The pair of concepts subject/object derives from the Greek hypokeímenon and antikeímenon and from medieval usages of the verbs subiicio and obiicio, which actually mean the opposite of their post-Cartesian usages. The couple of concepts subject/object involves philosophical approaches that are relevant to the intertwinement of logic, metaphysics, ethics, and psychology (Kobusch 1984; Karskens et al. 1998; Kible et al. 1998). During the Renaissance, some major contributions were proposed by the Aquinas commentator Tommaso de Vio Cardinal Cajetan, the humanist Petrus Ramus, the pure Aristotelian Cornelius Martini, the semi-Ramist Bartholomaeus Keckermann, and the lexicographer Rudolf Goclenius. Mostly, however, the discussion was led by Ramus and his followers, the Ramists, because of the role they played in exacerbating a discussion on the constitution of objectivity that was to have an impact on Cartesian and post-Cartesian theories of subjectivity. Finally, keeping in mind that Kant was familiar with the secunda Petri, i.e., with the second part of Ramus’s logic, namely, the theory of judgment, some common ground is recognizable on subject/ object between Ramus and Kant as well. Decades and decades before Descartes, the issue of subjectivity arose as a consequence of the setting of domains of objects, which brought the momentous change that logic’s foundations were not in nature (as Plato and the Stoics assumed), but as a habit, within a thinking subject. Subject/object is about three questions: (1) Is logic a system based on nature or is it in the human understanding as a habit? (2) What are the form and the matter of the object to be considered? (3) How does the human subject elaborate semantic models in accordance with the heuristic of each science (Pozzo 2012)? Etymology. The concepts derive from the Greek hypokeímenon and antikeímenon and from medieval usages of the verbs subiicio and obiicio, which actually mean the opposite of their post-Cartesian usages (Risse 1963). The former refers to the logical discernment of the intellect and the latter to the investigative activity of the senses. In other words, the former designates what we today call a formal approach and the latter is close to what we call today the subjective conditions of experience. Several studies have investigated the history of this pair of concepts, and scholars have become again familiar with the pre-Cartesian understanding of the terms. There is still much to be considered, however, about the motives that led Renaissance philosophers to switch from the Aristotelian notion of a logical or metaphysical subject to the Renaissance idea of a human subject who aims at using reason in the most consequential way (Pozzo 2002). Finally, it needs to be kept in mind that we are looking into the works of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century philosophers who talked of concepts instead of terms, of judgments instead of propositions, and of reasoning instead of arguments. They were philosophers who openly relied on psychology and, less openly, but just as effectively, on metaphysics (Easton 1997, i). A subject is what accidents subject to and is grasped by the intellect. An object is what one looks at and is felt by the senses. One has first to deal with the subject rather than with the accidents, because the accidents presuppose the subject. As a matter of fact, nothing is without subject, and the subject is either what the accident is in or that upon which the accident falls or inheres. Aristotle teaches in Categories 1a20-1b7 that something is either referentially (de re) in the subject (en hupokeímenon, in subiecto), in which case the predicate is in an individual subject, or something is said attributively (de dicto) upon the subject (kath’ hypokeímenon, de subiecto), in which case the predicate is said to be of whatever substance is its subject. In the latter case, what matters is that a human being has posed a question and that his or her subjectivity has the responsibility of isolating a determinate domain. The task of providing attributive predication was taken over in the Renaissance by the operator thema, a characteristic feature of humanistic logic, which turns out to be pivotal for understanding the constitution of objects. In fact, it is up to the human subject to focus on domains of objects and to thematize them according to his or her operative conditions (Pozzo 1999).

Pozzo, R. (2022). Subject/Object, Renaissance Concept of. In Marco Sgarbi (a cura di), Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy (pp. 3162-3174). Cham : Springer [10.1007/978-3-319-14169-5_241].

Subject/Object, Renaissance Concept of

Pozzo, Riccardo
2022

Abstract

The pair of concepts subject/object derives from the Greek hypokeímenon and antikeímenon and from medieval usages of the verbs subiicio and obiicio, which actually mean the opposite of their post-Cartesian usages. The couple of concepts subject/object involves philosophical approaches that are relevant to the intertwinement of logic, metaphysics, ethics, and psychology (Kobusch 1984; Karskens et al. 1998; Kible et al. 1998). During the Renaissance, some major contributions were proposed by the Aquinas commentator Tommaso de Vio Cardinal Cajetan, the humanist Petrus Ramus, the pure Aristotelian Cornelius Martini, the semi-Ramist Bartholomaeus Keckermann, and the lexicographer Rudolf Goclenius. Mostly, however, the discussion was led by Ramus and his followers, the Ramists, because of the role they played in exacerbating a discussion on the constitution of objectivity that was to have an impact on Cartesian and post-Cartesian theories of subjectivity. Finally, keeping in mind that Kant was familiar with the secunda Petri, i.e., with the second part of Ramus’s logic, namely, the theory of judgment, some common ground is recognizable on subject/ object between Ramus and Kant as well. Decades and decades before Descartes, the issue of subjectivity arose as a consequence of the setting of domains of objects, which brought the momentous change that logic’s foundations were not in nature (as Plato and the Stoics assumed), but as a habit, within a thinking subject. Subject/object is about three questions: (1) Is logic a system based on nature or is it in the human understanding as a habit? (2) What are the form and the matter of the object to be considered? (3) How does the human subject elaborate semantic models in accordance with the heuristic of each science (Pozzo 2012)? Etymology. The concepts derive from the Greek hypokeímenon and antikeímenon and from medieval usages of the verbs subiicio and obiicio, which actually mean the opposite of their post-Cartesian usages (Risse 1963). The former refers to the logical discernment of the intellect and the latter to the investigative activity of the senses. In other words, the former designates what we today call a formal approach and the latter is close to what we call today the subjective conditions of experience. Several studies have investigated the history of this pair of concepts, and scholars have become again familiar with the pre-Cartesian understanding of the terms. There is still much to be considered, however, about the motives that led Renaissance philosophers to switch from the Aristotelian notion of a logical or metaphysical subject to the Renaissance idea of a human subject who aims at using reason in the most consequential way (Pozzo 2002). Finally, it needs to be kept in mind that we are looking into the works of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century philosophers who talked of concepts instead of terms, of judgments instead of propositions, and of reasoning instead of arguments. They were philosophers who openly relied on psychology and, less openly, but just as effectively, on metaphysics (Easton 1997, i). A subject is what accidents subject to and is grasped by the intellect. An object is what one looks at and is felt by the senses. One has first to deal with the subject rather than with the accidents, because the accidents presuppose the subject. As a matter of fact, nothing is without subject, and the subject is either what the accident is in or that upon which the accident falls or inheres. Aristotle teaches in Categories 1a20-1b7 that something is either referentially (de re) in the subject (en hupokeímenon, in subiecto), in which case the predicate is in an individual subject, or something is said attributively (de dicto) upon the subject (kath’ hypokeímenon, de subiecto), in which case the predicate is said to be of whatever substance is its subject. In the latter case, what matters is that a human being has posed a question and that his or her subjectivity has the responsibility of isolating a determinate domain. The task of providing attributive predication was taken over in the Renaissance by the operator thema, a characteristic feature of humanistic logic, which turns out to be pivotal for understanding the constitution of objects. In fact, it is up to the human subject to focus on domains of objects and to thematize them according to his or her operative conditions (Pozzo 1999).
Settore M-FIL/06
English
Rilevanza internazionale
Voce enciclopedica
Hypokeímenon/antikeímenon; Soggetto/oggetto; Subiectum/obiectum; Subjekt/objekt; Sujet/objet
https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-14169-5_241
Pozzo, R. (2022). Subject/Object, Renaissance Concept of. In Marco Sgarbi (a cura di), Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy (pp. 3162-3174). Cham : Springer [10.1007/978-3-319-14169-5_241].
Pozzo, R
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2108/307897
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