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Introduction: Francisco Suárez, the Man and His Work

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Chapter Summary

In fact, as Joseph Henry Fichter explains in his biography of the Spanish thinker, most of Francisco Suárez's youth was rather unremarkable, commonplace, and hardly notable for any academic promise. Fichter's estimate of Suárez's lacklustre intellect appears to be shared by Suárez himself, who, upon eventual probationary admission to the Jesuits after one unsuccessful appeal to the provincial of Castile, asked to remain a lay brother because he did not have confidence in his own ability to pass his philosophical course of studies, and this from the man who would publish the first systematic account of metaphysics and whose philosophical vision would, in the words of one historian of philosophy, serve "as the main channel by which scholasticism came to be known by modern classical philosophers" Suárez's luminous career spent entirely as an academic and as Spain's celebrated theologian makes accounts of his youthful obtuseness unfathomable.

Keywords: Francisco Suárez; Jesuit; Joseph Henry Fichter; metaphysics; philosophy; Spain

10.1163/9789004283930_002
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