus dicitur res illa, vel

Intentionality, in The Encyclopedia of ratio, quae proprie et immiediate per concep-

Philosophy (New York/London: Collier tum formalem cognoscitur seu repraesentatur
Macmillan, 1967), vol. 4, pp. 201-204. . . . , ibid., 2.1.1 (25: 65); and 2.3 (70). For an
3Actus intellectus humani vocari solet extended treatment of Surezs understanding
Intentio rationis: CP, Logica, Tr. I, d. 2, c. 4, of the objective concept, cf. E. Elorduy, S. J.
n. 1 (vol. 1, p. 204). El concepto objetivo en Surez,
4 . . . ita, ut cognitio directa representans Pensamiento, nmero extraordinario (1948),
objectum secundum esse physicum, vocatur pp. 335-423.
Intentio prima: cognitio vero reflexa reprae- 10. . . non est conceptus ut forma intrinsece

sentans objectum ut jam praecognitum, vel terminans conceptionem, sed ut objectum et

secundum esse derivatum ab intellectu, vocetur materiam circa quam versatur formalis concep-
Intentio secunda. ibid. tio, et ad quam mentis acies directe tendit . . .,
5Hinc nomina significantia res ut primo et DM 2.1. 1 (25: 65). The direct tending here has
directe concipiuntur, dicuntur nomina primae an obvious teleological cast to it. For another
intentionis, cujusmodi sunt, Homo, Animal, context in which intentio has a volitional
Sol, etc.: quae vero res significant ut secundo cast, cf. DM 23.1.8 (25: 845) ; n. 10 (846) ; 2.2
et reflexe cognoscuntur, vocantur nomina (847); nn. 14, 16 (851); 3.3-4 (852); n. 11
secundae intentionis, idest, respondentia (854).
secundae Intellectus intentioni, qualia sunt,

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Through the Middle Ages and after, objective as well as formal intentionality
had been recognized as having the different levels mentioned by Lossada.12 There
was a level of first intention immediately following upon actual things or those
which could be possible outside the mind (Aristotles t xw n13).14 Then came
a level of second intention in the apprehension of items like species, genus, sub-
ject, predicate, etc., which were not per se impossible but which could not exist
outside the mind.15 Hierarchized between themselves,16 both first and second
intentions could again be hierarchized in the sense that there could be levels with-
in each order of intentionality. Thus, there could be first intentions of (l) John, (2)
man, or (3) animal17 and second intentions of (1) individual, (2) species, or (3)
All of these levels were possible in the sense that they could without contra-
diction exist outside the mind or in the mind itself. That is to say, they were possi-
ble either physically or at least logically.19 But intentionality also appears to
embrace items beyond all possibility whatever. These would be pure fictions or
purely impossible objects.20 Again, this intelligibility also can in some way be
hierarchized. Immediately, by a kind of reduction (necessary inasmuch as they
are known only secondarily, after the fashion of real things21), items like a sphinx
or a chimera could be known in a first intentional way.22 We need, however, reflect
but a moment to realize that a sphinx, a chimera, a goat-stag, a man-lion, etc., all
of which involve contradictory conjunctions of incompossible essences,23 can
each be regarded as falling under a species, or together under a genus of impossi-
ble animal. Again together they may be known under the broader notion of
impossible object, which can then be regarded in some way as their wider genus
or category.24
Connected to this is the understanding of beings of reason (entia rationis)
which Surez bequeathed to seventeenth-century Scholasticism. As Surez saw
them, beings of reason were defined by the fact that they existed only objectively
in the intellect.25 As such, they were of three kinds: negations, privations and rela-
tions.26 Within this division, a pride of place was accorded to impossible or self-
contradictory items, which would include things like chimerae27 and goat-stags.28
Apprehended in comparison with real (either actual or possible29) beings30 and
classified under negations,31 such impossible items would, most of all things, have
their being only objectively in the intellect.32 Although he may have got his refer-
ence wrong, Surez clearly attributed this understanding to Averroes.33 And in this
he was followed by many seventeenth-century scholastics, especially Jesuits.34
Relatedly, the schoolmen of that century divided beings of reason into those
which had some foundation in reality and those which did not. The former were

On the Pure Intentionality

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John P. Doyle

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usually referred to as beings of reasoned reason (entia rationis ratiocinatae) or

beings of reason with a basis in reality (entia rationis cum fundamento in re),
while the latter were called beings of reasoning reason (entia rationis ratioci-
nantis) or beings of reason without a basis in reality (entia rationis sine funda-
mento in re).35 These latter most of all would exist only in the mind. Their reality
would thus in a purest sense be intellectually intentional.36 And it is the purely
volitional intentionality, viz. the intrinsic teleology, of this pure intellectual inten-
tionality which is the concern of this essay.

11. . . propter quod ab aliquibus, ex Averroe, 13 Metaphysics 11.8.1065a24.

intentio intellecta appellatur; . . . ibid. With 14 Cf. Compton Carleton, Philosophia . . .,
this, contrast Cajetan [a.k.a. Thomas del Vio Logica, d. 14, s. 3, n. 3 (p. 80).
(1469-1534)] telling us that philosophers have 15Ibid. Also see note 5, above. Cf . John of

used the term intention to designate the formal St. Thomas, O. P. (a.k.a. John Poinsot [1589-
concept: Conceptus formalis est idolum 1644]), Cursus philosophicus thomisticus, ed.
quoddam quod intellectus possibilis format in Reiser: I (Taurini: Marietti, 1930), Logica II,
seipso, repraesentativum objectaliter rei intel- q. 2, a. 2 (p. 293b); ibid. q. 4, a. 2 (p. 347); and
lectae, quod a philosophis vocatur intentio, a Sylvester Mauro, S.J. (1619-1687): Aristotelis
theologis vero verbum. In De Ente et essentia Opera omnia quae extant brevi paraphrasi et
D. Thomae Aquinatis commentaria, c. 1, q. 2; litterae perpetuo inhaerente expositione illus-
ed. P. Laurent (Taurini: Marietti, 1934), p. 25. trata, I (Parisiis: Sumptibus et Typis P. Lethi-
Also, consider St. Thomas: Haec autem elleux, 1885), Prooemium in Aristotelis
intentio intellecta, cum sit terminus intelligi- Logicam et Porphyrii Introductionem, n. 2 (p.
bilis operationis, est aliud a specie intelligibili 4); ibid., n. 4; idem, Quaestiones philosophi-
quae facit intellectum in actu, . . . Contra cae (hereafter QP) ed. M. Liberatore (Paris:
Gentiles I, 53; Esse intentionis intellectae in Bloud et Barral, 1876 [originally published at
ipso intelligi consistit. ibid., IV, 11. On Rome in 1658]), qu. 5 (pp. 137-8).
Averroes terminology in this context, cf. 16Cf. e.g. Atque illa quidem merito dicuntur

Andr Hayen, S.J., Lintentionnel dans la intentiones primae, haec secundae, quia cum
philosophie de Saint Thomas (Paris: Descle illa sint horum fundamenta, intellectus noster
de Brouwer, 1942), pp. 51-3. Hayen himself prius in illa, quam in haec intendit, Pedro da
thinks that St. Thomas uses intentio in dis- Fonseca, S.J. (1528-1599), Institutionum
tinction from ratio in the way Thomists dialecticarum, libri octo, I, c. 32; edited and
distinguish the formal from the objective con- translated as Instituiies dialcticas by
cept; ibid., pp. 212-3. For a seventeenth-centu- Joaquim Ferreira Gomes (Coimbra, 1964
ry Thomist who might see it both ways, cf. . . [originally 1575]), vol. 1, p. 90.
. apud Logicos et Metaphysicos, intentio 17Cf. e.g. Lossada giving animal as an

accipitur pro conceptu formali intellectus; . . . example of an objective first intention, CP,
Rursus, accipitur apud eosdem pro conceptu Logica, I, 2, 4, n. 2 (vol. 1, p. 205).
objectivo; . . . Francisco de Araujo, O.P. 18Cf. . . . distinguantur a dialecticis genera,

(1580-1664), Commentariorum in universam species, et individua in ipsis entibus rationis,

Aristotelis Metaphysicam. Tomus Primus . . . Surez, DM 4.9.12 (25: 144).
(Burgis et Salmanticae, 1617), 111, q. 2, a. 2, 19Cf. DM 43.4.2-3 (26: 645); ibid., 42.3.9

n. 4 (p. 347). On the role of the Arabs, and of (613).

Averroes in particular, for the development of 20For the equivalence here, cf. . . . est pro-

terminology between volitional and cognition- prie ens fictum quod ita mente apprehendi
al intentionality, see P. Engelhardt, Intentio, . potest, ut in se involvat repugnantiam, et
. ., cols. 469-71. impossibilitatem, quae est negatio quaedam;
12Cf. e.g. Intentio tum formalis tum objecti- . . . DM 3.2.13 (25: 111).
va duplex est, prima et secunda. T. Compton 21For Surez attributing secondary intelligi-

Carleton, Philosophia . . ., Logica, d. 14, s. 3, n. bility to beings of reason, see De Anima IV,
3 (p. 80). cap. 1, n. 4 (1: 714).

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That beings of reason with a foundation could serve purposes within differ-
ent sciences was commonly recognized in medieval and post-medieval philoso-
phy. For examples: privation could in part explain natural change;37 absolute time
and space might be of use in measuring and explaining physical realities;38 epicy-
cles, deferents, excentrics, etc., could serve various purposes for astronomers;39
and second intentions could obviously do the same for logicians.40 At the end of
the sixteenth century, to indicate such utility Surez used the term doctrinal
(doctrinalis).41 Thus beings of reason with some foundation in reality were gener-
ally acknowledged to have a doctrinal character inasmuch as they could function
for teaching (doctrina) and learning within scientific contexts. Against this,
beings of reason which lacked foundadon were thought to lack such doctrinal
character. One can find this thought among seventeenth-century scholastics, both
Protestant42 and Catholic.43
To be sure, through and after the Middle Ages, questions arose about the very
existence of beings of reason which would lack all foundation. Impossible
objects, distinct from all possible objects, would appear to be the only candidates
for such status.44 Earlier, however, the exisience of such impossible objects had
been in effect rejected by Alexander of Aphrodisias (ca. 200 A.D.), who by rele-
gating self-contradictory items, like goat-stags, to the status of accidental being
(Aristotles t n kat sumbbhkj45) had reduced them to a combination of
two or more possible objects.46
Without mentioning Alexander, both St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and
Duns Scotus (1266-1308) were with him in this. Strictly impossible items, which
included an internal contradiction, were outside the pale of understanding.47 They
would be, in fact, not one object but rather a conjunction of two or more mutually
contradictory objects.48 As such, they would at best have the status of entia per
accidens, and on that account would be excluded from being in the categories and
seemingly even from being as true (Aristotles t n j lhh/j49).
In some opposition here was Averroes (1126-1198) for whom impossible
objects, which involved opposites simultaneously in the intellect (contraria
simul in intellectu), seem to be the very model of Aristotelian being as true.50 To
my knowledge, however, Averroes nowhere claimed a doctrinal use for such
objects. Neither did he explicitly claim any teleology for them, especially any
intrinsic teleology, some finis operis as opposed to a finis operantis.51 Indeed,
even though their creator or maker might have some purpose in fabricating them,
impossible items themselves would not seem to have any aim or utility.
Furthermore, inasmuch as impossible objects would lack any essence,52 they

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should also lack any capacity to be of themselves a goal of activity or operation.

Thus purely intentional objects of understanding would apparently lack any pure
intentionality in the sense of intrinsic purpose or finality.

22Cf. Quamquam vero figmentorum nomina 24What Surez has said about second inten-

ut Sphinx, Chimaera, et similia non sint pri- tions seems applicable here to impossible
mae, nec secundae intentionis posteriori accep- objects; . . . possit intellectus supra ipsasmet
tione, . . . possunt tamen reductione quadam secundas intentiones iterum reflecti, et conve-
dici primae intentionis, quia res fictae, etsi res nientias, vel differentias inter ipsas consider-
verae non sunt, tamen finguntur esse verae. are, et eas definire, vel ex eis discurrere, atque
Fonseca, Institutionum . . ., I, 32, (I, p. 90). Also ita in eis similes relationes fundare; ut ex
cf. Hinc infero, nec omnem primam inten- genere et specie abstrahit relationem univer-
tionem objectivam esse Ens reale, ut cum salis, et illud denominat denominat genus, et
primo concipit quis Chimaeram, ac proinde sic de aliis; . . . DM 54.6.11 (26: 1041); cf.
non semper requiritur secunda intentio ad Ens Francisco Surez, S.J., On Beings of Reason
Rationis formandum: . . . Compton Carleton, (De Entibus Rationis) Metaphysical
Philosophia . . ., Logica, d. 14, s. 3, n. 4 (p. 80). Disputation LIV, Translated with Introduction
For earlier recognition of this, cf.: . . . dico and Notes, by John P. Doyle (Milwaukee:
quod hircocervus, chimaera et consimilia perti- Marquette University Press, 1995), p. 122.
nent ad primam intentionem. Hervaeus Again, what Surez has said (DM 3.2.13 [25:
Natalis, De Intentionibus sec. f. 10r., as cited by 111]) about the infinite multiplication of use-
Theo Kobusch, Sein und Sprache: Historische less negations is directly applicable to impos-
Grundlegung einer Ontologie der Sprache sible objects, which he has explicitly classed
(Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987), p. 139. under negations (DM 54.4.10 [26: 1031]; tr.
23For this, see e.g.: . . . compositio ex Doyle, p. 97). Also cf. Antonio Rubio, S.J.
Hirco et Cervo in unam essentiam, non est (1548-1615): Et hujusmodi Entia rationis, in
realis, quin potius realiter impossibilis, eo infinitum possunt multiplicari ab intellectu,
quod contradictionem implicet, eandem rem sicut infinitis modis potest res diversae speciei
esse Hircum et Cervum; quia si Hircus sit, non conjungere. Logica Mexicana (Lugduni:
erit Cervus, si Cervus, non erit Hircus. Martin Sumpt. A. Pillehotte, 1620), Tract. de natura
Smiglecki, S.J. (1562-1618), Logica I (Oxonii: Entis rationis, dub. 3 (p. 72). At the same
Impensis H. Crypps, J. Godwin et R. Blagrave, time, Rubio seems to deny the point made in
1658 [originally: 1618]), d. 1, q. 1 (p. 3); for a our text: De Ente rationis non habente funda-
recent article which brings out the nuances of mentum in rebus, certum est non posse reduci
Smigleckis doctrine here, see Gino ad ordinem praedicamentalem; quia componi-
Roncaglia, Smiglecius on entia rationis, tur ex rebus diversis secundum essentiam: et
Vivarium, 33:1 (May 1995), pp. 27-49. Also ideo non habet unam aliquam determinatam
cf. . . . chymaera enim est objectum in se naturam, secundum quam possit in praedica-
includens duo praedicata, quae repugnant mento ordinari. ibid., dub. 7 (p. 79); on a
existere: quia unum immediate destruit aliud, being of reason without a foundation in reali-
exempli gratia hominem esse Leonem, aut ty, cf. notes 35 and 36, below.
habentem lucem esse tenebrosum: quia Leo 25Et ideo recte definiri solet, ens rationis,

includit irrationalitatem, qua destruit rationali- esse illud, quod habet esse objective tantum in
tatem, et hominem: tenebrae autem destruunt intellectu, seu esse id, quod a ratione cogitatur
immediate lucem: . . . P. Hurtado de Mendoza, ut ens, cum tamen in se entitatem non habeat.
S.J. (1578-1651), Disputationes metaphysicae DM 54.1.6 (26: 1016); tr. Doyle , p. 62.
(Lugduni: Sumpt. A. Pillehotte, 1617), d. 2, s. 26For this, see DM 54.3 (26: 1026-8); tr.

1, n. 7 (p. 1035). On disagreement among six- Doyle, pp. 84-90.

teenth and seventeenth-century authors about 27Ibid., s. 1, n. 7 (p. 1017); tr. Doyle, p. 63.

the composition of a chimaera, see my article, On the impossibility of a chimera, among

Surez on Beings of Reason and Truth (1), Surezs disciples cf. P. Hurtado de Mendoza,
Vivarium, 25: 1 (May 1987), pp. 47-75, esp. S.J., Disp. metaphys. 2, s. 1, n. 7, as cited above
n. 132. in note 23.

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This last thought is explicit in Surez, who denies any essence to an impossi-
ble object,53 and who writes, with regard to the final causality of a being of reason,
especially one without a foundation in extra-mental reality:
Since it is not something which is directly (per se) intended by nature
or by any agent, a being of reason does not of itself (ex se) properly have
a final cause. If, however, on the part of a man contriving or fashioning
beings of reason, some final cause (ratio) can be offered, that is more the
final cause of that mans thinking than of the object made and thought.54
Surez is significant in this context for at least three reasons. As a glance over
seventeenth-century writers will make plain, Surezs extended treatise on being
of reason was a Q-document or a Gogols overcoat for just about every subse-
quent treatment of this topic. Second, unlike St. Thomas and Duns Scotus, Surez
does admit impossible objects and, as mentioned, places them at the heart of his
being of reason doctrine,55 which he sees as continuing Aristotles doctrine of
being as true.56 And third, Surez explicitly cited Averroes as the source of his
main understanding of such beings of reason, i.e. as those which have being only
objectively in the intellect.57

Among those coming after Surez in the following century, I have found lit-
tle discussion of any teleology of impossibie objectsof any intentionality of
pure intentionality. Those few who touch on the matter have generally said noth-
ing more than Surez.58 Or if they have said something more it may seem trivial.
Francisco de Araujo, O.P. (1580-1664), for example, who restricted those beings
of reason which are negations to self-contradictory items,59 disagrees with Surez
on the teleology of beings of reason generally and sees them as in themselves
both a cause of pleasure and as having logical and grammatical utility.60 While
logical and grammatical utility would easily fall under the doctrinal character
attaching to beings of reason with a real foundation, simply being pleasurable
would reach toward various items beyond. For instance, it might embrace literary
fictions, which could originate in the minds creativity61 and which could of
course be impossible.62

Decades earlier the issue of the teleology of impossible items missed taking
on another nuance. Opportunity for this came from an objection to his masters

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doctrine entertained by Averroes irenic follower, the Padua professor, M.

Antonio Zimara (1460-1532).63 As Zimara framed this objection, Averroes stood
accused of being inconsistent. On one hand, he admitted opposites existing simul-
taneously in the mind. But on the other hand, he accepted Aristotles defense of
the principle of non-contradiction against a position attributed to Heraclitus.64
This defense, which Zimara termed a deduction for the impossible,65 evidently
rested upon the inadmissibility of thinking two opposites at once.66
Zimara himself answered first by interpreting Averroes to hold for simultane-
ous opposites at the incomplex level of apprehension while denying such oppo-
sites at the complex level of judgment.67 Precisely to the objection then, Zimara
says that Averroes has expounded Aristotles text in a different way from the
Latins.68 By the Latin interpretation, Aristotle is proving that two contradictories
cannot simultaneously be true, since if someone were to deny this, it would fol-
low that because contradictory opinions are contrary, then contraries would exist
in the same man.69 But Averroes, says Zimara, expounded that passage very much
otherwise: reasoning that if the dictum attributed to Heraclitus [i.e. that affirma-
tion and negation are the same] were true, since two different men could say and
think contradictory things to be true, it would follow that two contradictories
would be simultaneously truewhich is not possible.70 Thus Averroes is not here
addressing any presence of opposites in one intellect, especially at the level of
simple apprehension.
Had Averroes been alive, he might well have accepted Zimaras defense of
his position. But then again he might have taken the opportunity to defend it in
another way. One such other way was in part later intimated by Clemens Timpler

28Cf. e.g. DM 54.6.3 (26: 1039); tr. Doyle, p. Finite Being as such, On the Existence of that
118. The impossibility of a goat-stag is patent Essence and their Distinction, Translated with
because it would be at once a goat but also not Introduction by Norman J. Wells (Milwaukee:
a goat (inasmuch as it is a stag, which pre- Marquette University Press, 1983), pp. 63-4.
cludes its being a goat), a stag and also not a 30Cf. DM 54.2.16 (26: 1022); tr. Doyle, pp.

stag (inasmuch as it would be a goat, which 76-7.

precludes its being a stag). For this among 31Cf. Surez, DM 54.4.10 (26: 1031); tr.

those after Surez, cf. e.g.: . . . intellectus Doyle, p. 97. Also: ibid., 3.2.13 (25: 111), text
uniendo speciem hirci ac speciem cervi concipt in note 20, above.
hircocervum impossibilem. Sylvester Mauro, 32On this, see: Suarez on Beings of Reason

S.J., QP, qu. 4 (I, p. 134). Also: . . . si and Truth (1), . . ., esp. pp. 69-75.
conciperetur hircocervus impossibilis, verif- 33Unde recte dixit Comment., 6 Metaphys.,

icaretur de eo, quod si poneretur, esset hircus et comment. 3 [sic], ens rationis solum posse
non esset hircus, esset cervus et non esset habere esse in objective in intellectu. DM
cervus; . . . ibid., q 48, n. 2 (p. 479); while this 54.1.6 (26: 1016), tr. Doyle, p. 62. The correct
occurs in an objection to Mauros own doc- text of Averroes is: . . . loquamur de ente ve-
trine, he would agree with its description of the ridicanti, secundum quod est veridicans, et hoc
impossibility of a goat-stag. Also see M. est illud, quod est in anima. haec enim entia
Smiglecki, Logica I, d. 1, q. 1, as cited above in facta sunt ab intellectu . . . et est universaliter
note 23. istud ens tantum in affirmatione aut negatione.
29Cf. e.g. DM 31.2.10 (26: 232); ibid., n. 11; Averroes, In Metaph. VI, comm. 8; (Venetiis:
for this, see: Francis Surez, On the Essence of Apud Junctas, 1562), VIII, f. 152r, D.33.

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(1567-l624), a Calvinist Scholastic very much influenced by the Jesuit Surez. In

Timplers view, nothing (nihil), which is wide enough to include impossible
objects, has to be understood first, in order to understand principles like From
nothing comes nothing, or Something cannot be explained (resolvi) in noth-
ing.71 Related to this, Timpler accepts an argument that unless one could know
with certainty whether something is possible or impossible, nothing could ever be
certainly proven by a demonstration to impossibility (demonstratio ad impossi-
ble). But that would be absurd and would fly in the face of common philosophical

Much the same had been previously implied by Surez, who noted the uni-
versal sweep of arguments ad impossibile and remarked that Averroes recognized
this in commenting on Aristotle.73 In the same context, Surez quasi-tautologous-
ly spoke of impossibility as the ultimate term of resolution in demonstration to
impossibility.74 Moreover, even as he allowed for a distinction between this kind
of demonstration and the argument with which the principle of non-contradiction
is itself defended, Surez would think this latter argument would a fortiori pre-
suppose the conception of what is impossible.75 The obvious implication of it all
is that rather than getting in the way of first principles, the first of which is non-
contradiction, impossible objects may well be required in order to understand
Something like this was suggested by one of Surezs Jesuit successors in the
seventeenth century. Like Surez, Sylvester Mauro (1619-1687) cited Averroes as
a prime source for his understanding of beings of reason. Indeed, Mauros depen-
dence upon Surez here is strikingly shown by the fact that he has repeated the
same faulty citation of Averroes which Surez originally gave.76 But more explic-
itly and in much more detail than Surez, Mauro defended the existence of impos-
sible objects, distinct from all things actual or possible.77
In support of such objects, Mauro reasons that the adequate object of the
intellect is the intelligible; hence, everything which is intelligible can be appre-
hended by the intellect. But the intelligible can be divided into that which can be
and that which cannot be. Thus the intellect can apprehend not just that which is
but also that which is not. Again, it can apprehend not only that which is not and
yet can be, but also that which is not and cannot be, i.e. the impossible.78
In confirmation, Mauro continues. That potency which can divide its ade-
quate object into members which it can describe and distinguish can without
doubt apprehend all of those members. But the intellect can and does divide the

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intelligible into these four members: what is, what is not, what can be, and what
cannot be. And it does describe and distinguish each. Therefore, it apprehends all
these members. But not only does it apprehend them. Its whole discourse con-
cerns them as first and most known, when about some intelligible item it asks and
answers whether it is or is not, whether it can be, or whether it cannot be and is
therefore impossible, whether it can not-be, or whether it cannot not-be and is

34For some other Jesuits citing Averroes in Aristotelis Junctis Peregis Physicae quas in
the same way as Surez, cf. Conimbricenses, In alma, et Archi-Episcopali Universitate
Universam Dialecticam Aristotelis Stagiritae. Salisburgensi . . . (Salisburgi, 1696), II,
Prima Pars (Lugduni: Apud Horatium Cardon, Metaphysica, Qu. V. De fictione Entis (p. 231):
1607), in Praefationam Porphyrii, Qu. 6, art. 1 Commentator Aristotelis in librum 6. Metaph.
(p. 138): Definitur ens rationis a illud sic definit: Ens quod solum habet esse
Commentatore libr. 6. Metaphys. com. 3. Ens, objective in intellectu; quae definitio cum
quod solum habet esse objective in intellectu.; plausu ab omnibus de facto recepta est.; and
and Richard Lynch, S.J. (1610-1676), Universa Ludwig Babenstuber, O.S.B. (1660-1726),
Philosophia Scholastica. Tomus Tertius Philosophia Thomistica Salisburgensis sive
(Lugduni: Sumpt. Borde, Arnaud, et Rigaud, Cursus philosophicus secundum doctrinam D.
1654), Metaphysica, IV, Tr. I, c. 1 (p. 227): . . . Thomae Aquinatis Doctoris Angelici (Augustae
et ita definiri consuevit: ens rationis est, quod Vindelicorum: Sumpt. G. Schlteri, 1706)
habet esse objective tantum in intellectu. Haec Metaphysica, disp. 3, art. 5. n. 1: Impossibile,
autem definitio a Commentatore 6. metaphys. . . . est id quod implicat contradictionem: sive,
comment. 3. et B. Thoma. opusc. 42, cap. 1. ac id est, quod, si ponatur existere, sequitur con-
P. Suarez disp. 54 met. sect. 1. num. 7. et tradictio. De hoc impossibili, ait Sylvester
reliquis scholasticis communiter accepta, ita Mauro, verificatur definitio ens rationis tradita
explicari solet, ac debet. For St. Thomas as ab Averroe 6. Met, com. 3. quod habet esse
Lynch, inexactly following Surez (DM 54.1.6 solum objective in intellectu (pp. 76-7) . This
[26: 1016]), cites him here, cf. De natura last passage is of special interest inasmuch as it
generis, c. 1, in Opuscula Omnia necnon opera marks the influence of Surez, through
minora, ed. R. P. Joannes Perrier, O. P., Tomus Sylvester Mauro, on the Benedictines at
primus (Paris, 1949), p. 495, and c. 2, p. 500; Salzburg.
this work is regarded by James Weisheipl 35For this, see e.g.: Antonio Rubio, Logica

(Friar Thomas DAquino: His Life, Thought, mexicana, Tr. de nat. entis rationis, dub. 3 (pp.
and Work [New York, 1974], p. 403) as of 71-72) ; P. Hurtado de Mendoza, Disp.
uncertain authenticity. Also cf., De hoc Metaph. (Lugdani, 1624), d. 19, s. 4, n. 70 (p.
impossibili verificatur definitio entis rationis 953) and s. 5, n. 87 (p. 955); Francisco de
tradita ab Averroe 6. Met. com. 3, quod habet Oviedo, S.J. (1602-1651), Integer cursus phi-
esse solum objective in intellectu. Sylvester lasophicus, II (Lugduni: Sumpt. P. Prost,
Mauro, QP, qu. 48, resp. (vol. 1, pp. 481-2); 1640), Metaphysica, Cont. XII, P. 3 (p. 434);
and . . . definitur sic: Ens, quod habet esse tan- L. de Lossada, CP, Logica, I, disp. 2, c. 4, n. 5
tum objective in intellectu. Quam definitionem (vol. 1, p. 206) and Metaphysica, IV, c. 4, n. 39
cum Commentatore lib. 6. met. admittunt, et (vol. 10, p. 272); and John of St. Thomas,
probant Philosophi, . . . Ignacio Peynado, S.J. Cursus . . ., Logica II, q. 1, a. 3 (vol. 1, p.
(1633-1696), Disputationes in Universam 260a); ibid., II, q. 2, a. I (p. 287). Earlier, cf. S.
Aristotelis Logicam (Compluti: Sumpt. Colleg. Thomae Aquinatis, Scriptum super libros
Complutensis Soc. Jesu. Apud J. Espartosa, Sententiarum Magistri Petri Lombardi, I, d. 2,
Typographum Universitatis, 1721originally q. 1, art. 3; ed. R.P. Mandonnet, O.P., T. I
published in 1671), Tr. IV, disp. 1, sec. 1, n. 1 (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1929), pp. 63-72; ibid.,
(p. 335). Outside the Jesuits, see e.g.: P. d. 19, q. 5, a. 1; ed. Mandonnet, pp. 484-490.
Antonio Stroz, O.S.B. (1656-1725), Praeside, Later, cf. I. Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, A
Quaestiones speculativo-morales. In Logicam, 670.
et Metaphysicam Angelici Doctoris, et

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therefore necessary.79 In this way, the first and most evident truth is about what is
impossible, as when we say it is impossible that the same thing simultaneuosly
be and not be. Therefore, whoever denies that the impossible is conceived denies
the conception of a primary item of intellectual concern.80
Were Mauro here answering the objection considered by Zimara, I am not
sure that Averroes would accept his argument.81 Yet I do think there is a valid
response in what Mauro is saying. Far from blocking any argument ad impossi-
bile, or any argument by refutation for the principle of non-contradiction itself,
our ability to conceive a contradiction, viz., to hold impossible objects in mind, is
the necessary presupposition of such arguments. And in this, impossible objects
manifest a kind of teleology toward such arguments, which is about as close as
one might come to a pure intentionality of pure intentionality.

In the twentieth century, an objection in part similar to that entertained by
Zimara against Averroes was the chief complaint lodged by Bertrand Russell
against Alexius Meinongs Theory of Objects (Gegenstandstheorie82). As
Russell saw it, in admitting impossible objects (such as a round square), Meinong
had violated the principle of contradiction.83 Meinong himself took note of
Russells argument and answered it by excluding impossible objects from the
scope of the principle of contradiction (der Satz des Widerspruches), which he
restricted to actual or possible things.84
At the same time, whether they are among those objects which he terms
complete (vollstndige) or those he calls incomplete (unvollstndige),85
Meinong regards impossible objects as coming within the scope of the principle
of excluded middle.86 This last position agrees with one taken centuries before by
Surez in reply to an objection against his own doctrine regarding impossible
objects.87 But on another point as well, Meinong and Surez appear very much
together. For just as Surez and others had earlier asserted that the opponents of
impossible objects could not deny them without in the course of their denial
admitting them,88 Meinong, while hoping to avoid an ad hominem argument,
alluded to the fact that Russell in his very denial of the round square and other
impossible objects necessarily had to employ them.89
Not far away from this are two other points. First, in the same work in which
he confronts Russell, Meinong has twice noted the use of impossible objects in
indirect proofs, or reductiones ad impossibile.90 Second, although he has not
said it in so many words, Meinong also would seem to think that one would need
impossible objects in order to use the principle of contradiction itself. Thus in

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order to know that there is a violation of this principle it seems necessary to know
that there is some synthesis which, because it involves a contradiction, cannot be. It
seems necessary, for example, to know that A cannot without qualification be -A or
that the synthesis of A and -A is contradictory, which is to know something as impos-
sible.91 Implicitly then, Meinong sees a purpose for what is impossible and thus is
aiming at some purely teleological intentionality for purely intellectual intentionality.

Antonio Milln-Puelles makes it explicit in his magnificent book devoted to
the theory of the pure object.92 Quite different from Mienongs

36Cf. e.g. . . . ens rationis praeter esse imaginarii in doctrina sphaerica: . . . Clemens
objectivum, et intentionale, quod habet in Timpler (1568-1624), Metaphysicae Systema
intellectu, neque habet, neque potest habere Methodicum (Hanoviae: Apud P. Antonium,
aliud esse ipsi intrinsecum sive existentiae, . . . 1616), I, c. 3, prob. 11 (p. 36). Calvinist
Nam ens rationis idem est, ac impossibile, ut scholastics, both Goclenius and Timpler were
constat ex communi acceptione much influenced by Surez.
Philosophorum, . . . sed impossibile (in 40Cf. e.g. . . . ens rationis acceptum pro

quocumque impossibilitas consistat) illud est, secunda intentione sit formale objectum
quod cognosci potest ab intellectu, et in ipso Logicae, possit illud dici per se inspectum ab
objective existere, et praeter hoc esse objec- arte, et secundario ordinatum ab ipsa in finem
tivum, nullum aliud esse potest habere sibi adquirendi alias scientias. J. Saenz de
intrinsecum existentiae, . . . ergo ens rationis Aguirre, O.S.B. (1630-1699), Philosophia
illud est, quod potest habere esse objectivum rationalis nov-antiqua sive Disputationes
extrinsecum, et intentionale, et praeter hoc selectae in Logicam et Metaphysicum
esse, nullum aliud potest habere sibi intrinse- Aristiotelis (Salmanticae: Apud Lucam Perez,
cum existentiae, futuritionis, aut praeteritionis 1675), Logica, Tr. II, d. 9, n. 1 (p. 114).
realis. I. Peynado, Disputationes . . ., Tr. IV, 41Cf. esp. Francisco Surez, S.J., DM 54.4.2

sect. 1, n. 2 (p. 335). . . . ens rationis in hoc (26: 1029); cf. Doyle, p. 92, n. 121. For doctri-
differt ab ente reali, quod habeat hanc existen- nalis so used earlier, cf. Disputationis vero
tiam intentionalem tantum; nullam vero quatuor sunt species: scilicet doctrinalis,
intrinsecam et realem habeat, nec habere pos- dialectica, tentativa et sophistica . . . Doctrinalis
sit. L. de Lossada, CP, Metaphysica, IV, c. 4, sive demonstrativa est quae ad scientiam ordi-
n. 38 (vol. 10, p. 272). natur, . . . St. Thomas Aquinas, De fallaciis,
37Cf. Aristotle, Physics 1.8.191b15ff and cap. I, n. 3, in S. Thomae Aquinatis, Opuscula
Met-aphysics 11.3.1061al8ff. Also see: DM omnia necnon opera minora. Tamus primus,
54.4.17 (26: 1036) ; tr. Doyle, p. 109. Opuscula philosophica, ed. R.P. Joannes
38DM 54.4.1 (26: 1029); ibid. n. 7 (1030). On Perrier, O.P. (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1949), p.
a possible doctrinal use of empty space, see 431; on authenticity of the De fallaciis, see J.
Francisco Surez, S.J. On Beings of Reason Weisheipl, Friar Thomas DAquino . . ., p. 386.
. . ., pp. 35-6. 42See, e.g. Solentque haec entia rationis
39Cf. e.g. Epicyclus in Astronomia est ens vocari doctrinales, eo quo iis in docendo solea-
rationis, id est in coelo locatus est non naturae mus uti. . . . Atque sic omne ens rationis (spe-
consilio, sed hominum arbitrio, ut fictitia cialiter sumpta voce pro ente rationis, quod
hypothesis, . . . Rudolph Goclenius (1547- doctrinale est, quodque ficto contra distingui-
1628), Isagoge in peripateticorum et scholas- tur) est vel relatio, vel privatio, vel negatio.
ticorum Primam Philosophiam, quae dici Christoph Scheibler (1589-1653), Opus meta-
consuevit Metaphysica (Francofurti: Ex offic. physicum (Giessae Hessorum: Typis N.
M. Z. Palthenii, 1598), C. 1, n. 1 (p. 15), and Hampelii, 1617), I, cap. 27, art. 1, n. 63 (p.
Deinde aliud [ens rationis] fundamentum 878).
habere in ipsis rebus, ut sunt orbes et circuli

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Gegenstandstheorie,93 Milln-Puelles work focuses on the unreal in its myriad

manifestations.94 Again unlike Meinong, who has admitted his ignorance of
Scholastic doctrine,95 Milln-Puelles is very much aware of the Scholastics and
their seventeenth-century treatises on beings of reason. While such beings of rea-
son would occupy but one section (slo un fragmente96) of his wider theory of
objects,97 it is a most important section at the very heart of the theory itself.98
Specifically, beings of reason would be necessarily nonexistent intelligible quid-
dities, characterized by the fact that their only possibility consists in their being
objects of understanding.99 In this purely intentional condition, they would con-
trast with just factually nonexistent intelligible objectssuch as mere possibles,
the past, and the future100which even though unreal are more than purely inten-
tional at least in the sense that they do not exclude all being outside that of being
an object.101
In the coarse of a chapter (19) devoted to the teleology of the unreal (La
Finalidad de lo Irreal), Milln-Puelles asks about the para qu, what Aristotle
would call the a ^ u nka,102 of an unreal intelligible object.103 What he has in
mind is not merely a finis operantis but rather a finality which should be classified
as a finis operis.104 More precisely, his question is nuanced in a way different from
that of Surez. Whereas the great Jesuit had asked about the finality of beings of
reason in the sense of how they themselves could be an end of the minds activity,
Milln-Puelles asks how they, and unreal objects generally, can have any finality
beyond themselveshow can they be means to some further end?105
In this context, Milln-Puelles has no trouble following the Scholastic divi-
sion of beings of reason into those which have and those which do not have a
basis in reality.106 A para qu in the case of beings of reason with a foundation in
reality seems obvious enough. In general, like all beings of reason, they have
beyond themselves the end of complementing intellectual activity.107 In particular,
different ones have diiferent functions, particular finalities,108 which would make
them doctrinal in the sense of the Scholastics.
But what of beings of reason without foundation? Specifically, what of
impossible objects? Even if one assumes or allows their existence, what further
finality can they have? Milln-Puelles sees such purely fictional entities as also
having a twofold finality. In general, they too will serve to complete certain intel-
lectual activities.109 Looking in the opposite direction from Surez, he here is
thinking that such fictional entities generally have the further end of perfecting
intelligence rather than being themselves as unreal the end of an intelligence
which would be real.110 But even if one allows that,111 the further question is pre-
cisely what particular finality could they have?

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Milln-Puelles has explicitly considered Araujos position that beings of rea-

son without foundation, merely impossible objects, can have the end of provid-
ing pleasure.112 He has, however, rejected this for the reason that such objects
give pleasure precisely inasmuch as they are products of imagination rather
than of reason or intellect.113 That is to say, what pleases us about things like
centaurs, sirens, or winged horses is their sensible appearance, not any intelligi-
ble unreality (i.e. being of reason) which they present to us.114 For what plea-

43Cf. e.g. Dico ergo divisionem hanc recte 3, a. 5, n. 3 (p. 77).

45Cf. e.g. Metaphysics 5.7.1017a7;
assignatam esse pro Entibus Rationis tantum
doctrinalibus, sub qua proinde divisione non 6.2.1026a34-1027a28; 11.8.1065a22.
46Cf. w{spr gar o[noma ti movnon to; kat
continentur mere fictitia, quaeque nihil ad sci-
entias deserviunt, nec ad entis realis cogni- sumbbhkov$ stin spr gr
tionem quidquam conducunt: . . . T. Compton trage/lao$. o[noma m/n sti, pra ^gma d kai;
Carleton, S.J., Philosophia . . ., Logica, d. 14, fuvsi$ ti$ kai; o{lw$ ti o]n oujdamw`$ stin, ou{tw
s. 2, n. 2 (p. 80) ; the division of which kai; to; kat sumbbhko;$ o]n o[noma movnon s-
Carleton is speaking here is of beings of rea- tiv. In Metaph. VI, 2; ed. Hayduck, p. 448, 11.
son into negations, privations, and relations. 36-9. For earlier Stoic highlighting of the juxta-
Earlier in the Jesuit tradition, cf. . . . respon- position involved in such objects, cf. T.
deri potest. Primo admittendo figmenta, in toto Kobusch, Sein und Sprache . . ., pp; 29-32, 45-
rigore, esse entia rationis; non fuisse tamen 46.
47Cf. . . . ea quae sunt secundum se impos-
comprehensa a Philosophis in tradita divi-
sione, . . . In Philosophia vero non est usus, sibilia non cadunt in intellectum, cum sibi
nisi earum rerum, quae aliquam habent veri- ipsis repugnent; . . . St. Thomas, Summa con-
tatem, cum de rebus in mundo existentibus tra gentiles I, c. 84; also: Summa theologiae I,
affirmantur. Unde a quibusdam addi solet in 25, 3.
48Cf. . . . impossibile simpliciter includit
definitione entis rationis (quod de rebus veris
dici potest). Conimbricenses, In universam incompossibilia, quae ex rationibus suis for-
Dialecticam . . . Prima pars, In praefationem malibus sunt incompossibilia, . . . Duns
Porphyrii, q. 6, a. 2 (p. 144). Also, cf. Ens Scotus, Ordinatio I, d. 43, q. un., in Opera
rationis iterum est a. Doctrinale, quod scientiis omnia VI (Civitas Vaticana: Typis Polyglottis
inservit; puta secundae intentiones Logicae. b. Vaticanis, 1963), p. 359, n. 16.
49Cf. Metaphysics 6.2.1026a33-1026b2; and
Non-doctrinale, quod scientiis minime
inservit, v.g. Hippocentaurus. Pierre Godart, 11.8.1065a 22 ff.
50For this, cf. In Metaphys., L. VI, c. 1, t. 8
Lexicon philosophicum I (Parisiis: Apud Vid.
J. le la Caille et R. de la Caille, 1675), Tr. 4 (p. (152r-v). For some of the dimensions of the
139). difference here between Averroes and
44For this, cf., e.g. Infero secundo. Sola Alexander as it works out in later Scholastic
enim impossibilia esse entia rationis: quia ens debate, see my article: Another God,
rationis est illud, quod in re non potest exis- Chimerae, Goat-Stags, and Man-Lions: A
tere: At quod in re non potest existere, est Seventeenth-Century Debate about Impossible
impossibile. Ergo ens rationis est id quod est Objects, The Review of Metaphysics, 48:4
impossibile. M. Smiglecki, Logica I, d. 1, q. 1 (June 1995), pp. 771-808.
51For this distinction, see e.g., St. Thomas,
(p. 3); Ens rationis essentialiter seu in statu
essentiae suae est ens impossibile, quatenus Summa Theologiae II-II, 141, 6, ad 1; Scriptum
potest cognosci, et existere in cognitione. super Sententiis Mag. P. Lombardi, IV, d. 16, q.
Maximilian Wietrowski, S.J. (1660-1737), 3, a. 1, 2, ad 3; ed. M. F. Moos, O.P., T. IV
Philosophia disputata (Pragae: Typis Univ. C. (Paris: Lethielleux, 1947), p. 796; and John of
Ferd., 1697), Logica, Concl. 14, cap. 2, n. 1 (p. St. Thomas, Cursus . . ., Naturalis philosophi-
276); Dico iam. Definitio entis rationis recte ae, I. P., q. 13, a. 1; ed. Reiser, II (1933), p.
attributur omni et soli impossibili. L. 271b.
Babenstuber, Philosophia . . . Metaphysica, d.

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sure, he asks, could the intellectual grasp of the impossible unity of such para-
doxical things give us?115
Even as he asks this, however, Milln-Puelles will admit in association with
impossible objects a certain intellectual satisfaction, which may be present, for
instance, when we demonstrate something to be impossible.116 This satisfaction is
quite different from the pleasure that follows on the sensible features of imagined
objects.117 Yet the fact that it occurs at all is significant and ties in to an earlier
remark Milln-Puelles has made to the effect that those arguments which are
reductiones ad absurdum can result in impossible objects divided against them-
selves118 and, furthermore, that it is only because there are such objects that
reductiones ad absurdum are possible.119
Immediately adjacent to this is Milln-Puelles main thought about the partic-
ular teleology of beings of reason without a basis in reality, i.e. intelligibly unreal
impossible objects. As he puts it: in openly paradoxical things (i.e. those evi-
dently divided against themselves) we encounter the fact that beyond having the
general finality natural to all beings of reason they have a finality proper to them-
selves alone inasmuch as they make possible the concept of the impossible.120
Indeed, he continues, without a concrete objectual121 matter to serve as a basis
for their understanding, no universal notions at all could be objectified.122 But the
concrete objectual matter which is required for the universal concept of the impossi-
ble is always that of an openly paradoxical quiddity. That is to say, without objects
such as a round square, a woman-fish (i.e. a mermaid), or a man-horse (a centaur),
etc. we would totally lack the idea of the impossible and, as a result, we would lack
one of the most radical and indispensable resources of intellectual life itself.123 A fur-
ther result would be that all reductiones ad absurdum would be impossibleand
even the principle of contradiction itself would be unworkable since what is
expressed in it is an absolute impossibility and not just a a simple negative fact.124

Even for those who have no trouble with teleology in general, there are obvious
problems about a supposed teleology for beings of reason. Evils such as sickness,
death, madness, sin or moral disorder are not intrinsically impossible items. But nei-
ther are they positive realities in their own right. They are, instead, negations or pri-
vations of being. And when they are conceived in the likeness of being,125 they
become beings of reason with a foundation in reality.126 Questions regarding their
purpose go deep into physical, metaphysical, epistemological, psychological, and
moral areas. Reaching beyond human beings to the Divine Reality itself, in various
ways they drive deep into the realms of intellectual and volitional intentionality.127

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John P. Doyle

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There are questions, however, even deeper and wider about beings of reason
which have no foundation in reality outside the mind, questions about those pure-
ly impossible objects which Milln-Puelles has called openly paradoxical. The

52Cf. Sed debes scire universaliter quod autem quis intenderet entis rationis fingere,
nomen ens, quod significat essentiam rei, est posset ex parte hominis fingentis finalis causa
aliud ab ente quod significat verum. Averroes, assignari, quae proprie esset causa suae inten-
In Metaph. V, c. 7, t. 14; f. 117r.; on this, also tionis, et secundario actus intellectus, quo ens
cf.: . . . aliqua enim hoc modo dicuntur entia rationis fingitur, valde tamen improprie, et
quae essentiam non habent, . . . unde remote respectu entis rationis ficti. Oviedo,
Commentator in eodem loco dicit quod ens Integer Cursus . . ., Metaphys., cont. 12, punct.
primo modo dictum est quod significat essenti- 6, n. 1 (p. 440).
am rei. St. Thomas Aquinas, De ente et essen- 59Cf. . . . chimera haec, sicut et quaevis

tia, c. 1, ed. M.-D. Roland Gosselin, O.P. alia, ex diversis et repugnantibus accidentibus
(Paris: Vrin, 1948), p. 3; . . . ens uno modo conficta, est negatio, contenta sub primo
dicitur de quo possunt propositiones formari, membro huius divisionis, in quo illae duntaxat
etsi essentiam non habeat. De natura generis, negationes comprehenduntur, quae consistunt
c. 1, n. 1 in S. Thomae Aquinatis, Opuscula in repugnantia quadam et incompossibili
omnia necnon opera minora. I, ed. Perrier, p. compositione, conficta ab intellectu.
495; on the uncertain authenticity of the De Commentariorum . . ., III, q. 1, a. 4, n. 27 (pp.
natura generis, see J. Weisheipl, Friar Thomas 338-9); . . . negationem, prout est tertium
DAquino: . . ., p. 403. membrum a caeteris huius divisionis condis-
53Cf. . . . nec dici possunt habere essenti- tinctum, solum pro chimericis composition-
am. Surez, DM 54.1.10 (26: 1018); tr. Doyle, ibus accipi, quae nullo gaudent fundamento.
p. 65. Recall Surazs acknowledged depen- ibid., n. 29 (p. 339).
dence upon Avveroes for his basic understand- 60Denique implicat, aliquid habere aliquo

ing of a being of reason; see note 33, above. modo causam efficientem, quin habeat eodem
54. . . nam ens rationis ex se nullam proprie modo causam finalem: cum forma ipsa causa
habet finalem causam, quia non est aliquid per sit finis suae generationis. Maxime, quia intel-
se intentum a natura, vel ab aliquo agente. lectus multoties confingit quaedam entia, et illa
Quod si ex parte hominis excogitantis aut fin- cognoscit propter aliquem finem, ut causa
gentis entia rationis, finalis aliqua ratio reddi delectionis, et causa faciendi aliquas praedica-
possit, illa magis est finalis ratio ipsius cogita- tiones, attribuit extremis praedicationis varias
tionis hominis, quam ipsius objecti facti et intentiones, v.g. subjecti, praedicati, individui,
cogitati, . . . DM 54.2.1 (26: 1018); tr. Doyle, speciei, etc. ergo. ibid. n.15, p. 328.
p. 66. 61What Surez called fecunditas intellec-
55For this, see the reference at note 32, tus; cf. DM 54.1.8 (26: 1017); tr. Doyle, p. 64.
above. 62Cf. Nomine entis rationis hic intelligo id,
56Cf. DM 54.1.4 (26: 1016); tr. Doyle, pp. quod est contradistinictum ab omni ente reali:
60-1; DM 31.2.11 (26: 232); tr. Wells, p. 64. ita tamen, ut non sit omnino nihil, sed habeat
For Aristotle, see Metaphysics 5.7.1017a31; aliquod esse ab intellectu fictum, quod sit
6.2.1026a34-5; 6.4.1027b18-1028a3; 11.8. impossibile realiter: quapropter ens rationis
1065a21. bene dicitur id esse, quod habet tantum esse
57Cf. notes 25 and 33, above. objectivum in ratione; . . . ut patet in fiction-
58Cf. e.g.: Ut enim optime observat Eximius nibus poetarum, quae acumine ingenii excogi-
Suarez disp. 54. Metaph. ens rationis, cum non tatae sunt: . . . Sforza Pallavicino, S.J.
sit per se inspectum a natura, vix potest habere (1607-1667), De Universa Philosophia
alium finem, quam praescriptum pro libito ab (Romae: Typographia Francisci Corbelletii,
ipso operante. Saenz de Aguirre, Philosophia 1628), Philosophia contemplativa, II, c. 27, nn.
. . ., Logica, Tr. 2, d. 9, n. 1 (p. 114). Notavit 919-920 (pp. 174-5).
bene P. Suar. tantum posse disputari de causa 63On Zimara, see Ernest Renan, Averroes et

efficiente entis rationis, quia cum non sit per se L'Averrosme (Paris: Auguste Durand, 1852),
intentum a natura non habet finalem causam, si pp. 297-300.

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particular question in this essay about the intrinsic finality of such objects may not
seem to shake the earth. To some it may appear merely a matter of little fleas and
lesser fleas. But, against this, my hope is to have shown some of its importance, as
well to have displayed a continuing historical trend towards its resolution. In my
opinion, the question of the pure intentionality of pure intentionality does indeed
verge upon a primary item of intellectual concern.128 Approaching an Ultima
Thule of philosophical discourse, attempts to answer it are probing the limits of
thought, speech, and action themselves.

On the Pure Intentionality

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John P. Doyle

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64Cf. For it is impossible for any one to 603; and Fonseca, In Metaph. Arist., L. IV,
believe the same thing to be and not to be, as Capitis tertii explanatio, P (p. 846).
some think Heraclitus says. For . . . it is impos- 70Sed longe aliter exponit locum illum

sible that contrary attributes should belong at Commentator et sua expositio talis est, quod si
the same time to the same subject . . . and if an dictum Heracliti esset verum, cum contingat
opinion which contradicts another is contrary duos diversos homines dicere contradictoria, et
to it, obviously it is impossible for the same existimare ea vera esse, sequeretur ergo duo
man to at the same time believe the same thing contradictoria esse vera simul, quod non est
to be and not be; for if a man were mistaken on possibile: . . . Zimara, f. 409v. With this, cf.
this point he would have contrary opinions at Aristotle oik d oJ mn Hraklivtou lovgo",
the same time. Metaphysics 4.3. 1005b23-31, l/gwn pnta i\nai kai; mh; i\nai, panta
tr. W.D. Ross, in The Basic Works of Aristotle, a>lhq poii`n, . . . Metaphysics 4.7.1012a23-
ed. Richard McKeon (New York: Random 5.
House, 1941) p. 737. 71Cf. e.g. Nihil . . . est intelligibile. Quod
65Zimara here makes no distinction between nisi fieret, multa principia Philosophica. . . a
Aristotles hJ ij$ to; duvnaton povdixi$ (cf. nobis intelligi non possunt; cuiusmodi sunt:
e.g. Anal. Post. 1.11.77a22) and his podi`xai Quicquid est, aut est a nihilo, aut ab aliquo.
lgktikw`$ (Metaph. 4.4.1006a11-12). Ex nihilo nihil fit. Aliquid in nihilum non
Connected with this, see note 75, below. potest resolvi; inter nihil et aliquid nulla est
66Dicit Commentator quod anima potest proportio. Cum autem hoc sit absurdum et
simul opposita recipere. Hujus tamen opposi- pugnet cum sano cuiusque hominis judicio,
tum habet. 4. meta. tex. com. 9. ubi statuendum omnino est, Nihil est intelligi-
Commentator et Philosophus probant per bile. Metaphysicae Systema . . ., L. 1, c. 2, pr.
deductionem ad impossibile, quod, si primum I (p. 21).
principium non esset verum, tunc opiniones 72. . . nisi homo semper certo posset

contrariae in eodem essent. Et Commentator in cognoscere utrum aliquid sit possibile vel
commento dicit, quod qui dicit aliquod intelli- impossibile, sequeretur inde, non omnia certo
gibile, ponit hoc fundamentum, quod duo opp probari posse per demonstrationem ad impossi-
osita non congregantur insimul. Marcae bile ducentem: Sed consequens est absurdum,
Antonii Zimarae, Solutiones contradictionum et pugnat non tantum cum natura illius demon-
in dictis Aristotelis et Averrois, VI Meta. com. strationis, sed etiam cum communi
ult., in Aristotelis Opera cum Averrois com- Philosophorum decreto: Ergo absurdum est
mentariis, Aristotelis Metaphysicorum libri antecedens. ibid., c. 7, n. 3 (p. 138); Timpler
XIIII, etc. (Venetiis: Apud Junctas, 1562), VIII, gives this argument in support of an affirmative
f. 409v. For Averroes, cf. . . . impossibile est, answer to the question: Whether one can
ut duo opposita sint insimul, . . . In Metaphy. always know with certainty whether something
IV, c. 2, com. 9 (f. 75rC); and ibid. (f. 75vK-L), is possible or impossible? (Utrum ab homine
as cited in note 81, below. semper certo possit utrum aliquid sit possibile
67De istis igitur contrariis incomplexis iudi- vel impossibile?).
co dictum Aver. veritatem habere sine dubio: As regards Timpler's own basic view of
sed de contrarietate, quae est inter complexa: inpossible objects, we may note some ambigui-
difficultas est, . . . Zimara, ibid, f. 409v. ty. From his definition of entia rationis
68Ad formam igitur contradictionis dicen- [Denique ens rationis dici [potest] quodlibet
dum puto, quod longe aliter Averroes exponit ens, quod a ratione fingitur et excogitatur, ad
tex. illud nonum 4. met. quam exponit nostri modum entis realis, neque citra mentis cogita-
Latini. ibid. tionem existere aptum est. ibid., c. 3. pr. 6 (p.
69Nam secundum Latinos Aristoteles ibi 30)], they would seem to be on the side of
secundum eorum expositionem probat, quod being, even as they have no aptitude for exis-
duo contradictoria non possunt simul vera esse, tence. But, against this, he has explicitly put
quia, si quis opinaretur oppositum primi prin- them on the side of non-being; cf. Quidquid
cipii, sequeretur quod cum opiniones de con- enim implicat contradictionem, id involvit aliq-
tradictoriis sint contrariae, tunc accideret uid destruens rationem entis. ibid.,II, c. 7, pr. 1
contraria in eodem esse. ibid. With this, cf. St. (p. 135).
Thomas Aquinas, In XII libros Meta- 73Imo in omni genere demonstrationis, . . .

physicorum Aristotelis, L. IV, 1. 6; ed. M.-R. vis illationis virtute fundatur in deductione ad
Cathala (Taurini: Marietti, 1950), p. 167, n. impossibile, scilicet, quia fieri non potest quod

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simul sit et non sit, vel quod duae contradictori- esse, adeoque est impossibile; utrum possit non
ae simul sint verae. Propter quod dixit esse, vel non possit non esse, adeoque sit nec-
Averroes, 2 Metaphys., cap. 1, sine illo princi- essarium. ibid., pp. 482-3.
pio ab Aristotele posito neminem posse 80Ita primum et evidentissimum verum est

philosophari, disputare aut ratiocinari. DM circa impossibile, dum enuntiat impossibile est
3.3.6 (25: 113). Surezs citation of Averroes idem simul esse et non esse; . . . ergo qui negat
here is incorrect. For the correct citation, cf. concipi impossibile, negat concipi unum ex
Averroes, In Metaph. IV, c. 2, com. 9 (f. 75rC quatuot circa quae tanquam circa prima versat-
and 75vG). ur intellectus. ibid., p. 483.
74Cf. DM 3.3.8 (25: 113-4). 81Cf. e.g. . . . impossibile est, ut aliquis ind-
75Cf. . . . ipsum [i.e. principium contradic- ucat demonstrationem, quod hoc principium
tionis] autem nullo modo ostendi potest etiam est verum: nisi sit demonstratio errans, si ille,
deductione ad impossibile, quia nullum aliud qui hoc dicit, dicat aliquid, i.e. aliquod intelligi-
impossibilius inferri potest, quam sit illud quod bile. Et dicit hoc, quia cum dixit aliquod intelli-
in eo pronunciatur, . . . DM 3.3.9 (25: 114); gibile, ponit hoc fundamentum, scilicet quod
also cf. . . . non modo conclusiones omnes, duo opposita non congregantur insimul. In
sed etiam caetera omnia principia confirmantur Metaphys. IV, c. 2, t. 9 (f. 75vK-L). Note that in
a priori, deductione ad contradictionem, quod the 16th century translation of Aristotles
est omnium maximum, ac manifestissimum Metaphysics which Averroes text accompa-
impossibile. Hujusmodi autem impossibile hoc nies, Aristotles proof by refutation is rendered
solo principio exprimitur. Praeterea illud est as demonstratio per modum erroris.
primum principium simpliciter, quod cum est 82For this, see: ber Gegenstandstheorie

necessarium nec ostensive, nec per deduc- (1904); rep. in Alexius Meinong Ge-
tionem ad impossibile demonstrari potest: at samtausgabe, II Abhandlungen zur Er-
hoc principium est hujusmodi. Fonseca, In kenntnistheorie und Gegenstandstheorie, bear-
Metaph. IV, c. 3, q. 1 (p. 851D-E). In conjunc- beitet von R. Haller (Graz: Akademische
tion with this, see note 65, above. Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, 1971), pp. 481-535;
76Cf. note 33, above. trans. as The Theory of Objects in Roderick
77For this, cf. QP, q. 48 (vol. 1, pp. 478-91). M. Chisholm, ed., Realism and the Background
78Sed objectum adaequatum proportion- of Phenomenology (Glencoe, 1960). Also cf.:
aliter respondens intellectui est intelligibile, . . . ber die Stellung der Gegestanstheorie im
ergo omne id in quod potest dividi intelligibile System der Wissenschaften (Leipzig: R.
est attingibile ab intellectu; sed intelligibile Voigtlnder, 1907); and J. N. Findlay,
dividitur in id quod est, in id quod non est, in id Meinong's Theory of Objects and Values, 2nd
quod potest esse et in id quod non potest esse; ed (Oxford, 1963).
ergo intellectus potest attingere non solum 83Cf. But the chief objection to Meinong's

quod est, sed etiam quod non est, non solum view seems to me to lie in the fact that it
quod potest esse, sed etiam quod non potest involves denying the law of contradiction when
esse, quod est impossibile. ibid., p. 482. impossible objects are constituents. B.
79Cf. Confirmatur, quia potentia, quae Russell, Critical Notice on Untersuchungen
potest dividere suum objectum adaequatum in zur Gegestandstheorie und Psychologie. Mit
aliqua membra, singula describendo et dis- Untersttzung des k.k. Ministeriums fr Kultus
tinguendo, proculdubio potest attingere omnia und Unterricht in Wien herausgegeben von A.
illa membra; sed intellectus potest dividere et Meinong. Leipziz: Verlag von Johann
de facto dividit intelligibile in haec quatuor Ambrosius Barth. 1904, Pp. xi, 634, Mind, NS
membra: quod est; quod non est; quod potest XIV (1905), p. 533.
esse; quod non potest esse; ac singula describit 84Cf. . . . der Satz des Widerspruches ist ja

ac distinguit; ergo attungit haec, tanquam circa von niemandem auf anderes als auf Wirkliches
prima et notissima versatur totus discursus, und Mgliches bezogen worden. ber die
dum de intelligibili quaerit ac judicat utrum sit Stellung der Gegestandstheorie . . ., p. 16.
vel non sit; utrum possit esse, vel non possit

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John P. Doyle

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85On complete vs. incomplete objects, cf. n. 10, p. 58. On this, cf.: La cognoscibilidad
esp. ber Mglichkeit und Wahrscheinlichkeit de lo imposible se hace an ms patente si nos
(Leipzig: Verlag Barth, 1915), n. 25, pp. 168- percatamos de lo que conlleva formular el prin-
81. cipio de contradiccin. Para saber que algo
86For this with respect to impossible objects viola este principio parece necesario saber lo
as complete, cf. ibid., p. 179. As regards que es una contradiccin, de lo contrario no se
impossible objects as incomplete, see A. ve cmo se pueda entonces decir de algo que
Meinong, Selbstdarstellung, Zweiter Absch- es contradictorio o, sin ms, el poder enunciar
nitt, B, II, pp. 16-17, in Gesamtausgabe, Bd. el principio de contradiccin. Para poder saber
VII, pp. 18-19. que A no puede ser no-A en el mismo sentido,
87Cf. DM 54.5.14 (26: 1035), tr. Doyle, p. hay que entender lo que es A, lo que es no-A y,
107. For a different view, cf. Peynado, Logica, por ltimo, que la sntesis de A y no-A es con-
T. 4, d. 3, s. 3, n. 30 (p. 378) and n. 35 (p. 381). tradictoria, que es precisamente la ndole de lo
88For this, see Surez, DM 54.1.7 (26: 1017); imposible., V. Velarde Mayol, La Toria de
tr. Doyle, p. 63. Also, cf. e.g. Compton los objetos en Alexius Meinong, Pensamiento,
Carleton, Philosophia universa, Logica, d. 13, 45 (1980), p. 466.
s 5, n. 1 (p. 69); Peynado, Logica, T. 4, d. 3., s. 92Toria del objeto puro, Madrid: Ediciones

2, n. 22 (p. 374); and Andreas Semery, S.J. Rialp, 1990.

(1630-1717) Triennium philosophicum, ed. 2a, 93Ibid., pp. 29-39.

Annus primus (Romae: Sumpt. Felicis 94Ibid., esp. pp. 163-167.

Caesaretti, 1682), Logica, d. 4, q. 7, a. 2 (p. 95ber Annahmen (Leipzig: Verlag Barth,

536). 1910), Vorwort zur ersten Auflage, p. vii.

89Cf. Ausserdem aber scheint er mir, indem 96Toria . . ., p. 23.

er dies tut, bereits selbstdies wird hoffentlich 97On the distinction between the unreal and

kein unstatthaftes argumentum ad hominem beings of reason, see e.g., ibid., pp. 22-25, 175,
seinvon den unmglichen Gegenstnden zu 249, 324, 454, 456-7, and 695.
handeln und so selbst den Nachweis zu liefern, 98Cf. . . . la doctrina del ente de razn tiene

dass derlei Gegenstnde unser Denken sehr el innegable privilegio de ocupar el lugar ms
wohl beschftigen knnen. ber die Stellung alto . . . ibid., p. 23.
der Gegestandstheorie . . ., p. 18. 99Cf. . . . lo que en ltimo trmino caracteri-
90Cf. . . . in jedem indirkten Beweise tritt ein za a los entes de razn es el ser quiddidades
unmglicher Gegenstand oder treten deren tales que no cabe que existan y cuya nica posi-
mehrere in die engsten Beziehungen zu bilidad consiste, as, en su aptitud para compor-
Mglichem und Wirklichem. ibid., p. 19; tarse como objectos de una actividad
Wie schon zu berhren war [referring to the intelectiva. ibid., p,. 457.
passage just cited from page 19], wird dies 100Mientras lo apodicticamente irrealel

durch jeden indireckten Beweis belegt, der aus ens rationises cognoscible slo en el ejerci-
der Unmglichkeit der Konsequenzen die cio de la actividad intelectiva, lo fcticamente
Unmglichkeit einer angenommenen irreal puede ser objeto sensible u objeto intel-
Voraussetzung erkennen lsst. ibid., p. 79. igible. . . . lo inteligible fcticamente inexis-
91Cf. Es ist das Verhltnis, zu dessen tente abarca las tres modalidades do lo
Bezeichnung die moderne Logistik sich gern meramente posible, lo pretrito y lo futuro,
des berstrichs bedient, so dass, falls man mit . . . ibid., p. 549.
E. Mally die Objective durch griechische 101Cf. En efecto, ni el porvenir en tanto que

Buchstaben symbolisiert, etwa a und -a zu porvenir, ni el pasado como pasado, pueden

schreiben wre. Solch ein positives und ein lcitamente ser tenidos por verdaderos entes de
negatives Objektiv mit bereinstimmendem razn, ya que es bien claro que no excluyen
Material stehen bei geeigneter Beschaffenheit para s mismos, de una manera absoluta, todo
dieses Materials im Verhltnis des posible valor transobjectual, . . . ibid., p. 23;
Widerstreites, das unter diesen besonderen on the merely possible, see ibid., pp. 549-55.
Umstnden Widerspruch genannt wird. Ihm 102Cf. e.g., Physics 2.2.194a27; 2.3.194b33;

gilt das principium contradictionis, und einen and Metaphysics 1.3.983a3l; 4.2.1013a33.
Gegenstand, der gegen dieses Prinzip nicht ver- 103Cf. 2. El para que de lo irreal inteligi-

stsst, indem er keinen inneren Widerspruch ble Toria . . ., p. 776.

enthlt, pflegt man besonders gern als logisch
mglich zu bezeichen. ber Mglichkeit . . .,

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104Cf. his remarks on the unreal in general, capacidad de generarlo es cosa que atae a este
ibid., p. 757; and the sensibly unreal in particu- tipo de objetos nica y simplemente en tanto que
lar, ibid., p. 760. objetos de la facultad de imaginar, . . . Es, por
105Cf. . . . el argumento que Surez aduce, a tanto, incorrecta la asignacin, que en algunos
saber, que el ente de razn no es algo pretendi- pensadores de la Escuela se encuentra, de una
do por la naturaleza o por algn agente (quia finalidad de deleite a ciertos entes de razn para
non est aliquid per se intentum a natura vel ab los cuales la imaginacin proporciona un apoyo
aliquo agente) demuestra que el ente de razn sensible que en cuanto tal nos complace. El
no es causa final de nada, no que no tiene deleite que as queda atribuido como causa final
ninguna causa final. El no ser de suyo pretendi- (vase, por ejemplo, Araujo, Comm. in univ.
do es compatible con el ser pretendido como Metaph. Aristot. Lib. III, q. 1, a. 2), a eos entes
medio, en funcin de algo otro, que sera justa- de razn no se debe, en verdad, a ellos mismos
mente su finalidad. ibid., p. 609. For Surez, en su formal calidad de contrucciones que el
see note 54, above. Milln-Puelles distinction entendimiento lleva a cabo, sino a los productos
of final causes here seems equivalent to de la imaginacin que les sirven de apoyo.
Surezs distinction between a finis cui and a Toria . . ., p. 763. For Surez on willing an
finis cujus, cf. DM 23.2.2-8 (25: 847-9). impossibie object for some pleasure or good rep-
106Es, pues, lcita la divisin general de los resented in it, cf. DM 23.6.18 (25: 874).
entes de razn en la clase de los que tienen 114Lo que nos complace en los centauros,

algn fundamento in re y la clase de los que no las sirenas, los caballos alados, etc., son las
poseen ningn fundamento de esa indole. concretas figuras que les darnos en nuestra
Toria . . ., p. 493. imaginacin y que constituyen su ms inmedi-
107La ms genrica de las finalidades natu- ato qu, vale decir, su mero apecto sensible,
rales a las que el ente razn se ordenala final- no el aspecto inteligible que presentan, como
idad a la que ningn ente de razn deja entidades quimricas, a la luz del entendimien-
naturalmente de servires el proprio ejercicio to. Toria . . ., p. 763.
de la actividad intelectiva en la que este objeto 115Qu satisfaccin o complacenia nos

se genera. ibid., p. 776. puede producir la inteleccin de la imposible

108Cf. ibid., pp. 781-6. unidad de una quiddidad paradjica?` ibid.
109Cf. note 107, above. 116Considerada en s misma y por s sola,
110Cf. Por consiguiente, o bien se juzga que esta inteleccin no se confunde con la
el ente de razn es asimismo un cierto fin en s, demostracin del carcter contradictorio de una
o bien se piensa que su razn teleolgica de ser sntesis que no parece, a primera vista, imposi-
se encuentra en la inteleccin para la que es ble. ibid.
necesario como trmino intencional. Lo 117Semejante demostracin nos puede satis-

primero no es admisible, porque se requerira facer o complacer, aunque, indudablemente, de

para ello que la facultad intelectiva se una manera distinta de aquella en la que
ordenarse al ente de razn (tal como se ordena pueden sernos deleitables nuestras fantasas de
a la operacin intelectiva), lo cual implicara el los centauros, las sirenas, los caballos alados,
absurdo de que algo ontolgicamente posible etc. ibid.
estuviese subordinado a lo que no es posible 118Cf. ibid., p. 492.

ontolgicamente. Toria . . ., p. 777. 119Cf. Incluso cabe observar que la ficcin

111Milln-Puelles argument may seem less conceptual de quiddidades divididas contra s
than apodictic for those who, like Surez (cf. mismas puede tener lugar con ocasin, y como
DM 23.8.7 [25: 880]) recognize that for final consecuencia, de ciertos razonamientos, a
causality real being is not required inasmuch as saber, todos que son demonstraciones por
esse apprehensum will suffice. reduccin ad absurdum. (La comprensin de
112See note 60, above. cualquiera de estas pruebastanto si la
113La estricta inmediatez de la manera demonstracin es quia como s es propter quid
segn la cual el deleite constituye el finis qui de no puede tener lugar sin la ficcin conceptu-
las irrealidades imaginadas que poseen la al del absurdo correspondiente. ibid., p. 497.

On the Pure Intentionality

of Pure Intentionality
John P. Doyle

Mod Schlmn Nov. 2001 r1 :Mod Schlmn Nov. 2001 7/12/11 10:58 AM Page 78

120Si ahora pasamos a considerar las quiddi- el hombre-caballo, etc., careceramos de toda
dades abiertamente paradjicas, nos encon- idea de lo imposible, y nos faltara, por con-
tramos con que, adems de servir para la ms siguiente, uno de los ms imprescindibles y
general de las finalidades naturales del ente de radicales recursos de la vida intelectual. ibid.
razn, valen tambin para una funcin que slo 124Todas las pruebas por reduccin al absur-

ellas pueden desempear: hacer posible el con- do quedaran imposibilitadas, y aun el mismo
cepto de lo imposible. ibid., p. 779. <<principio de contradiccin>> vendra a
121On the difference Milln-Puelles sees resultarnos inviable, ya que con l se expresa
between objectual and objective (which una absoluta imposibilidad, no un puro y sim-
mutatis mutandis is roughly like that in English ple hecho negativo. ibid., pp. 779-780. On the
between actual and active), cf. ibid., esp. p. 21. universal character of the principle of non-con-
122En efecto, sin un concreto apoyo objectu- tradiction, cf. Surez, DM 3.3.11 (25: 115).
al, es decir, sin una materia objetual concreta 125For this, cf. DM 54.3.4 (26: 1027), tr.

que le sirva de base en la respectiva intellic- Doyle, pp. 86-7; ibid. 5.20-26 (1037-8); tr.
cin, las nociones universales no pueden llegar Doyle, pp. 86-7, 111-115.
a ser objetivadas, . . . ibid., p. 779. 126Ibid., 54.4.2 (1029); Doyle, p. 92; cf. also
123. . . y la materia objetual concreta que 54.2.15-16 (1022); Doyle, pp. 75-7.
para la intelectcin del concepto universal de lo 127For a little of this, cf. DM 23.6.2 and 19

imposible se requiere es, en cada caso, una (25: 868, 874).

quiddidad abiertamente paradjica. Sin objetos 128Cf. esp. notes 80 and 123, above.

tales como el cuadrado redondo, la mujer-pez,