On Metaphysics

“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…”

Acts 17:28




God: Pure Act



Order of Contents

Start Here
Articles  6+
Books  4
Anthology  1
Quote  1

Aristotelian, Thomistic, Scholastic & Neo-Thomist
.     On Suarez
Muslim  5
Particular Issues
Latin  12+
.      Particular Issues  2
Biblio  1



Start Here


Fulford, Andrew – ‘The Metaphysics of Scripture’  (2014)  16 paragraphs  at Calvinist International

Feser, Edward – ch. 2, ‘Metaphysics’  in Aquinas: a Beginner’s Guide  (Oneworld, 2009), pp. 16-58



Feser, Edward – Scholastic Metaphysics  Buy  (Editiones Scholasticae, 2014)  290 pp.  ToC

Feser is a Romanist professor of philosophy.  By ‘scholastic’ is meant high medieval scholasticism up through 1600’s Romanism, but specifically the viewpoint of Thomas Aquinas.  Feser is a neo-Thomist, that is, one who defends as true the basic outlook and categories of Thomas’s metaphysics (generally derived and amplified from Aristotle), but with some updates according to natural knowledge in the modern context.

The first chapter of the book refutes ‘scientism’, the belief that all knowledge can only be derived through the scientific method.  The book is highly recommended for the topic, and gives a very persuasive exposition (at the beginning of each of the chapters) for the necessity of the basic, traditional distinctions and categories of Aristotelian and scholastic metaphysics.

Traditional, natural metaphysics is so commonly used by reformed theologians in their writings, especially in Latin, in the Post-Reformation era, that understanding this subject is a necessity for both historical theology and for the truth of the matter itself.

Here is a review of Feser’s book by Andrew Fulford at Calvinist International.





Maccovius, John – ch. 23, ‘A Division of a Hundred Most General Distinctions’  in Scholastic Discourse: Johannes Maccovius (1588-1644) on Theological & Philosophical Distinctions & Rules  (1644; Apeldoorn: Instituut voor Reformatieonderzoek, 2009), pp. 289-363

Maccovius (1588–1644) was a reformed, supralapsarian Polish theologian.

Baron, Robert – General Metaphysics…  All to the Use of Theology Accommodated  (London: R. Daniel, 1658)  at ReformedOrthodoxy.org

‘To the Reader’
‘Index of Sections & Authors’
‘On Disciplines in General & on Metaphysics in Particular’

Gale, Theophilus

Bk. 1, ch. 3, ‘The Vanity of Metaphysics, or Natural Theology, & Divination’  in The Court of Gentiles, Part III, The Vanity of Pagan Philosophy Demonstrated from its Causes, Parts, Proprieties & Effects…  (London, 1677)

Bk. 2, ch. 1, ‘Of Metaphysic or Prime Philosophy in General’  in The Court of the Gentiles, Part IV, Of Reformed Philosophy, wherein Plato’s Moral & Metaphysic or Prime Philosophy is Reduced to an Useful Form & Method  (London, 1677), pp. 210-14

Gale (1628–1678) was an English educationalist, nonconformist and Independent theologian of dissent, who tutored Ezekiel Hopkins and was an ally of Thomas Goodwin.

“…to disabuse the minds of men, who have been so long imposed on by false ideas, collected out of Aristotle’s supposed Metaphysics.”



Duby, Steven J.

“Reformed Catholicity & the Analogy of Being”  in ed. Joseph Minich, Reforming the Catholic Tradition: The Whole Word for the Whole Church  (Davenant Press, 2019)

“Further Thoughts on Natural Theology, Metaphysics, & Analogy”  in Pro Ecclesia, vol. 30, issue 3 (2021)

Fulford, Andrew & David Haines – “The Metaphysics of Scripture”  in ed. Joseph Minich, Philosophy & the Christian: The Quest for Wisdom in the Light of Christ  (Davenant Press, 2018)

Haines, David – “Biblical Interpretation & Natural Knowledge: A Key to Solving the Protestant Problem”  in ed. Joseph Minich, Reforming the Catholic Tradition: The Whole Word for the Whole Church  (Davenant Press, 2019)




Hasker, William – Metaphysics: Constructing a Worldview  in Contours of Christian Philosophy  (IVP, 1983)  125 pp.  ToC

Dolezal, James – All that is in God: Evangelical Theology & the Challenge of Christian Theism  (Reformation Heritage Books, 2017)

Duby, Steven J. – God in Himself: Scripture, Metaphysics, & the Task of Christian Theology  (IVP Academic, 2019)

ed. Haines, David, Without Excuse  (Davenant Press, 2020)

See the articles by B. J. Mauser, Nathan Greeley, J. T. Bridges, Andrew Payne, and others.




Drennen, D.A. – A Modern Introduction to Metaphysics: Readings from Classical & Contemporary Sources  (NY: Free Press, 1962)  765 pp.  ToC





William Ames

Medulla theologica  (Amsterdam: Janson, 1634), bk. 1, ch. 2, ‘On the Distribution of Theology’, section 6, pp. 4-5  trans. Charles Johnson  This section has been omitted from most English translations (e.g. London, 1642).

“From the remains of these two parts (faith and observance), two theologies sprang forth among some philosophers: metaphysics, and ethics. For metaphysics is the faith of the Aristotelians, and ethics is their observance. Hence, both these disciplines present that which teaches the supreme good of man. This is known to all concerning ethics.

Moreover, concerning metaphysics, which they also call “theology,” this is what Suarez says, Disp. 1, Sect. 5, #43: “The blessedness of man consists in the most perfect act of metaphysics. It contemplates the supreme good and the last end of man simpliciter. Divine contemplation belongs to this science formally, or elicitively.” Therefore, when theology is rightly taught in these parts, their metaphysics and ethics disappears without hesitation, after brilliantly testifying to its distribution.”



Aristotelian, Thomistic, Scholastic & Neo-Thomist Metaphysics


Feser, Edward – ch. 2, ‘Metaphysics’  in Aquinas: a Beginner’s Guide  (Oneworld, 2009), pp. 16-58

Lowe, E.J. – ch. 10, ‘Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics: a Brief Exposition & Defense’  in ed. Edward Feser, Aristotle on Method & Metaphysics  (Palgrave, 2013), pp. 196-205

Galluzzo, Gabriele – ‘Aquinas’s Commentary on the Metaphysics [of Aristotle]’  in A Companion to the Latin Medieval Commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics  in Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, vol. 43  (Brill, 2014), pp. 209-54



Coffey, P. – Ontology, or the Theory of Being: an Introduction to General Metaphysics  (Longmans, 1914)  450 pp.  ToC

Preface: “…an English text-book on General Metaphysics from the Scholastic standpoint…  the Moderate Realism of Aristotle and the Schoolmen is assumed throughout.

…few if any serious attempts have yet been made to transpose these [historical, scholastic, metaphysical] questions from their medieval setting into the language and context of contemporary philosophy.  Perhaps not a single one of these problems is really and in substance alien to present-day speculations.  The author has endeavored, by his treatment of such characteristically ‘medieval’ discussions as those on Potentia [Power] and Actus [Act], Essence and Existence…  to show that the issues involved are in every instance as fully and keenly debated–in an altered setting and a new terminology–by recent and living philosophers of every school of thought as they were by St. Thomas and his contemporaries in the golden age of medieval scholasticism.”

Grenier, Henri – Thomistic Philosophy, vol. 2 (Metaphysics)  2nd impression  (Charlottetown, Canada: St. Dunstan’s University, 1948-50)

Anderson, James F. – An Introduction to the Metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas: Texts Selected & Translated…  (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1953)  150 pp.  ToC

Gardeil, H. D. – Introduction to the Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, vol. 4 (Metaphysics)  trans. John A. Otto  (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1967)  345 pp.  ToC

The second half of the book contains organized, topical selections from Thomas’s writings.

Doig, James C. – Aquinas on Metaphysics: a Historico-Doctrinal Study of the Commentary on the Metaphysics  (Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1972)  425 pp.  ToC

ed. Feser, Edward – Aristotle on Method & Metaphysics  (Palgrave, 2013)  ToC

Feser, Edward – Scholastic Metaphysics  Buy  (Editiones Scholasticae, 2014)  290 pp.  ToC

Feser is a Romanist professor of philosophy.  By ‘scholastic’ is meant high medieval scholasticism up through 1600’s Romanism, but specifically the viewpoint of Thomas Aquinas.  Feser is a neo-Thomist, that is, one who defends as true the basic outlook and categories of Thomas’s metaphysics (generally derived and amplified from Aristotle), but with some updates according to natural knowledge in the modern context.

The first chapter of the book refutes ‘scientism’, the belief that all knowledge can only be derived through the scientific method.  The book is highly recommended for the topic, and gives a very persuasive exposition (at the beginning of each of the chapters) for the necessity of the basic, traditional distinctions and categories of Aristotelian and scholastic metaphysics.

Traditional, natural metaphysics is so commonly used by reformed theologians in their writings, especially in Latin, in the Post-Reformation era, that understanding this subject is a necessity for both historical theology and for the truth of the matter itself.

Here is a review of Feser’s book by Andrew Fulford at Calvinist International.




Olivero, Mark – ‘Moderate Realism & Christian Theology, with a Beginner’s Guide to Thomistic Thinking, Compiled by Mark Olivero’  (2021)  3 pp.  10 steps

Olivero is reformed.



On Franciscus Suarez


Suarez (1548–1617) was a Spanish Jesuit priest, philosopher and theologian, one of the leading figures of the School of Salamanca movement, and is generally regarded among the greatest scholastic, metaphysicians after Thomas Aquinas.

William Ames below has a short work broadsiding Suarez; on the other-hand, Jacob Revius reissued Suarez’s main work on the topic, his Metaphysical Disputations, mostly approvingly, with his own continual comments and corrections (or purgations).  Rutherford, in his Latin works, often disputes against Suarez where the matters touch on theology and theological paradigms, that is, where philosophy and theology meet.


Select Secondary Works

eds. Salas, Victor M. & Robert L. Fastiggi – A Companion to Francisco Suarez  (Brill, 1999)  385 pp.  ToC

Ch. 9 is on ‘Suarez’s Influence on Protestant Scholasticism: the Cases of Hollaz [Lutheran] & Turretin’.

Interpreting Suarez: Critical Essays  Buy  (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012)  228 pp.

Daniel Heider – Aristotelian Subjectivism: Francisco Suárez’s Philosophy of Perception  in Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind, #28  Buy  (Springer, 2021)  315 pp.


Translations of Suarez

A Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics…  trans. John P. Doyle  (Marquette Univ. Press, 1950)  420 pp.  ToC

The Metaphysical Disputations

On Various Kinds of Distinctions  trans. Cyril Vollert  Buy  (Marquette Univ. Press, 1947)

Metaphysical Disputation I: On the Nature of First Philosophy or Metaphysics  in Early Modern Catholic Sources  Buy  (Catholic University of America Press, 2021)  464 pp.

Francis Suarez on Individuation: Metaphysical Disputation V: Individual Unity & its Principle  trans. Jorge J.E. Garcia  in Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation  Buy  (Marquette Univ. Press, 1982)  304 pp.

Metaphysics of Good & Evil According to Suarez: Metaphysical Disputations X & XI & Selected Passages from Disputation XXIII & Other Works (Analytica)  Buy  (Philosophia Verlag, 1989)  294 pp.

On the Formal Cause of Substance: Metaphysical Disputation XV  in Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation  Buy  (Marquette Univ. Press, 2000)

On Efficient Causality: Metaphysical Disputations 17, 18 & 19  trans. Alfred Freddoso  in Yale Library of Medieval Philosophy Series  Buy  (Yale Univ. Press, 1994)  448 pp.

On Creation Conservation & Concurrence: Metaphysical Disputations 20-22  trans. A.J. Freddoso  Buy  (St. Augustines Press, 2002)  368 pp.

The Metaphysical Demonstration of the Existence of God: Metaphysical Disputations 28-29  Buy  (St. Augustine Press, 2004)  240 pp.

On Real Relation: Disputatio Metaphysica XLVII: a Translation from the Latin, with an Introduction & Notes  trans. John P. Doyle  in Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation  Buy  (Marquette Univ. Press, 2006)  431 pp.

Francis Suarez on Beings of Reason, Metaphysical Disputation LIV  in Medieval Philosophical Texts in Translation  Buy  (Marquette Univ. Press, 1994)  170 pp.



On Muslim Metaphysics

See also, ‘On Muslim Philosophy in the Middle Ages’.


In Middle Ages

On Avicenna

De Haan, Daniel D. – Necessary Existence & the Doctrine of Being in Avicenna’s Metaphysics of the Healing  in Investigating Medieval Philosophy, vol. 15  Pre  (Brill, 2020)

Zamboni, Francesco Omar – At the Roots of Causality: Ontology & Aetiology from Avicenna to Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī  in Islamic Philosophy, Theology & Science. Texts & Studies, vol. 124  Pre  (Brill, 2024)


After Avicenna

Adamson, Peter & Fedor Benevich – The Heirs of Avicenna: Philosophy in the Islamic East, 12-13th Centuries: Metaphysics & Theology  in Islamic Intellectual History, vol. 12.1  Pre  (Brill, 2024)

Shihadeh, Ayman – Doubts on Avicenna: A Study & Edition of Sharaf al-Dīn al-Masʿūdī’s Commentary on the Ishārāt  in Islamic Philosophy, Theology & Science: Texts & Studies, vol. 95  (Brill, 2016)

Lala, Ismail – Knowing God: Ibn ʿArabī & ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Qāshānī’s Metaphysics of the Divine  in Islamic Philosophy, Theology & Science: Texts & Studies, vol. 109  Pre  (Brill, 2020)



Particular Issues

On Distinctions


Muller, Richard – Dictionary of Latin & Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology  1st ed.  (Baker, 1985)

‘modus subsistendi’

Feser, Edward – Scholastic Metaphysics (2014), pp. 80-87

1.3.1, ‘The Scholastic Theory of Distinctions’
1.3.2, ‘Aquinas versus Scotus & Suarez’

Cross, Richard – 3.2.2, ‘Varieties of Distinctions’  in Union & Communion: Christology & Metaphysics in the Seventeenth Century  (2022), pp. 43-46


On God’s Being

Dolezal, James – God without Parts: Divine Simplicity & the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness  (Pickwick Publications, 2011)


On the Origin of Life

Fulford, Andrew

‘The Metaphysics of Biogenesis’  (2014)  14 paragraphs

This article surveys the metaphysical argument of Dr. David S. Orderberg (a neo-Thomist) for why a naturalized biogenesis, or life arising from non-living matter, cannot on principle happen.

Oderberg distinguishes between ‘immanent causation’ and ‘transient causation’.  Immanent causation, a characteristic of all living things, is a “causation that originates with an agent and terminates in that agent for the sake of its self-perfection.”  Immanent causation involves:

“1. Homeostasis: living things regulate themselves internally and thereby preserve themselves.
2. Metabolism: the living being takes in external matter/energy and uses it to sustain itself.
3. Adaptation: the organism changes its internal condition so as to maintain itself in its environment.”

Transient causation is where “the activity terminates in something distinct from the agent.”  Oderberg argues that transient causation can never, by definition, arise so as to become immanent causation.


On Transcendentals

Transcendentals, such as unity, can be, and are necessarily, predicated of each and every being.  Universals on the other hand, may not be predicated of everything, but have at least one instance, and may have many instances, such as animal, redness, or ability to play the piano.



Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – ‘Medieval Theories of Transcendentals’

Strunk, Nathan R. – ‘Is the Doctrine of the Transcendentals Viable Today? [Yes]  Reflections on Metaphysics & the Doctrine of the Transcendentals’  (2011)  10 pp.  at The Metaphysical Society of America



Aertsen, Jan

Medieval Philosophy & the Transcendentals: The Case of Thomas Aquinas  Ref  (Brill, 1996)  468 pp.

“Students of Thomas Aquinas have so far lacked a comprehensive study of his doctrine of the transcendentals. This volume fills this lacuna, showing the fundamental character of the notions of being, one, true and good for his thought.”

Medieval Philosophy as Transcendental Thought: From Philip the Chancellor (ca. 1225) to Francisco Suárez [d. 1617]  Pre  Ref  (Brill, 2012)  705 pp.  ToC

“This book provides for the first time a complete history of the doctrine of the transcendentals, from its beginning in the “Summa de bono” of Philip the Chancellor (ca. 1225) up to its most extensive systematic account in the “Metaphysical Disputations” of Francisco Suárez (1597)…  Metaphysics is called “First Philosophy”, not because it deals with the first, divine being, but because it treats that which is first in a cognitive sense, the transcendental concepts of “being”, “one”, “true” and “good”.” – bookflap


On Universals & Particulars

Transcendentals, such as unity, can be, and are necessarily, predicated of each and every being.  Universals on the other hand, may not be predicated of everything, but have at least one instance, and may have many instances, such as animal, redness, or ability to play the piano.



Loux, Michael – “Perspectives on the Problem of Universals”  Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale  (2007), 18:601-22

Galluzzo, Gabriele – “The Problem of Universals & Its History. Some General Considerations”  Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale (2008), 19:335-69

Chiaradonna, Riccardo & Galluzzo Gabriele – ‘Introduction’  in Universals in Ancient Philosophy  (Edizioni Della Normale, 2013)

Galluzzo, Gabriele – ‘Universals in Aristotle’s Metaphysics’  in Universals in Ancient Philosophy  (Edizioni Della Normale, 2013)

Wanless, Brandon L. – ch. 8, ‘Universality & Particularity’  in Universality & the Divine Essence: St. Thomas Aquinas on the Unity Characteristic of the Trinitarian Persons  a Masters thesis  (University of St. Thomas, 2015), pp. 72-84

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – ‘The Medieval Problem of Universals’



Lawande, G.N. – The Problem of Universals: a Metaphysical Essay  (Bombay: New Book Co., 1943)  235 pp.  ToC

Lawande is a Platonic idealist who argues against Aristotle.  For a summary of his view see the second paragraph of the foreward.

Shwayder, D.S. – Modes of Referring & the Problem of Universals: an Essay in Metaphysics  (University of California Press, 1963)  170 pp.  ToC

Butchvarov, Panayot – Resemblance & Identity; an Examination of the Problem of Universals  (Indiana Univ. Press, 1966)  230 pp.  ToC

ed. van Iten, Richard J. – The Problem of Universals  (Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1970)  310 pp.  ToC

This is an anthology of texts through the Western tradition.

ed. Landesman, Charles – The Problem of Universals  (NY: Basic Books, 1971)  315 pp.  ToC

This is an anthology of modern philosophers on the topic.

ed. Spade, Paul – Five Texts on the Mediaeval Problem of Universals: Porphyry, Boethius, Abelard, Duns Scotus, Ockham  (Hackett Publishing, 1994)  250 pp.  ToC

eds. Chiaradonna, Riccardo & Galluzzo Gabriele – Universals in Ancient Philosophy  Ref  (Edizioni Della Normale, 2013)  Introduction  Most of the chapters in this book are on Academia.edu under their respective authors.

Heider, Daniel – Universals in Second Scholasticism: a Comparative Study with Focus on the Theories of Francisco Suárez S.J. (1548-1617), João Poinsot O.P. (1589-1644)…  Buy  (John Benjamins Publishing Co., 2014)  355 pp.

eds. Galluzzo, Gabriele & Michael Loux – The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy  Abstract  (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

eds. Di Bella, Stefano & Tad M. Schmaltz – The Problem of Universals in Early Modern Philosophy  Pre  (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017)  345 pp.  ToC


On Participation

See the section on our page on Creation.

Koterski, Joseph W. – ‘The Doctrine of Participation in Thomistic Metaphysics’, pp. 185-96

Koterski is a Jesuit.


On Individuation

Primary Sources

Francis Suarez on Individuation: Metaphysical Disputation V: Individual Unity & its Principle  trans. Jorge J.E. Garcia  in Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation  Buy  (Marquette Univ. Press, 1982)  304 pp.

Revius, Jacobus – Suarez Repurged, or a Syllabus of the Metaphysical Disputations of Francis Suarez, a Theologian of the Society of Jesus, with the Notes of Jacob Revius…  (Leiden: 1644)

4. Of transcendental unity in common  48
5. Of individual unity & its principle  67
6. Of formal & universal unity  75
7. Of general varieties of distinctions  98

Revius (1586-1658) was a reformed, professor of philosophy at Leiden who was anti-Cartesian.

Burgersdijck, Franco – Institutions of Metaphysics in Two Books...  last ed., largely emended  (Hague, 1657), bk. 1

8. On Uncircumscribed Principles, or on Essence & Existence 49
9. On Circumscribed Principles of Metaphysics 57
10. On the Affections of Being in General 59
11. On Unity & Multiplicity in General 61
12. On Numerical & Formal Unity, & on the Principle of Individuation 66
13. On Universal Unity 75
14. On Species & Grades of Unity 82
15. On Diversity or Distinction, & Convenience 87
16. On Opposition 95

Burgersdijck (1590-1635) was a Dutch, reformed logician and professor of moral and natural philosophy.  He was also earlier a professor of philosophy at the French University of Saumur.

Adama, Lollius – A Metaphysical Disputation on the Principle of Individuation  (Franeker, 1606)  83 theses

Adama (c.1544-1609) was a reformed professor of philosophy at Franeker.


Secondary Sources


Garcia, Jorge & Jonathan Vajda – ‘Individuation & the Realism/Nominalism Dilemma: The Case of the Middle Ages’  Abstract  International Philosophical Quarterly



King, Peter & Jorge J. E. Gracia – Introduction to the Problem of Individuation in the Early Middle Ages  (Catholic University of America Press, 1984)  300 pp.  ToC


On Teleology

Truman, Carl – Appendix 1, ‘The Role of Aristotelian Teleology in Owen’s Doctrine of Atonement’  in The Claims of Truth: John Owen’s Trinitarian Theology  (Paternoster, 1998), pp. 233-40


On Causality

‘The Inescapable Law of Causality’  (2014)  3 paragraphs  This is an extended quote from Edward Feser.  ‘PSR’ is the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which is very related to the Principle of Causality.


On Good & Evil

Oderberg, David – The Metaphysics Of Good And Evil  (Routledge, 2020)  495 pp.  ToC

Oderberg is an Analytical Thomist.


On Eternity, Time & the Past


Courtenay, William J. – ‘John of Mirecourt & Gregory of Rimini on Whether God Can Undo the Past’  in Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale, vol. 40 (Jan-Dec, 1973), pp. 147-74

Cross, Richard – ‘Duns Scotus on Eternity and Timelessness’
Faith & Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, vol. 14, issue 1 (1997), article 1, pp. 3-25



Dolnikowski, Edith Wilks – Thomas Bradwardine: A View of Time and a Vision of Eternity in Fourteenth-Century Thought  (Studies in the History of Christian Thought)  (Studies in the History of Christian TraditionsBuy  (Brill, 1997)  364 pp.


On Quantity

Bruno, Francesca – The Quantity Debate in Late Medieval & Early Modern Europe: a Question at the Intersection of Physics, Metaphysics & Theology  (Cornell Univ., 2019)  165 pp.

Abstract:  “My dissertation aims to challenge the standard narrative in post-Kantian histories of philosophy and science about the 17th century shift from Aristotelianism to mechanism as involving a fundamental reconceptualization of continuous quantity, or extension, and material substance, and as creating a deep divide between the ‘modern’ and ‘medieval’ periods. On that view, René Descartes’ understanding of extension as the nature of material substance is seen as one of the hallmarks of that shift.  I show that, in fact, (a) late medieval philosophers did not hold one uniform theory of extension but a rich, wide array of views; and (b) a deeper continuity underpins Descartes’ metaphysics and the views of (some) late medieval philosophers.  To this end, I examine in detail the views of three representative 14th century thinkers: William Ockham, John Buridan, and Nicole Oresme; and the implications of their views for Descartes’

For each of these authors, I aim to answer the following questions: (1) what kind of entity is extension? (2) Is extension accidental or essential to material substance, using ‘accidental’ and ‘essential’ in this sense: is extension a feature that material substances can, at least by divine power, lack?  I investigate these philosophers’ arguments in connection with two phenomena, one natural and the other supernatural: (i) condensation and rarefaction (C/R); and (ii) transubstantiation (T), the Catholic interpretation of the sacrament of the Eucharist.

First, on the Aristotelian understanding of C/R, when a body condenses or rarefies, only its extension changes while everything else (prime matter, substantial form, and qualities) stays the same. Thus, C/R was considered a good test case for examining the ontological status of quantity and its relation to material substance. Second, according to T, when the priest blesses the host, the body of Christ takes the place of the bread and comes to be really present on the altar.  Yet the accidents of the bread, including its extension, remain without inhering in the substance of the bread.  As a result, T has far-reaching implications for the metaphysics of bodies and their accidents…

Ockham, Buridan, and Oresme hold three different positions on the ontological status of quantity.  Yet because of their commitment to T, they agree that a material substance can exist without extension, at least by divine power; so, extension is an accidental feature of material substances.  This view is the target of severe attack by early modern thinkers, such as Descartes [who was a Romanist], for whom material substance is essentially extended.  Yet my study reveals some interesting and often overlooked deeper continuities between Descartes’ metaphysics and late medieval thinkers, such as Ockham’s mechanistic theory of C/R and Oresme’s view of accidents as modes of substance.”


On Mechanics & Physics


Wallace, William A. – ‘Mechanics from Bradwardine to Galileo’  Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 32, no. 1 (Jan-Mar, 1971), pp. 15-28



On the Middle Ages

Grant, Edward – Physical Science in the Middle Ages  (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977)  140 pp.  ToC

Cross, Richard – The Physics of Duns Scotus  (Clarendon Press, 1998)  315 pp.  ToC

On an Individual

Thomas of Bradwardine, his Tractatus de Proportionibus: its Significance for the Development of Mathematical Physics  ed. & trans. H. Lamar Crosby Jr.  (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1961)  ToC

This includes an English translation of Bradwardine’s Tractatus with an introduction.


On Truth

Novaes, Catarina Dutilh – ‘Lessons on Truth from Medieval Solutions to the Liar Paradox’  The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-), vol. 61, no. 242 (Jan. 2011), pp. 58-78


On Beauty

Ching, Kenneth K. – ‘Beauty & Ugliness in Offer & Acceptance’  60 Wayne Law Review 469 (2014)  24 pp.

“This essay applies classical aesthetics to the contract doctrine of offer and acceptance.  It argues that contract law can be understood, analyzed, and improved using three criteria of beauty: proportion, integrity, and clarity.  Based on these criteria, this essay (1) argues that the traditional doctrine of offer and acceptance is beautiful, (2) argues that UCC [Uniform Commercial Code] §2-207 is ugly and fails to improve upon offer and acceptance, and (3) suggests improvements for UCC §2-207.”




Aristotle through the Middle Ages

Bradshaw, David – Aristotle East & West: Metaphysics & the Division of Christendom  Pre  Buy  (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004)

“This book traces the development [of] thought about God and the relationship between God’s being and activity from Aristotle, through the pagan Neoplatonists, to thinkers such as Augustine, Boethius, and Aquinas (in the West) and Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas (in the East).  The result is a comparative history of philosophical thought in the two halves of Christendom, providing a philosophical backdrop to the schism between the Eastern and Western churches.”

eds. Galluzzo, Gabriele & Fabrizio Amerini – A Companion to the Latin Medieval Commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics  in Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, vol. 43  (Brill, 2014)  665 pp.  ToC


On Ramus


Johnson, Charles – (2021)  at Reformed Theology Delatinized

‘Understanding Ramus (1): General Remarks on Metaphysics’  6 paragraphs

‘Understanding Ramus (2): Aristotle’s Biggest Error’  23 paragraphs


On Lutheranism

Haga, Joar – Was there a Lutheran Metaphysics?: The Interpretation of Communicatio Idiomatum in Early Modern Lutheranism  Pre  (V&R, 2012) 295 pp.  ToC



Latin Articles


Ames, William – A Theological Disputation Against Metaphysics  (Leiden, 1632)  18 pp.  19 theses

Ames (who was a Ramist) himself used metaphysical categories and distinctions.  This work is a broadside against the abuse and subtleties of metaphysics.  He frequently counters the Romanist Suarez’s metaphysical teachings.

Geiger, Hans Rudolf – Miscellaneous Physical-Metaphysical Questions  (Zurich, 1654)

Geiger (d. 1662) was a reformed professor of physics at Zurich.

Lavater, Johann – A Philosophical Dissertatiom on Metaphysics, its Nature, the Distinction of it from other Discipines, its Necessity & its Utility  (Zurich, 1677)  39 pp.

Lavater (1624-1695) was a reformed professor of rhetoric and philosophy at Zurich.



Latin Books

Order of Authors

Medieval Church

John of Damascus







Medieval Church


John of Damascus – Philosophical Chapters in his work on Orthodoxy



Bradwardine, Thomas – Of the Cause of God, Against the Pelagians, & on the Power of Causes, to those of Merton [College in Oxford], in 3 Books…  (London, 1618)  ToC

Bradwardine (c.1290-1349) was an English clerical scholar and theologian, known as Doctor Profundus.  He was a favorite of Rutherford.  For an English survey of this book, see the section by Heiko A. Oberman, ‘Thomas Bradwardine: The Cause of God Against the Pelagians’ in Forerunners of the Reformation…  (1966), and the book by Gordon Leff, Bradwardine & the Pelagians  in Cambrdge Studies in Medieval Life & Thought, New Series, vol. 5 (rep. 2008; Cambridge, 1957).

“…famous…  for his…  vigorous attack on what he perceived as a revival of Pelagianism in Ockham’s thought regarding divine foreknowledge and future contingents…  Bradwardine became interested in formal theology when investigating Ockham’s account of how God knows created actions as contingencies.  His De causa Dei is a compendious refutation of every imaginable species of reasoning that denies God certain, necessary knowledge of all created action, representing the high watermark of Augustinian determinism in pre-Reformation western theology.” – Stephen E. Lahey


Table of Contents

Prefatory Epistle
Book 1

Ch. 1, First is premitted two suppositions, the first of which is that God is the highest perfection and the highest good, so that nothing else is able to be more perfect or better.  The second is, Nothing infinite has proceeded into entities, but is in whatever genus, the first one.  1


1. It has a moral corollary containing 40 parts, contra 40 errors, of which the first is against the Protogorean doubt that God is.  3
2. Contra Diagorus and those who foolishly deny that God is  3
3. Contra the those who doubt or deny that God really, equivelently or supereminently has all virtue…  3
4. Contra those who deny that God is simply of all infinite virtue and goodness whatsoever  4
5. Contra those who say that God is not fully sufficient of Himself, but is otherwise in need  4
6. Contra those who believe that God is not necessary, but is only contingently the highest perfection, and is Himself newly mutable, irascible, placable, distressable, able to be made glad or passible, and whatever other passion; and those of the opinion also that God is an accidental name and is not essentially simple  4
7. Contra those who deny that God is actively omnipotent and passively of no potency, that is, He is not able to be acted upon by any other creature whatsoever  5
8. Contra those of the opinion that God is not a rational substance and power actually having an intellect, a free, knowing will, and a willing; and those also who think that the divine will is not universally efficacious, that is, is not impedable, not frustratable and not defectable in any way  5
9. Contra those who believe that God is ignorant of anything  6
10. Contra those who construct God out of human members, other things or whatever other diverse things conjoined together, and against those who deny Himself to be a most simple substance, indivisible, without having composition, partability or size, namely, a body.  7
11. Contra the Zabians & the wise of them which worship the heavens for God  8
12. Contra the worshippers of the sun or the moon, Mars or Jupiter, whatever heavenly signs, or of any signs, or whatever parts of the heavens altogether  8
13. Contra those who fabricate to themselves temporal gods: men, animals, trees, fire or whatever such thing  8
14. Against those vain and trifling persons who worship that onerous multitude of equal gods, of the same species or nature  10
15. Against those who fabricate many equal gods, differing in species or nature  11
16. Against those who lay down the confusion of many gods of unequal power and disparate dignity, or of the same species or diversity  12
17. Against those who deny that God is one and not many, affirming it to be possible that there be many, and against those who deny that it be simply necessary that there be one and not many, affirming that it be possible that there be many  12
18. Against those who set down many first principles simply contrary to each other, of which none is reducible to another, nor everyone to any, one thing being common to them, whether good or evil; and consequently, further, against those who dream up two gods, or many, of the same variety  13
19. Against the deceiving poets that cause prejudice against God by human studies and other things  14
20. Against those who fabricate dishonest and foul gods eating and drinking, commingling with women or in dishonest or foul things or games, or dramatic pleasures  14
21. Contra idolaters  15
22. Contra the Arians  19
23. Contra the Donatists  19
24. Contra the Sabellians  19
25. Contra those who do not distinguish, but withdraw from God being simply of infinite virtue and infinite power, even intensively  19
26. …  20

33. Contra the philosophers that deny the possibility of creation, annihilation and recreation  65
34. Contra the philosophers that deny the possibility of the creation of the world  66
35. Contra the philosophers and heretics which deny the possibility of the conception and birth of the Virgin, and say that Christ never born of the holy, always virgin, Mary
…  72
40. …  119

Ch. 2, That God is the necessary conserver of all other things  146

1. That nothing created is sufficient to conserve another thing
2. That it is necessary that God of Himself and immediately saves whichever creature He pleases
3. That it is necessary that God save whichever creature He pleases immediately by whatever created cause

Ch. 3, That God is the necessary efficient cause of whatever a thing does

1. That no thing is able to do anything apart from God
2. That no thing is able to do anything except God per se and immediately does that same thing
3. That no thing is able to do anything except that God immediately does that same thing in which another works

Ch. 4, That any moving creature, God necessarily comoves

1. That nothing whatever is able to move except by God, of Himself and properly, comoving the same
2. That nothing whatever is able to move except by God immediately moving the same
3. That nothing whatever is able to move except by God immediately moving the same by some other mover
4. That no principle is provided that any creature, with respect to any created cause, is caused simply immediately

Ch. 5, That God is not mutable in any way

1. That God essentially and by presence is necessarily everywhere, much more in the world and in all its parts
2. Whether, further, He is outside the world in a place, or in an imaginary, infinite, void?
3. Hence, immense and uncircumscribed He is able truly to be called
4. Hence a response is seen to be manifest to the old questions of the gentiles and heretics, ‘Where is your God?’ and ‘Where was God before the world?’
5. Hence, similarly it is clearly manifest that there is able to be a void from a body, but by no means is there able to be a void from God

Ch. 6, That God has a distinct knowledge [scientia] of all things

1. That God has a distinct knowledge [scientia] even of all present, past and future things; indeed, and of possibilities and impossibilities, imaginables and cognizables in every way; and hence is truly able to be called all-knowing, as also omnipotent

Ch. 7, Objects agianst the 6th and solves.

Ch. 8, That God has a common and special will and love to everything

Ch. 9, That the divine will is the efficient cause of whatever thing has been made

Ch. 10, That the divine will is universally effectual, insuperable and necessary in causation; it is not imedable, nor frustratable in any way

1. That for God to will to do or for anything to be done through itself or through any other in whichever way, it necessarily follows that it is done in that way; nor in our way is it to be sought, it setting aside other forces…

Ch. 11, That the first, necessary and truly incomplex principle is God; and that the first complex principle is simply of God: God is posited, God knows all, God wills all, or something similar.

Ch. 12, Displays which kind that first principle is, due to the affirmation, God is that which He is, or, God is God.

Ch. 13, From these things a 12 part corollary is inferred:

1. That act is simply before power
2. That being is simply more prior than non-being
3. That is necessarily first by the possibility of contradiction
4. That is necessarily first by the impossibility [of it]
7. That which is necessary is in no way rightly defined through possibility or impossibility
8. That necessary being is simply not able to be defined [or limited]
10. That the first cause of whatever true negation is in God
11. That God is the first cause of all non-being
12. That the first cause of whatever impossibility and repugnance is in God

Ch. 14, That the divine will is the cause of whatever is future and whatever is past; why it is such.


Ch. 15, That things known [scitae] are not the causes of the divine knowledge [scientiae]

Ch. 16, Contra those that say known things are a cause sine qua non [without which nothing] of the divine knowledge, but not the cause.

Ch. 17

Ch. 18

Ch. 19, Objects & responds

Ch. 20,

Ch. 21,

Ch. 22,

Ch. 23,

Ch. 24, Objects against the immutability of the divine knowledge [scientia] & responds

Ch. 25, Objects against the immutability of the divine will & looses

Ch. 26,

Ch. 27, That everything comes about by the divine providence

Ch. 28, Of Fate

Ch. 29. Of chance & fortune

Ch. 30, That voluntary things are governed by the laws of divine providence

Ch. 31, That voluntary actions suppose the divine providence

Ch. 32,

Ch. 33

Ch. 34, If and in what way God wills and does not will sin

Ch. 35

Ch. 36

Ch. 37

Ch. 38

Ch. 39

Ch. 40

Ch. 41

Ch. 42

Ch. 43,

Ch. 44,

Ch. 45,

Ch. 46,

Ch. 47, Objects & responds

Book 2

Ch. 1, That free choice is, and what it is

Ch. 2, Of the act of free choice and its object


Ch. 3, That no inferior cause is able to necessitate the created will to a reason and its free act unto proper merit, or sin.


Ch. 4,

Ch. 5,

Ch. 6, That that special help of God is his invincible will

Ch. 7,

Ch. 8, On what is perseverance…


Ch. 9, That neither man nor angel before the fall, by any grace, was able to persevere finally, or for the time, without the further special help of God

Ch. 10, Objects & responds

Ch. 11, That perseverance is not some created gift of God really different and distinct from charity and grace


Ch. 12, Objects & responds

Ch. 13, That that help without which none may persevere, and through which any perseveres, is the Holy Spirit, by the divine goodness and will

Ch. 14, That perseverance in grace is given from God, and is not matched by merits

Ch. 15,

Ch. 16, Of eternal perseverance, or the obstinacy of evil-doers in evil, and its cause

Ch. 17,

Ch. 18, Against some who say that an act of free choice is nothing

Ch. 19, Objects & responds

Ch. 20, That any act of the created will, God is the necessary co-effector


Ch. 21, Rehearses six false responses, the first of which says that…

Ch. 22 Specially corrects the first of these

Ch. 23, the Second

Ch. 24, the Third

Ch. 25, the Fourth

Ch. 26, the Fifth

Ch. 27, the Sixth

Ch. 28, Objects against the 20th and responds

Ch. 29, That the uncreated and created will, in co-effecting a voluntary act are not coequal, nor coequal in the order of nature

Ch. 30, That in every common action of uncreated and created wills, the uncreated naturally antecedes the created

Ch. 31, Objects & responds

1. That sacred theology requires a pious and prudent reader

Ch. 32,

Ch. 33, Objects & responds


Ch. 34, Per what has been premised, it draws men to fear and love, to confidence, to patience and humility, to prayer and refers to graces

Book 3

Ch. 1

Ch. 2,

Ch. 3, On contingency unto whichever, according to diverse opinions, and that it is itself

Ch. 4, What contingency to whichever is

1. What liberty of contradiction is, and which is the free act in the liberty of contradiction

Ch. 5, Infers as a corollary 13 parts out of the premises:

6. That contingency unto whichever and necessity are not repugnant
7. That contingency is properly said in respect of presence
8. That liberty is properly said in respect of presence
11. That only the act of the divine will ad extra is simply contingent equally
12. That only the act of the divine will ad extra is simply free in the liberty of contradiction

Ch. 6, Objects & responds

Ch. 7, Moves the question, Is there not something in the power of the created will?; and it supplies one response and correction

Ch. 8, Rehearses and emends 6 other short responses

Ch. 9, Responds

Ch. 10, Distinguishes between necessity and liberty


Ch. 11, Objects and responds


Ch. 12

Ch. 13, Treats the opinion of Cicero, saying that God does not know the future

Ch. 14, Treats the opinion saying that many things are future in their nature, but not before God

Ch. 15, Rehearses 4 opinions of sophists saying that nothing is future

Ch. 16, Refells 5 opinions of the Megarians denying all power to the future

Ch. 17, Corrects six opinions which adjudge that something is future unto whichever, or not future in a composite (not a divided) sense

Ch. 18, Rectifies 7 opinions saying that something is able to begin to be future

Ch. 19

Ch. 20

Ch. 21

Ch. 22

Ch. 23

Ch. 24

Ch. 25

Ch. 26

Ch. 27

Ch. 28, Rehearses one erroneous, authoritative gloss

Ch. 29, Objects and responds

Ch. 30

Ch. 31, Revokes the same through the way of the necessity and contingency of the intellect and of the divine knowledge

Ch. 32, Reduces the same through the way of the immutability of the divine will

Ch. 33, Moves the same through the way of revelation in the Word, and sets down 6 responses conceding the revelation in the Word, and argues gravely against them

Ch. 34, Argues especially against the first

Ch. 35, Against the second

Ch. 36, Against the third

Ch. 37, Against the fourth

Ch. 38, Against the fifth

Ch. 39, Against the sixth

Ch. 40, Seizes those denying the revelation in the Word

Ch. 41, Rehearses diverse ways according to diverse viewings in the Word, and objects and solves

Ch. 42,

Ch. 43, Treats another response

Ch. 44, Rehearses a third response

Ch. 45, Ventilates a fourth response

Ch. 46, Against the same opinion and hypothesis through the way of revelation in the proper kind of pure creatures, namely angels

Ch. 47, Against the same opinion and hypothesis through the same way, respecting pure humans

Ch. 48, Rehearses and corrects 4 responses

Ch. 49, Rehearses the twofold opinion saying that in future revelations the necessity is ordained or absolute; in others, however, it is nothing.

Ch. 50, Responds to the opinion of philosophers and theologians that God wills and knows [scit] necessarily.  [Rather] Whatever He wills and knows follows the necessity of immutability, immobility, stability, and has not been ordained previously and in an absolute way simply, not of [his] nature, nor violently or unwillingly, nor contrarily, but consentingly with respect to the highest and maximum liberty


Ch. 51, Of eternity


Ch. 52,

Ch. 53,



Goclenius, Rudolf – An Introduction to the First Philosophy of the Peripatetics & Scholastics, which is Accustomed to be Called Metaphysics; Some Disputations of this Kind are Appended  (Frankfurt, 1598)  223 pp.

Goclenius (1547-1628) was a reformed professor of philosophy at Marburg.

Riolan, Sr., Jean – Short Metaphysical Works  (Paris: 1598)  39 pp.  ToC

Riolan (1538-1605) was reformed.



Alsted, Johann Heinrich


A Most Concise Delineation of Metaphysics, Simultaneously Publicly Proposed to be Disputed Again…  (Herborne, 1611)  18 chs.  68 pp.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the System of Metaphysics will be Given; we will fore-notify the titles and offices of it.  The significant titles of it are nine.  5

There are three offices of metaphysics  7

1. On the Nature of Metaphysics  9
2. On Essence & Existence  13
3. Of Unity  18
4. Of Truth  22
5. Of Goodness  24
6. Of Sameness & Diversity  27
7. Of the Whole & a Part  31
8. Of Simplicity & Compositeness  36
9. Of being Perfect & Imperfectness  38
10. Of Naturalness & Artificiality  40
11. Of Finiteness & Infiniteness  41
12. Of Necessity & Contingency  42
13. Of Uncreated & Created, & Synonymous Divisions  46
14. Of Illocalness & Localness  49
15. On Act & Potential  50
16. On Possibility & Impossibility  54
17. On Cause & Causation  56
18. On Substance & Accident  62

Metaphysics Drawn out in Three Books through Methodical Precepts, Select Theorems & Clear, Short Commentaries…  (Herborne, 1613)  283 pp.  This is the same as his Most Exquisite Method of Metaphysics…  (1611)  ToC

Table of Contents

To the Candid Reader  3

Metaphysical Precognitions  9

Bk. 1, Of Transcendentals  27

1. Of Being  27
2. Of the Synonymous Attributes of Being, which are Something & a Thing  34
3. Of Essence  41
4. Of Existence  46
5. Of Duration  54
6. Of Unity  58
7. On Truth  78
8. Of Goodness  92
9. Of Order  108
10. Of Number  111
11. Of Perfection  113
12. Of Beauty  115
13. Of Act & Potential  117
14. Of Simplicity & Composition  134
15. Of Being per se & in accidents  139
16. Of Universality & Singularity  142
17. Of a Whole & a Part  148
18. Of Priority, Connection & Posteriority  155
19. Of Infinity & Finiteness  160
20. Of Absoluteness & Respectiveness  164
21. Of Reality & Intentionality  166
22. Of Abstraction & Concretion  171
23. Of Measure & a thing having been Measured  176
24. Of Subject & Adjunct  180
25. Of a Sign & Signifying  184
26. Of Beginning & having Begun  188
27. Of Cause & Causation  192
28. Of Necessity & Contingency  222
29. Of Identity, Diversity & Distinction  232

Bk. 2, Of Predications  248

1. The Number & Utility of Predications  248
2. Of Substance  253
3. Of Quantity  255
4. Of Quality  257
5. Of Relation  258
6. Of Action  263
7. Of Passion  265
8. Of Four Predications Less Principal: Where, When, Situation, Habitus  266

Bk. 3, On Non-Being  269

A Metaphysical Conclusion  275

3 Tables Dividing Metaphysics  276

Appendix on the Nature, Constitution & Special Use of Metaphysics, Comprehending Some Theorems  279


Bk. 11 of the Encyclopedia, Propounding Metaphysics, in Two Distinct Parts  in The Encyclopedia in Seven Distinct Tomes…  (Herborne, 1630), pp. 573-630

Table of Contents

1. On Being  573
2. On Essence  576
3. On Existence  577
4. On Duration  578
5. On the Affections [Mode, Attributes & Passions] of Being in General  579
6. On Unity  580
7. On Truth  582
8. On Goodness  585
9. On Number  586
10. On Order  587
11. On Perfection  587
12. On Beauty  588
13. On Being per se & in Accidents  589
14. On Universal Being & Singular Being  590
15. On Being Act & Potential  591
16. On Independence & Dependence  594
17. On Not-Having-Been-Created & Having-Been-Created  595
18. On Being from Itself & from Another  596
19. On Absoluteness & Respectiveness   596
20. On Incorruptibility & Corruptibility  597
21. On Being, Complete & Incomplete   597
22. On Naturalness & Unnaturalness  598
23. On Simplicity & Compositeness  598
24. On a Whole & a Part  600
25. On Priorness, Connection & Posteriority  602
26. On Sameness & Diversity  603
27. On Illocality & Locality  606
28. On Permanence & Successiveness  606
29. On Measure & a thing having been Measured  607
30. On Possibility & Impossibility  607
31. On Infiniteness & Finiteness  608
32. On Being, Real & Rational  609
33. On Abstractness & Concreteness  610
34. On Beginning [Principio] & that Begun  611
35. On Cause in General  611
36. On the Efficient Cause  612
37. On the End  613
38. On Matter  614
39. On Form  614
40. On Causation  615
41. On Necessity & Non-Necessity  615
42. On a Subject & Adjunct  617
43. On Sign & Signifying  618
44. On Communicability & Incommunibility  619

Table of Part 1  620

Part 2, On Predications  620

1. On Predications in General  620
2. On Substance  621
3. On Quantity  622
4. On Quality  624
5. On Relation  625
6. On Action  627
7. On Passion  628
8. When, Where, Situation, Habitus  629

Table of Part 2  629

Keckermann, Bartholomaus – A Compendious System of the Science [Scientia] of Metaphysics, Furnished in Public Lectures in the Danzig Gymnasium, Distributed in Two Parts  (Hanau, 1609)  112 pp.  ToC  This appears to be the same as the 1615 edition.

Table of Contents

9 Tables of the Metaphysics

Bk. 1, On Substance  17

1. Metaphysics in General, in which is Precognitions  17
2. Principles of Substance  22
3. Unity, Truth & Goodness  29
4. Perfection & Beauty  36
5. Order of Priority & Posteriority  38
6. The Order of Things which Simultaneously Are  43
7. Order of Universality & Singularity  45
8. Order of Dependence  52
9. Possibility, Necessity, Contingency, Facility & Difficulty  66
10. Duration, Extension & Place  73
11. Measure & that Having Been Measured  73
12. Order of Cognation & of Union  75
13. Order of Diversity  81
14. Relation  84
15. Division of Substance  92

Bk. 2  98

1. Nature of an Accident   98
2. The Division of an Accident  100
3. Being having been Clasped  103
4. Cognate-ness, or the Image of Being  104
5. The Opposite of Being, or Non-Being  108

Baron, Robert

Philosophy being a Handmaiden to Theology, that is, a Pious & Sober Explication of Philosophical Questions Occuring from Time to Time in Theological Disputations  (1621)

Baron (1596–1639) was one of the Scottish Aberdeen doctors who had been a teacher of philosophy at the University of St. Andrews.

Note that ch. 1 is on Being & Essence.  Numerous of the other chapters contain philosophical themes as well.


Table of Contents

Exercitation 1, On Being & Essence  1

1. The 1st Division of Real Being: it is displayed that God alone is a necessary being  1

2. The 2nd Division of Real Being: it is proved that God alone is being through essence [his being is identical to his essencel]  3

3. The 3rd Division of Real Being: it is explicated in what way God is pure act  8

4. The 4th Division of Real Being, which is sought from the modes of existence  12

5. The explication of these terms: being, essence, existence, subsistance, suppositum & person  20

6. Whether in creatures the suppositum and the singular nature of it differ in the thing  28

7. What is the cause why in created substances composition from essence and existence, and likewise from essence and subsistance, are yet not attributed to God in philosophy  34

8. Whether this having been posited, that every perfection is of the essence of God, it follows that personal subsistence is of his essence; and whether God, insofar as that is communicable to the three persons of the Trinity, may be a person, as Cajetan states.  41

9. Whether God is so common to three persons that He may be a single substance; and whether the three persons of the Trinity are three singular substances  47

10. Whether Christ, insofar as man, is a person; likewise, whether Christ, insofar as man, is everywhere  51

11. Whether the arguments of the Ubiquitarians sought from the personal union are valid  56

12. Whether the personal subsistence may be communicated to his human nature; and whether they rightly speak, who say that the humanity of Christ subsists everywhere through the subsistence; likewise that it exists everywhere according to his personal being.  64

Exercitation 2, On the Origin of the Soul & the Propagation of Sin  77

1. Of the Diversity of Material & Immaterial Forms   77

2. On the Double Causality & Power of Matter; further, on the Stretching forth of Forms out of the Power of Matter  82

3. Whether the Rational Soul is from being Handed Down [traduce88

4. Whether & in what way a Man is Truly Said to Beget a Man  95

5. Whether Generation has been Posited in the Production of Form, or Rather in the Conjunction of Form with Matter  101

6. Whether the Preceding Doctrine may Support the Propagation of Original Sin  109

7. Arguments are Solved which are Customarily Brought Against the Preceding Doctrine of the Propagation of Native Corruption through the Seed of the Parents  114

8. Some Questions are Propounded & Solved on the Propagation of Original Sin  121

9. Lighter Arguments are Dissolved which are Customarily Brought Against Creationism & the Infusion of the Soul  125

10. Whether anything better explains or expedites an account of the handing down of concupiscence, or the propension to evil, than what we say is the third explanation of Original Sin  128

11. Two other judgments on the handing down of sin are considered  136

12. The many dissensions among themselves which impugn the creation of souls are displayed, and three of the chief judgments of them on the origin of the soul are confuted  143

13. A fourth judgment is refelled, that of Balthasar Meisner  147

14. A fifth judgment is confuted, that of Timothy Bright of Cambridge  155

15. All of the judgments of traducianism have already been confuted; further, no one out of this number is able to better maintain or more easily explain the propagation of sin than we who defend the creation of souls  162

Exercitation 3, On Faith, Knowledge [Scientia] & Opinion  173

1. On the Firmness, Certainty & Evidence relating to the Consent of our Mind  173

2. In what way to know, to believe and to have an opinion may differ between themselves  178

3. Whether faith may always be  183

4. Whether faith may be able simultaneously to be with knowledge [scientia] respecting the same proposition, in the same intellect  188

5. Of the division of faith into explicit and implicit; and whether the lack of evidence that we give to faith makes anything for the blind and implicit faith of the papists  194

6. Of the Triple Light, namely, of Nature, of Faith of Grace, and of Glory  198

7. Whether there may be given to pilgrims [viatoribus] some light more clear than the light of faith  204

8. Three Questions are Solved  209

9. The judgment of Nicholas Grevinchovin is refelled, who says that the principle [habitum] of faith is not infused, but acquired  215

10. Whether faith, whether acutal or in principle [habitualis], may be, or is able to be, in infants  219

11. Whether Faith may be in Demons?  230

12. Whether in the Soul of Christ there was Faith?  Whether it may be in the Saints which have already been Translated to Heaven, they having the Face-to-Face Knowledge of God, as the Scholastics Speak  235

13. Whether the Remonstrants Rightly Deny that Adam Before the Fall had Power to Believe in Christ  240

14. Whether the Object of Faith is able to be False  249

15. In what way may be Solved that Argument of the Remonstrants that, ‘Whatever everyone is required to believe, that is true.  [But even all reprobates are required to believe that Christ died for them.  Therefore it is true that Christ for them.]”  [Baron was a hypothetical universalist.]  253

16. Whether Faith may be a Discursive Assent? and whether the Papists use Circular Reasoning in establishing the faith?  262

[Their circular syllogism is: “That which is able to be known by sola Scriptura, by that order of knowing, is not more known, but is more unknown by Scripture itself.  But the Church and its infallibility is able to be known by sola Scriptura.  Therefore, etc.]

17. Whether knowledge [notitia] may be an elicited act from the principle [habitu] of faith?  273

18. Whether trust [fiducia] may be an act of faith?  276

19. Whether trust is an intellectual act, and in what way it differs from assent?  284

20. Whether the object of saving faith may be the remission of sins already accomplished [impetrata]? or, on the other hand, whether it may be the remission of sins to be accomplished and to be obtained?  Where, in the way, is solved the chief arguments of Bellarmine against the object and nature of justifying faith.  291

21. Whether and how far faith pertains to the will  296

22. Whether love [charitas] may be the form of faith  300

23. Whether religion may be a theological virtue distinct from faith  304

24. The theology of pilgrims [viatorum], in three ways taken, is displayed; and the theology in the first way accepted is proved not to be a habit from faith, distinguished in the thing.  310

25. The second way accepted is proved, contra the theologian Anthony Ruvius, not to be knowledge [scientiam], but a divine trust  317

26. Theology the third way accepted, that is, scholastic theology, is proved to be an accumulated habit from faith and philosophical disciplines  320

27. That theology is similar to all the Aristotelian habits, especially, indeed, to prudence  324

28. Whether theology is a speculative discipline, or practical?  327

29. Whether the theology of pilgrims is able to be called speculative, from speculation [viewing] or vision, by which the future is in the Father  332

30. Whether theology, truly and properly so-called, is able to be in an impious man, or the unregenerate  334

General Metaphysics…  All Accommodated to the Use of Theology…  (d. 1639; London, 1658)  479 pp.  ToC 1, 2  Outline  Indices: Scripture & Authors

Table of Contents

To the Reader

Part 1

1. On Disciplines in General & in Specific on Metaphysics  1

Pt. 2, The Definition of Metaphysics & its Explanation  5

2. Whether Being as Being may have Truly & Properly Called Properties, & Likewise, True Principles through which those Properties are Demonstrated  8

3. In What Consists the Principle [Ratio] of Transcendental Unity & What are its Species  14

4. On Truth in Being, or on Truth according as it is an Affection of Being  28

5. On Transcendental Good, which is an Affection of Being  39

Disputation on Evil  49

6. On the Divisions of Being Broadly Accepted, into Being per se & Being per accidens, Being Negative & Positive, Real & Rational  67

7. On the Division of Being into Act & Power  76

Disputation on Act & Power  84

8. On the Efficient Cause  96

Disputation on the First Efficient Cause, & in Specific on its First Operation, namely Creation  107

Disputation on the Second Operation of the First Cause, namely Conservation  121

Disputation on the Third Operation of the First Cause, namely the Concursus of it with Second Causes  107

9. On the Material Cause of Substances & Accidents  169

A Disputation on the Prime Matter of Substance  188

10. Of the Formal Cause, Substantial & Accidental  202

Disputation 1, On the Origin of Forms, & in Specific, on the Origin of the Rational Soul  210

Disputation 2, On the Multitude of Forms in the Same Composite  255

Disputation 3, On the Generation of a Composite Substance  276

11. On the Final & Exemplary Cause  286

12. On Necessity & Contingency  291

Disputation 1, On the Liberty of Choice in Man  299

Disputation 2, On the Foreknowledge & Providence of God, & on the Concord of them with the Contingency of Things & the Liberty of Human Choice  340

13. On Sameness & Diversity  378

14. On Absoluteness & Respectiveness  390

15. On the Whole & Part  400

Part 2, The Special Part of Metaphysics

Section 1

Whether Being may be Univocally Predicated of its Species & how far Metaphysics may Descend to Consider Species of Being  419

Section 2

On the Division of Being into Created & Uncreated, & to whom it Adheres  427

Disputation 1, On Essence & Existence, & of the Composition of Creatures out of Being & Essence  427

Disputation 2, On the Composition of a Creature out of Existence & Subsistence  447

Disputation 3, On the Simplicity of Uncreated Being  459

Combach, Johann – The 3rd Edition of the Metaphysics, in Two Books, Comprehending the Universal Doctrine of First Philosophy by the Most Brief Theorems, Illustrated with Necessary Comments…  (Frankfurt, 1630)  ToC  628 pp.

Combach (1585-1651) was a professor of physics at Marburg.

Jacchaeus, Gilbert – Institutions of the First Philosophy, or of Metaphysics, in 6 Books  (Leiden: Elsevir, 1640)  391 pp.  ToC

Jacchaeus (c.1578-1628) was a reformed professor of philosophy at Herborn and Leiden.

Senguerdius, Arnold

A Collection of Metaphysics, in which General Metaphysics is Briefly Propounded in 16 Disputations publicly ventilated in the illustrious Academy of Utrecht  2nd ed.  (Utrecht, 1640)  245 pp.  ToC

Senguerdius (1610-1667) was a reformed professor of metaphysics and physics at Utrecht when this was written, and later a professor of philosophy at Amsterdam.

Senguerdius was Voet’s most recommended author on metaphysics.

The Idea of General & Special Metaphysics  3rd ed.  (Utrecht, 1659)  211 pp.  ToC

Revius, Jacobus – Suarez Repurged, or a Syllabus of the Metaphysical Disputations of Francis Suarez, a Theologian of the Society of Jesus, with the Notes of Jacob Revius…  (Leiden: 1644)  1,127 pp.  Index

Revius (1586-1658) was a reformed, professor of philosophy at Leiden who was anti-Cartesian.

Table of Contents

Dedicatory Epistle
Introduction  1

1. On the Nature of First Philosophy, or of Metaphysics  5

1. The Object of Metaphysics  4
2. Texts 13-15  7
3. Whether Metaphysics is Only One Science  8
.    Metaphysics is able to be Defined  9
4. How many are the offices of this science, what are its ends, its utility; where is of its causes.  12
5. Whether metaphysics is perfectly a speculative science, or rather a wisdom  13
6.  Whether out of all the sciences, metaphysics is the most grasped for by man by the natural appetite  18

2. Of the Essential Reason or Concept of Being  21
3. Of the passions of being in common, & its principles  38
4. Of transcendental unity in common  48
5. Of individual unity & its principle  67
6. Of formal & universal unity  75
7. Of general varieties of distinctions  98
8. Of verity, or truth, that it is a passion of being  109
9. Of falsity, or an untruth  123
10. Of good, or of transendental goodness  129
11. Of Evil  140

1. Whether evil may be something in things, & how many kinds there may be?  140
2. How many kinds of evil may there be?  143
3. Where & from where may evil be, or what causes it may have?  147
.      What is the end of evil?  148
.      What is the subjective cause of evil?  150
.      Whether a formal cause may be given to evil?  150
.      As far as the efficient [cause] of evil  151
.      In what way evil may be from the First Cause  154
4. Why evil is not numbered among the attributes of being  155

12. Of the cause of being in common  156
13. Of the material cause of substance  170
14. Of the material cause of accidents  195
15. Of the formal substantial cause  204
16. Of the formal accidental cause  230
17. Of the efficient cause in common  235
18. Of the proximate efficient cause  242
19. Of causes, necessary & free, or of contingent agents, where is of even fate, fortune & chance  262
20. Of the first efficient cause & its first action, which is creation  317
21. Of the first efficient cause, & its other action, which is conservation  339
22. Of the first cause, & another of its actions, which is cooperation, or concursus with secondary causes  345
23. Of the final cause in common  428

Burgersdijck, Franco – Institutions of Metaphysics in Two Books…  last ed., largely emended  (Hague, 1657)  ToC

Burgersdijck (1590-1635) was a Dutch, reformed logician and professor of moral and natural philosophy.  He was also earlier a professor of philosophy at the French University of Saumur.

Table of Contents

To the Benevolent Reader  by Heereboord
Eulogy by Peter Cuae

Bk. 1  1

1. On the Nature of Metaphysics 1
2. On the Common Account of Being 10
3. On that which is a Medium Between Being & Nothing, in General 20
4. On Privation & an External Denomination 25
5. On Rational Being 30
6. On Relation 34
7. On the Modes of Beings 44
8. On Uncircumscribed Principles, or on Essence & Existence 49
9. On Circumscribed Principles of Metaphysics 57
10. On the Affections of Being in General 59
11. On Unity & Multiplicity in General 61
12. On Numerical & Formal Unity, & on the Principle of Individuation 66
13. On Universal Unity 75
14. On Species & Grades of Unity 82
15. On Diversity or Distinction, & Convenience 87
16. On Opposition 95
17. On Order 100
18. On Truth & Falsity 104
19. On the Adjuncts of Truth 114
20. On Good & Evil 117
21. On Locality, Temporality & Duration 128
22. On a Whole & Part 139
23. On Cause & Causation in General 145
24. On Material Cause 151
25. On Formal Cause 158
26. On Efficient Cause 167
27. On the End 181
28. On Subject & Adjunct 193
29. On that which is Necessary, Impossible, Contingent & Possible  204
30. On Potency & Act  213
31. On being Perfect & Imperfect, or on Perfectability & Perfection  221

Bk. 2

1. On the Division of Being into Substance & Accidents; & on Substance in General 227
2. On Prime & Secondary Substances, & on Subsistence 232
3. On the Distribution of Being in God & the Creature, & other Equivalents 243
4. That God is 247
5. On the Divine Essence & its Attributes in General 255
6. On the Necessity, Unity & Eternity of God 260
7. On the Immensity, Simplicity & Immutability of God 266
8. On the Life & Intellect of God 276
9. On the Will & Power of God 290
10. On Creation & Conservation 296
11. On Concursus, or the Cooperation of God with Creatures 307
12. On Created Substances 317
13. On the Existence & the Nature of Angels 323
14. On the Attributes of Angels 328
15. On the Actions of Angels 333
16. On the Separated Human Soul 345
17. On Accidents 356


Maccovius, Johannes & Adrian Heereboord – Metaphysics Adorned & Applied for the Use of Questions in Philosophy & Theology, 3rd edition, Explicated, Vindicated & Refuting by Adrian Heereboord  (Leiden, 1658)  293 pp.  ToC

Table of Contents

Dedications & Epistle
Bk. 1

1. On the Nature of Metaphysics  1
2. On the Principles of External Being  5
3. On the Principles of Internal Being  7
4. On the Modes of Being in General  11
5. On Oneness  16
6. On the Subject  28
7. On the Truth  38
8. On the Good  51
9. On Necessity & Contingency  69
10. On Simplicity & Composition  81
11. On Measure & Something Measured  97
12. On Sign & that Signified  108
13. On Beginning & Having Begun, as well as the Efficient Cause  119
14. On the End  145
15. On Matter  154
16. On Form  164
17. On Priorness & Those Things which are Called Simultaneous  172

Bk. 2

1. On Substance 179
2. On Accidentalness in General, & in Specific on Quantity 198
3. On Quality 215
4. On Action 232
5. On Passion 244
6. On Relation 250
7. On Encompassed Being 270
8. On Cognate-ness & the Opposite of Being 282-98

Index of Theological Questions
Philosophical Index of Terms, Distinctions, Questions & Canons

Rutherford, Samuel – A Scholastic Disputation on Divine Providence  (Edinburgh, 1649), Metaphysical Inquiries, that may Perhaps bring forth a Measure of Light to the Doctrine of Providence, pp. 531-620

A Detailed (but not Exhaustive) Outline

1 – Whether being is more simple than non-being?  531

This is the first principle: ‘All the same is the same’…   531

2 – Whether God is the lordly cause of being and non-being?  532

Being is prior to non-being  532
God maintains dominion in non-entities and non-futures  532
Argument 1: Genesis 1, ‘and God said’  533
Argument 2  533
Argument 3  534
.    Non-beings of themselves and out of their own nature are
.        not in kind non-beings  535
Argument 4  535
.     The reason of creating in which  536
Argument 5  536
Argument 6  537
Argument 7   537

3 – Whether God is the origin and cause of impossibilities and possibilities?  538

God is the cause of possibilities  538
Because God is omnipotent, therefore beings are possible; yet
.   it is not the case that they are possible, and therefore God is
.      able to create them  538

4 – But the other part of the question is more difficult, namely, Whether anything is impossible, except that it is originally impossible with God?  It is responded that nothing is impossible as such.  540  6 points

God is the origin of impossibilities  540
Nothing is impossible simply or incomplexly, but only complexly
.    or as it is incompaible is it impossible  540
A hircocervus [an animal, half-goat and half-stag] is able to be
.    created by God, and not able to be created in a different
.       respect  541
Therefore, that something is not able to be because God is not
.    able to make it, is not contrary to: God is not able to make
.        this, because this is not able to be  543
Impossibility in the first infinite being is the origin of all
.     impossibility in creatures  544

5 – Whether from the hypothesis that there was no first cause, whether possiblity or impossibility would exist in the nature of things?  545

If the impious and execrable supposition be set up that there
.    were no first cause, nothing would be possible, nothing
.       impossible, and a chaotic contradiction would prevail  546
God, by his positive decree knows all non-futures  548
If God were not, nothing would be true or false, nor would there
.    be being or non-being  549
God is the stimulus [actus] of whatever is able to be  550
If there were no first being, there would be no things not
.    repugnant to each other, and that from eternity  550
If you suppose there not to be a first being, there would be no
.    true, nor false proposition  553
Beings are possible in themselves without the consideration of
.    a first being, but if you posit the first being not to be, then
.        nothing will be impossible  553
[the page numbering skips from 553-56]
If there were not a prime being, this principle would be
.     shattered: ‘It is impossible for the same thing to be and not
.     to be simultaneously.’  556

6 – Whether possibilities are something real [actual]?  557  I respond they are not, as they are called only a name merely extrinsically in relation [habitudine] to Omnipotency.

A possibel thing is not something real.  557
The essences of things are not from eternity.  557
What the future is  559

7 – By what knowledge and will God comprehends possibilities?  559

In what way God knows possibilities.  559
The practical and speculative knowledge [scientia] of God, in
.     what way it differs from our knowledge [scientia].  560
Double Possibilities  560
The twofold approving will of God.  560
How much God may necessarily love possibilities. 560

8 – Whether God exercises providence in all things by a necessity of nature or freely?  561

A hypothetical absolute necessity is able to be in God   561
The necessity of nature in God is twofold.  562

9 – Whether God’s free good pleasure is the cause of essences, of grades of essence and of specific forms in natural things, moral things, supernatural things, and artificial things?  563

What is in potential and what is in any act is by the same mode,
.     according to the Scriptures.  563
An act is a prior power.  563
A thing materially creatable and a created thing are distinguished  564
God, having freely made that creature [man], materially took up
.     a rational soul  565
It being necessary, we demonstrate the truth of the first thing
.     spoken  565
By the same action of God to freely create, God created Adam,
.      a human man, etc.  566
The most supreme liberty of the Supreme Worker proves that
.      He freely creates a thing out of any agreeable essence
.         567
It is not necessary for God to create things of such an essence
.      567
The ideas of things have been formed in the mind of God
.     according to his free good-pleasure, therefore so have the
.     ideas of even the essence of things also  568
God is not able to command that men and angels believe God
.     not to be, or to believe that contradictory things are
.     simultaneously true  569
Subjection and non-subjection to the law may necessarily vary
.     necessarily according to the rule of sin  572
Some things are good antecedently to the free good-pleasure
.     of God according to a fittingness with God  572
God is not able to command except that it is good and the duty
.     of the creature  574
God is not able to command you to do such things as are
.     contradictory, out of his own consistency  574

10 – Whether the Creator may be able to require something injurious to the creature [No], and what sort of right does God have in his creatures?  577

‘Right’ is taken in a threefold way, and the sort of right God has
.     in the creatures  577
We do not pay regard to syncretism with the Socinians  578
Someone having been created, this of itself founds a relation
.     between the Creator and the creature, Lord and servant,
.     and someone dependent with an obligation to obedience
.     579
Nor do those things set down for us an absolute necessity for a
.     satisfaction being fulfilled by Christ  580  [Quotes Pareus]
The Socinians deny the immutability of the decrees of God  580
To what extent God is able to command his own hatred  582
.     [quotes Sibrandus that God need not punish the sinner on
.     account of his absolute dominion  583]
Sibrandus and we make the will of God the first rule of his
.    righteousness [justice] to that which is outside of Himself
.    584
Beza on the question  584

To what extent justice belongs to God essentially, and what follows.
.         584

How far the justice of God is referred to his free will  584
How far and in what way the corrective justice of God, which is
.    referred to the creatures, is not essentially in God  585
God out of grace, not out of justice gives the sponsor
.    [Redeemer]  585
The means, how far they are means antecedently to the
.    decrees of God  585
The Word of God notates the decree of God  586
Num. 31:16
What sort of law is before the decree  586

Whether the decree of God removes ability from a secondary cause?
.     586

The decree of God takes power [from creatures] by a mode not
.     physical  586

Whether the absolute ability to act or not to act is of the essence of freedom?  587

The essence of a free creature is most wretchedly defined by
.    Jesuits and Arminians  587

Whether the decree of God also blows [conspiret] in the same
.     numeric act which the will elicits itself, if we set down that nothing
.     is impossible in the decree of God?  588

I respond affirmatively, because the necessity of the decree and
.   the necessity of the free exercise, these same remove the
.   indifferent things of freedom.

A table  588

That the decree and created will flow together [conspiret] in the
.    same point  588

11. Whether a free action is contingent?  589

By which pact a free act is contingent  589

12. Whether liberty is able to stand with an antecedent necessity?  I respond affirmatively…  589

13. In what way, out of an antecedent, absolute necessity, is the consequence not absolutely necessary  589

14. By what sort of power may the good of the glory of God result out of sin  590  [On the part of a sinning creature, by a power merely obediential, not formal]

15. By what sort of knowledge does God look upon a conditional future?  590

18. Whether a creature is able to act without a concurrent primary cause?  [I respond in the negative…] Whether God moves a secondary cause by a previous concurrence or a simultaneous one?

It is necessary that God premoves the secondary cause to act, and this contriving of two simultaneous, collateral and independent influences, of God and of the creatures, is impious  592

19-20. Concerning the insanity of the Jesuits in this matter.  592

21. A simultaneous influx of God and the creature everts the dependence of the creature in working by the Creator  594

22. A simultaneous influx of God and the creature brings in two first principles  594

24. These simultaneous influences evert the certain knowledge [scientia] of God  595

25. God does not establish that a secondary cause may work by simultaneous, standing influences  596

26. The influence of God in the second cause is not a permanent quality inhering in the second cause  596

Adam sinned freely though the influence of God was subtracted, without which he was not able not to fall  597

27. Whether or not the substraction in her [Eve] was the penalty of a sin preceding the sin?  I respond in the negative.

28. In what way, therefore, had Adam the ability to will, if he willed to stand?  I respond: in the greatest way, because he so retained his ability in relation to his free act…

Whether Adam sinned freely because he sinned by the remote predeterminate motion of God?  597

Whether there is such a thing as a contingent future and what it is? from an anonymous debater.  597

The necessity from the decree does not attach to the thing of the decree per se and always  597

The adversaries deny every future thing as they deny the future cause to be the decree of God, or another cause to hold than the cause of the present action  598

The Disputer objects:  If a thing is from eternity, it has no cause, for no thing is from eternity except God; and if things were future from eternity, then they were not from eternity…  599

I respond, the Disputer supposes our opinion to be that the futurity of things from eternity is a real being, and that it was created from eternity or is coeternal with God, which we by no means teach…

The future is not a mere nothing.  599

The Disputer denies the future, because he does not know what the future is.  599

The Disputer affirms the future to be present and not future.  600

The Disputer objects:  If God has decreed that tomorrow there will be rain, that tomorrow it will rain depends consequently on the decree of God; but a necessity of the consequence in no way depends on the decree of God, even as God is not otherwise able to decree; indeed, He is not able to decree so that what He decree is not, for progress would then be in infinity…  600

The sickly Disputer bears off every necessity of things which arises in the decree from God  601

The Disputer exchanges the cause of the present action for the future cause.  601

30. What truly is the future? 602  I respond it is an ideal and objective thing in the will and decree of God which finally in its time it will be a present act.

31. Is it not absurd to say that the futurity of sin was in God from eternity, or that the futurity of the sin against the Holy Spirit is in God?  So the Disputer.  I respond, but I have made good that the futurity of all sins is in the decree of God permissively from eternity. 602

32. Whether ordinability to the good comes through [conveniat,or is in accord with] sin per se, or yet by accident…  I respond:  This is not able to be conceded to the judgment of the Arminian…  604

In what way God in time and from eternity ordains sin.  604

33. Whether the Will of Sign is improperly and metonymically the will of God?  [Yes; Rutherford explains that the Approving will that lies behind it in God is properly called his will, though the communication directing that to the creature, by creaturely signs and commands, is not properly God’s will as God has not willed it to be in the event.]  605

How far the will of sign may be a will?

I respond:  The will of sign, according as it designates what is the pleasing and acceptable revealed will of God to us, that which is of our duty, so it is called the approving will, contradistinguished from the will of good-pleasure [of decree], and refers to two things:

1. To that which we ought to believe or do, inasmuch as that is obliging of consciences, since we ought to will to please God and will the reward of obedience following.

2. It refers to obedience, and this so far as God displays that to us by an urging [actu], either through special grace or a common concursus.

The first will is of complacency and is properly called will, whose object is the duty of the rational creature.  In this way God sincerely [serio] approves and wills obedience, and is pleased in this moral good as a rule and norm, and it is not less a will than that which is called of good-pleasure [or the will of decree].

But the latter way is not an executing will as the will of good-pleasure is, nor does God will, intend or decree through grace or concursus, to work in the creatures that which He commands or prohibits, because He commands or prohibits it.

And in this way the will of sign is so far improperly called ‘the will of sign’; indeed, the punishment is called the wrath of God, because assuredly God punishes that which is done, as men are accustomed to do such being angry and in the passion of wrath, being aroused and agitated, although nonetheless, passions do not occur in God.

What sort is that being which a future thing maintains from eternity?  I respond that it is not the being of the thing, not a real being or an actual being, because futurity is some mode of being, a mode of being not able to be real or actual…  605

By whatever mode future things have being from eternity, it surely is objective [and potential], not real.  605

Futurity and future things differ  606

The futurity of a thing is eternal and the future thing arises in time  606

Surely it is said then, futurity is in no way real?  606  I respond, futurity passively taken, or the thing which is future, is not real.

Futurity actively and passively taken differ  606

Whether the future from eternity was future from a second cause, or truly from the first cause?  607

Those things having been created in time are not able to be causes why created things were future from eternity.  607

That which is future is determinate and is necessarily future  607

Whether something was future from eternity, out of the desires of the Jesuits?  I respond, not in any way [on their terms].  608  [Rutherford’s reason is that something can only be future as it exists objectively in the decree of God, but they deny that, so their view collapses and nothing can be future.]

Whether the act, or truly the lawlessness or malice of the act may be formally prohibited?  608

Human acts, not the maliciousness or lawlessness of the acts, are formally commanded and prohibited.  608

Whether God properly dispensed with the law when He commanded Abraham to slay his only begotten son?  I respond, it is not at all true.  610

God never dispenses with his law.  610

Whether it is certain that God has a positive dominion and rule in non-entities which are never created?  I respond: it is most certain.  610

The dominion of God in all non-entities and those things which are never future.  610

Whether the active hardening of God is formally a positive act, or are immanent and transient acts?  I respond:  The will or decree to harden in God is an immanent and eternal act, but the active hardening of God, as it is the execution of that decree, is what is temporaneous and transient.  611

Active hardening in God, how far it is a positive act.  611

Whether the will of sign & the permitting will may coincide?  611

What the will of sign is in this disputation  611

Concerning decretive will  611


Concerning a conflict in God’s will as it is falsely imputed to our side  613

There is no conflict between the wills of God.  613

The poor Disputer says that God approves something, Himself permitting  613

In what way God wills an act He is able to will.  614

Concerning the Will of Approval and the Will of Good-Pleasure, a debater is examined who says that God wills every possibility  615-620

Moreover, indeed, it is queried out of the Disputer, in what way God wills a future thing, and by what mode possibilities?  whether by the same will?  615

Whether God wills possibilities.  615

That the will of God from eternity has been determined in intrinsic actions as well as extrinsic.  616

The approving will is in every way rejected by the Disputer in that sense by which it is used by us  617

The Disputer wills men to be able to break the will of God, both of good-pleasure and of sign  618

The permitting will of God does not maintain itself purely negatively around sin  619

Errata  620

Heereboord, Adrian – Philosophical Outlines [Meletemata], in which Most Things in Metaphysics are Ventilated, the Whole of Ethics…  is Explained, Universal Physics is Expounded through Theorems & Commentaries, & a Sum of Logical Things is Given through Disputations…  2nd ed.  (Leiden, 1659)  ToC

Table of Contents

Dedicatory Epistle
To the Reader

A Collection of Logic, or [Disputations of] Logical Positions

1. On Philosophy & the Nature of Logic  1
2. On Predications in General & on Substance in Specific  2
3. On Quantity
4. On Quality
5. On Relations
6. Six Predications Following  8
7. On Predications  10
8. On a Whole & Part, & a Cause & Causation in General  11
9. On Matter, Form & End  13
10. On the Efficient Cause
11. On Subject & Adjunct
12. On Union & Distinction
13. On Opposition & Order
14. On Interpretation, Simple & Composite
15. On the Four Instruments of Knowing

A Collection of Physics

1. On the Principles of Natural Bodies 1
2. On Nature, the Efficient Cause, End, Quantity, Quality & Place
3. On Motion & Time
4. On the World & Heaven
5. On the Elements 19
6. On Generation & Corruption 23
7. On Meteors 27
8. On Mixture & Temperament 30
9. On the Soul 35
10. On the Vegetative Soul 39
11. On the Sentient Soul
12. On Sight
13. On Hearing, Smelling, Taste, Touch, etc. & Internal Sense in General 53
14. On Internal Sense in Specific, on the Sensitive & Locomotive Appetite 57
15. On the Rational Soul 62

A Collection of Ethics

1. On the Constitution of Practical Philosophy 1
2. On the Highest Good 8
3. On the Highest Good, pt. 2 13
4. On the Highest Good, pt. 3 17
5. On Spontaneity 22
[Sic] On the Highest Good, pt. 4 17
6. On Unwillingness 26
7. On Mixed Actions 31
8. On the Practical Intellect & Right Reason 35
9. On the Will 38
10. On the Motive of the Will 42
11. On Free Choice 48
12. On the Affections in General 54
13. On the Affections of Cause & Division 57
14. On Virtue in General & that of the Intellect in Specific 61
15. On Prudence 64
16. On Moral Virtue in General 68
17. On the Causes of Moral Virtue 71
18. On the Conservation, Corruption & Opposition of Moral Virtue 75
19. On the Division of Moral Virtue & the Definition of Fortitude 79
20. On the Division of, Limits of & Some Questions on, Fortitude 82
21. On Temperance 86
22. On Liberality 89
23. On the Limits & Magnificence of Liberality 93
24. On Magnanimity & Modesty 96
25. On Custom[?] 100
26. On Courtesy 105
27. On Veracity 108
28. On Buffoonery 113
29. On Universal Justice 118
30. On Particular Justice 123
31. On Friendship 132

Dedicatory Epistle 1

On the Natural Knowledge of God 21
Counsel on the Reason to Study Philosophy 27
An Academic Sermon on the Right Rule of Disputing Philosophically 29

pt. 1

Preliminaries 1, on Substance  1
Preliminaries 2, on Accidents  4

1. On Person  7
2. On Infinite Being  10
3. On the Natural Knowledge of God  14
4. On a Property [Proprio]  17
5. On Relation  21
6. On the Origin of the Rational Soul  24
7. On the Concursus of God  27
8. On the Concursus of the First Cause  30
9. On the Concursus of God  34
10. On the Concursus of the First Cause  38
11. On the Concursus of the First Cause  41
12. On Angels  44
13. On Angels 2  48
14. On Angels 3  51
15. On Angels 4  55
16. On Angels 5  58
17. On Necessity  61
18. On Contingency  62
19. 1st part, Contra the Possibility of an Eternal World  67
20. 2nd part, Contra the Possibility of an Eternal World  71
21. On the Immutability of the Divine Knowledge [Scientia]  75
22. On the Simplicity of God  78
23. On the Power of God  82
24. On the Will of God  85
25. On the Will of God Again  89
26. On the Eternity of God  93
27. On the Immutability of God  96
28. On the Immensity of God  100
29. On the Origin of a Rational Soul  104
30. On the Knowledge [Scientia] of God  107
31. On the Mode & Partition of the Divine Knowledge [Scientia]  110
32. On the Communication of Properties [Propriorum]  115
33. On Abstraction  118
34. On the Good  121
35. On Forms, pt. 1  125
36. On Forms, pt. 2  129
36. On Forms, pt. 3  134
37. On Forms, pt. 4  137
38. On the Aristotelian Definition of Form  146
39. On the Law, in Common  149
40. On the Eternal Law  152
41. On the Law of Nature  155
42. On Human Law  158
43. On the Immortality of the Rational Soul  161
44. On Innate Quality [Ingenio]  165
45. On Cognition  168
46. On a Free Cause  172
47. On a Free Cause  175
48. On Real Being  179
49. On Real Being  182
50. On Rational Being  185

pt. 2

1. On the Actual Inhering of an Accident 189
2. On the Identity of Quantity with Matter 192
3. On the Aristotelian Definition of the Highest Good & Virtue, & the Connection of Virtues 195
4. On the Distinction of an Accident from Substance, pt. 1 199
5. On the Distinction of an Accident from Substance, pt. 2 202
6. On the Distinction of an Accident from Substance, pt. 3 205
7. On the Distinction of an Accident from Substance, pt. 4 208
8. On the Distinction of an Accident from Substance, pt. 5 211
9. On the Use of Philosophy in Theology 213
10. On the Abuse of Philosophy in Theology 218
11. On the Use of Metaphysics in other disciplines, especially Theology 222
12. On the Division of the Efficient Cause into Procreating & Conserving, Eminently & Actively 225
13. On the Eminent & Crossing-Over Cause 229
14. On a Free Cause 232
15. On an Efficient Cause, in and of itself, & through an accident 238
16. On the Division of an Efficient Cause into Principle & Less Principle 241
17. On the Division of an Efficient Cause into Primary & Secondary 245
18. On the Division of an Efficient Cause into Primary & Secondary, pt. 2 248
19. On the Division of an Efficient Cause into Primary & Secondary, pt. 3 251
20. On the Division of an Efficient Cause into Primary & Secondary, pt. 4 254
21. On the Division of an Efficient Cause into Primary & Secondary, pt. 5 257
22. On the Division of an Efficient Cause into Proximate & Remote, Total & Partial 261
23. On the Final Cause 264
24. On the Final Cause, Again 267
25. On the Subject & Adjunct 270
26. On the Subject & Adjunct, pt. 2 273
27. On Agreement & Distinction 276
28. On Agreement, especially Simplicity 280
29. On the Distinction of Things 283
30. On the Distinction of Things 286
31. On Ideas, pt. 1 289
32. On Ideas, pt. 2 291
33. On Ideas, pt. 3 294
34. On Ideas, pt. 4 296
35. On Ideas, pt. 5 299
36. On Ideas, pt. 6 302
37. On the Eternal Essences of Things 305
38. On the Ordained & Absolute Power of God, pt. 1 305
39. On the Ordained & Absolute Power of God, pt. 2 308
40. On the Ordained & Absolute Power of God, pt. 3 314
41. On the Power of God 317
42. On the Power of God, Again 320
43. On the 3rd Book of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, ch. 1, texts 1 & 2 322
44. On Prime Cognition 327
45. On the Liberty of Philosophizing 330
46. On Encyclopedia 334
47. On Man 336
48. On the Reason for Philosophizing 339
49. On the Nature of Material Things 341
50. On Continuous Composition 343

An Appendix of a Certain Few Disputations held in the Theological College in the Ordinary Disputing

On Atoms  347
Contra the Fourness of the Elements, pt. 1  350
Contra the Fourness of the Elements, pt. 2  353
Contra the Same Number of the Elements, pt. 3  355
Contra the Same Number of Them, pt. 4, & specially on Air  358
On Rational Entities  401?
Whether True Philosophy is Contrary to Sacred Theology & Vice-Versa?   363
On the Use of Human Reason in Theology & Questions of Faith  368
Whether God is a Universal or Singular Subject [Thema] or Being  373
On the Origin & Progress of Philosophy  378

Ethical Exercises

1. On the Existence of Ethics & its Distinction from Theology  1
2. On the Essence & Definition of Ethics  7
3. On the Difference, Division & Use of Ethics  11
4. On the Chief Good  16
5. On the Chief Good, pt. 2  21
6. On the Chief Good, pt. 3  25
7. On the Chief Good, pt. 4  30
8. On the Chief Good, pt. 5  34
9. On the Chief Good, pt. 6  38
10. On the Subject or Object of Ethics  42
11. On Some Questions about the Intellect & Will  46
12. On Some Questions about an Act of the Human Will  49
13. On Questions about the Object of the Human Will  53
14. On Objections Against the Determination of the Human Will from the Last Judgment of the Practical Intellect  57
15. On Objections Against the Determination of the Human Will from the Last Judgment of the Practical Intellect, pt. 2  62
16. On Objections Against the Determination of the Human Will from the Last Judgment of the Practical Intellect, pt. 3  66
17. On Objections Against the Nature of Free Choice  70
18. On the Affections in General  75
19. On the Affections in Specific  79
20. On the Affections in Specific  82
21. On the Affections in Specific  87
22. On Questions about Spontaneous Actions, Unwilling & Mixed  92
23. On Good & Evil in General  95
24. On Moral Goodness & Malice  99
25. On Moral Virtue  102
26. On Moral Virtue, pt. 2  106
27. On Moral Virtue, pt. 3  109
28. On the Division of Moral Virtues & the Connection of Them Between Themselves  113
29. On the Connection or Separation of Moral Virtues, whether Equal or Unequal  117
30. On the Difference of Virtues between Gentiles & the Faithful, or Between Pagans & Christians  121
31. On the Various Division of Moral Virtues, & in Specific on the Heroic Virtue  125
32. On Human Virtue  128
33. On Some Questions about Fortitude  131
34. On Some Questions about Fortitude  134
35. On Suicide & Duelling  137
36. On Duelling  142
37. On the Question whether it may be Lawful to Repel Force with Force & to Kill an Invader  145
38. On the Question:  On Account of which Things or Causes may it be Lawful to Kill an Invader?  149
39. On War, pt. 1  153
40. On War, pt. 2  160
41. On War, pt. 3  163
42. On War, pt. 4  167
43. On Questions about Temperance  169
44. On Some Questions about Temperance  172
45. On Some Questions about Liberality  177
46. On Some Questions about the Limits of Liberality & Magnificence  179
47. On Some Questions about Magnanimity & Modesty 182
48. On Some Questions about Mildness  185
49. On Some Questions about Social Virtues  188
50. On Moral Cases about Temperance  192
51. On Moral Cases about Liberality  196
52. On Moral Cases about Liberality  200
53. On Various Questions & Morals about Liberality  205
54. On Questions & Moral Cases about Magnanimity, Modesty & Mildness  209
55. On Some Moral Questions about Mildness  213
56. On Some Moral Questions about Veracity, & Specially of Falsehood  218
57. On Some Moral Questions about Veracity, & Specially of Equivocations & Mental Reservations  221
58. On Various Questions about Veracity  225
59. On Some Moral Questions about Courtesy & Bafoonery  229
60. On Some Questions about Universal Justice  233
61. On Some Questions about Particular Justice  236
62. On Some Questions about Justice, Right & Injury  241
63. On Some Questions about Friendliness  245


Greydanus, Johannes – Institutions of Metaphysics, in a Threefold Tract  (Franeker, 1660)  434 pp.  ToC  Index

Greydanus (1630-1668) was a reformed professor of philosophy at Franeker.

Grebenitz, Elias – The Metaphysics of Philosophy & Theology  (Frankfurt, 1677)  251 pp.

Grebenitz (1627-1689) was a reformed professor of logic, metaphysics and theology at Frankfurt.


Incomplete Table of Contents

Dedicatory Epistle
To the Reader

Summary ToC
General Part

Bk. 1, On Being  6
Bk. 2, On the Principles of Being  25
Bk. 3, On the Affections of Being  27

Special Part

Bk. 1, On the Division of Being  152
Bk. 2, [Greek]  222




On Particular Issues


Alsted, Johann Heinrich – A Metaphysical Disputation on Uncreated Substance  (Herborne, 1615)  24 pp.

Table of Contents

Dedication  6

An Introduction to God  7

Theorem 1, Substance is a being through itself subsisting  8

Theorem 2, Substance is uncreated or created.  Uncreated Substance is God.  11

Theorem 3, God is being, one, true, good, simply simple, independent and simply perfect  11

Theorem 4, One is that which is indivisible in itself and divided from every other thing  13

Theorem 5, Truth is being, congruent with the intellect, and therefore such is thus able to be conceived  15

Theorem 6, Good is being congruent with the will  6

Theorem 7, An act is either directed to an accomplishing power [potentia], or is said to be an immunity from all potential [potentia]  17

Theorem 8, An act which is more pure, that is simpler  18

Theorem 9, That which is infinite is that which by no measure is able to be measured  20

Theorem 10, Independence is that which is first, whether in some genus, or simply  22

Theorem 11, That which is perfected is that which there is known to be no addition absent from its nature  23

Theorem 12, The perfection of acts follows the perfection of essence  24

Epilogue  24

Grebenitz, Elias – On the Concurrent Being of Beings, a Metaphysical Disputation on the Concursus of the First Cause with a Second Cause  (Frankfurt, 1669)

Grebenitz (1627-1689) was a reformed professor of logic, metaphysics and theology at Frankfurt.

Maccovius, Johannes – Tract on the Soul having been Separated  ToC  in Metaphysics, a Tract of the Same [Author] is attached on the Soul Having been Separated, now first forged  (Leiden, 1650)  The larger Metaphysics work is the same as that below edited by Heereboord.

1. On the Soul having been Released  341
2. On the Soul having been Brought Back  367
3. On the Separation of the Separated Soul with Respect to Accidental Properties  386
4. On the Operations of the Soul  398
5. On Considerations of the Separated Soul with respect to Itself  403



Goclenius, Rudolf – A Twofold Philosophical Disputation: Metaphysical-Logical, on Identity & Distinction, & Physical-Medical, on the Parts of the Human Body  (Marburg: 1604)

Goclenius (1547-1628) was a reformed professor of philosophy at Marburg.

Adama, Lollius – A Metaphysical Disputation on the Principle of Individuation  (Franeker, 1606)  83 theses

Adama (c.1544-1609) was a reformed professor of philosophy at Franeker.




Johnson, Charles – ‘Metaphysics’  in ‘A Reformed Reading List’  (2023)

Johnson gives nine suggested works, all in Latin, at the guidance of Voet.  Johnson gives some of his own (reliable) thoughts on the usefulness (or lack thereof) of metaphysics as an introduction.




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