Suárez, Immortality, and the Soul’s Dependence on the Body
In this essay the Renaissance background and contributions to Suárez’s thinking about immortality are explored. It is argued that Suárez’s conception of the soul was distinctively shaped but Pietro Pomponazzi and the Averroism common in Padua and across northern Italy during the latter half of the sixteenth century. Suárez realized that to answer Pomponazzi’s challenge, he had to overcome Aristotle’s dictum that understanding requires phantasms. It is argued that Suárez overcame this in a very un-Thomistic way by interpreting Aristotle as holding that the operations of the intellect were merely concomitant with the operations of the imagination and not dependent on them.
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