Francisco Suárez on Beings of Reason and Non-Strict Ontological Pluralism

Philosophers' Imprint 19 (27) (2019)
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Abstract
For Francisco Suárez, beings of reason are non-existent objects that we can think about, objects like goat-stags and round squares. The first section of the fifty-fourth of Suárez’s Metaphysical Disputations is about the ontological status of beings of reason. Suárez’s view has been the subject of disagreement in the literature because he sometimes says that there are beings of reason, and he sometimes says there are not. In this paper, I argue for and explain an ontological pluralist reading of Suárez. Ontological pluralism is the claim that there is more than one way of being. I distinguish between two varieties of ontological pluralism, strict and non-strict, and argue that Suárez endorsed the latter. In the contemporary literature, it is sometimes alleged that ontological pluralism is an idle hypothesis, unintelligible or philosophically vacuous. I argue that Suárez has a response to this objection in his argument against ontological monism.
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Archival date: 2019-11-04
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2019-07-10

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