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Article

Die Begriffsbestimmung der Philosophie im spanischen Aristotelismus der frühen Neuzeit

The paper examines different attempts to define philosophy as a discipline in Spain between 1557 and 1627 and thus fills a gap in scholarship on early modern philosophy, in which an analysis of how the early moderns defined philosophy as a discipline is by and large lacking. In the sources under examination, three main strategies for defining philosophy can be distinguished: an analysis of the meaning of ’philosophy’, leading to reflections on the complicated relation between philosophy and wisdom, or an analysis of the end of philosophy, evoking debates on the relevance of practical philosophy and the good life, or an analysis of ’philosophical objects’, discussing the question whether philosophy is a ’science of  everything’ and whether it can be scientific at all.

The paper demonstrates that early modern Spanish Aristotelians were united by a common methodology and shared questions rather than by a unified body of doctrine. And it shows that attempts to define philosophy had largely didactic relevance and should not be misunderstood as ’metaphilosophical’ in the contemporary sense of the word.