Suárez on Self-Awareness

Cees Leijenhorst

in The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583645
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738456 | DOI:
Suárez on Self-Awareness

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This essay addresses a core issue in philosophical psychology, reflection and self-awareness. For late Scholastics the main question was, ‘How is it that we can be aware that we are seeing p when in the midst of seeing p if the mind is always directed toward objects in the world, like p?’ Suárez addressed this in three parts—whether the sensitive soul could be aware of its own acts; how the intellectual soul knows itself; and whether and how the soul in the afterlife can know itself in its disembodied state? It is argued that even though Suárez adopted the Thomistic position at the beginning of his examination of soul’s self-awareness, by the end the moves that he made effectively undercut the Thomistic account of self-awareness.

Keywords: Francisco Suárez; self-awareness; reflection; soul; Thomism

Chapter.  9238 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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