Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael V. Murray

Second Advisor

Vincent de Paul


Francisco Suarez has been described as standing at the crossroads of scholasticism and modern philosophy. He was born January 5, 1548, at the dawn of what was to be the modern era of thought in both philosophy and science. In the same year St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote his spiritual exercises; Giordano Bruno was born; Cervantes was one year old. The previous generation had given birth to both Montaigne and St. John of the Cross; the next was to flower in Shakespeare, Bacon, Galileo, and Kepler. Rene Descartes graduated from the Jesuit school of La Fleche during Suarez lifetime. The protestant revolt had taken place, and philosophical and theological thought was in turmoil; men as a whole were looking forward in a rising humanistic spirit of individualism. At this time appeared Suarez--one of the great names in the history of philosophy. Yet, as Enrique Gomez Arboleya has pointed out, it is a name almost empty of content today. The quid nominis is recognized; the quid rei-- the doctrine and reality of Suarez thought--is not. Why such an eclipse of a thinker whose books dominated most of the universities of northern Europe? To answer this question and understand the philosophical fate of Suarez, one must situate him carefully in the historical and philosophical currents of his time.



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