Under the influence of the post-Fregean logical analysis, in the present discourse relationality tends to be identified with polyadicity and relations with universal polyadic predicates. This essay is an attempt to retrieve the Aristotelian understanding of relations as a genuine feature of the world of particulars, consisting of various kinds of “directedness” or “being towards” of one particular thing towards another. It emerges, however, that existing traditional theories are haunted with serious problems so that none of them appears to be defensible. The author undertakes a critical analysis of some of the most important conceptions of relations proposed within the Aristotelian-Scholastic tradition and tentatively proposes his own Neo-Aristotelian solution.
About the Author
Lukáš Novák is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences. He focuses mostly on problems at the border of metaphysics and epistemology and on medieval and early modern scholasticism, especially Duns Scotus and Scotism. He is (co-)author of three books in Czech on traditional logic, epistemology and Duns Scotus’s metaphysics, and (co-)editor of Metaphysics: Aristotelian, Scholastic, Analytic (Ontos Verlag, 2012), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics (Routledge, 2014), Suárez’s Metaphysics in Its Historical and Systematic Context (De Gruyter, 2014), Dispelling the Fog: Critical Essays on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (Edtiones Scholasticae, 2022), and Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza (1578–1641): System, Sources, and Influence (Brill: forthcoming). He is also editor of Studia Neoaristotelica: A Journal of Analytical Scholasticism.