Suárez and the Problem of External Sensation

Suárez and the Problem of External Sensation

 South, James B.

Medieval Philosophy and Theology 10 (2001) 


In this article I will demonstrate Francisco Su´arez’s coherent and powerful method for addressing Lear’s concerns. I will outline Su´arez’s account against the background of Aquinas’s theory of sensation, emphasizing those areas where Su´arez believes that Aquinas’s theory falls short of Lear’s ideal. I argue that the main changes he makes to the thomistic theory of sensation are designed to reinforce what he sees as Thomas’s main weakness. Moreover, I will show that the view set forth by Su´arez is both coherent and powerful in its own right, providing a direct realist view of sensation while allowing for internal representations.


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