The Formalist Tradition in Late Scholastic Philosophy: a Renaissance Forerunner of Formal Ontology

The project demonstrates the philosophical and historical importance of the “Formalist tradition” in Renaissance philosophy.

The concepts of identity and distinction are the key components in the “Formalist treatises” that enjoyed vast diffusion during the Renaissance, had roots in Late Medieval scholasticism, esp. in the works of the Franciscan Duns Scotus, and played a significant role in textbooks of scholastic philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Formalists discussed whether their doctrines constituted a discipline of its own, a “science of the formalities” that would correspond to what to-day goes by the name of “formal ontology”.

The rise of a new metaphysical discipline needs to be part of what we know about the intellectual culture of the Renaissance.

This project is innovative in its identification and elimination of this gap in our knowledge and in its focus on scholastic metaphysics during the Renaissance.



This project has received funding under the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme