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Three Jesuit Accounts of Cognition: Differences and Common Ground in the De Anima Commentaries by Maldonado, Toledo and Dandini (1564–1610)

  • Anna Tropia
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Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 23)

Abstract

In this paper, I deal with the theories of cognition presented by three Jesuit authors from the sixteenth century: Juan Maldonado (1533–1583), Francisco de Toledo (1532–1596) and Girolamo Dandini (1554–1634). They belong to the first Jesuit generation and their work allows us to examine, for the period between 1564 and 1610, some of the first trends of the Jesuit philosophical production in two intellectual centres: Paris and Rome. The study of the main features of these accounts can help answer questions such as: is there anything like a Jesuit trend in theory of knowledge? What were the theories of cognition stemming from the Jesuit colleges, and what was the relation these authors had with the medieval sources? These three Jesuits, less studied today than the more famous Francisco Su´arez, provide us with three accounts of cognition. Maldonado was one of the first professors who taught—philosophy first, then theology—at the Jesuit College of Paris. Francisco de Toledo is a “best-seller” author, and was in his day far more popular than his colleague Su´arez. Girolamo Dandini taught philosophy for ten years in Paris; his commentary on De anima (Paris, 1610), with which this article ends, is a truly baroque commentary, with more than 2500 printed folios. I will first present each author, one at a time. In examining each account, I draw attention to the doctrine, to the way it deals with the Society’s main authorities, and to the role of the intellect. Finally, I compare these analyses.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Tropia
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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