Theory and History of Ontology

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Selected Bibliography of John Poinsot (John of St. Thomas)


  1. Poinsot, John. 1985. Tractatus De Signis. The Semiotic of John Poinsot. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Interpretive arrangement in bilingual format (Latin and English) by John N. Deely in consultation with Ralph Austin Powell from the 1930 Reiser edition (emended second impression, 1932) of the Artis Logicae Prima et Secunda Pars of the Cursus Philosophicus Tomisticus, comprising the first two parts of the five part Cursus Philosophicus of 1631-1635.

    This work is also available as a text database as an Intelex Electronic Edition.

    Corrected second edition, with a new preface by John Deely, South Bend, St. Augustine Press, 2013.

  2. John, of St.Thomas. 1955. Outlines of Formal Logic. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.

    Translated from the Latin with an introduction by Francis C. Wade.

  3. ———. 1955. The Material Logic of John of St. Thomas: Basic Treatises. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Translated by Yves R. Simon, John J. Glanville and G. Donald Hollenhorst. With a preface by Jacques Maritain.

  4. ———. 2004. Introduction to the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas: The Isagoge of John of St. Thomas. South Bend: St. Augustine Press.

    Translation and introduction by Ralph McInerny.

  5. ———. 2016. John of St. Thomas [Poinsot] on Sacred Science: Cursus Theologicus I, Question 1, Disputation 2. South Bend: St. Augustine Press.

    Edited by Victor M. Salas and translated by John P. Doyle (to be published March 2016).

  6. ———. 1949. "Entia Rationis and Second Intentions." New Scholasticism no. 23:395-413.

    Translated by John J. Â Glanville, G. Donald Hollenhorst, Yves R. Simon.

    Logic: Second Part, Question II - Article 1: Nature and division of the Ens rationis; Article 2: Nature and division of the second intention or logical Relatio rationis.

    Editor's Note: "These pages are from a translation of the Basic Treatises of the Logic of John of St. Thomas, to be published by the University of Chicago Press, [ The material logic of John of St. Thomas: basic treatises (1955), pp. 60-76] whose courtesy for the present excerpt is gratefully acknowledged."

  7. ———. 1951. The Gifts of the Holy Ghost. London: Sheed & Ward.

    A translation of part of vol. 5 of Cursus theologicus by Dominic Hughes, with a foreword by Walter Farrell.


(The contributions by John Deely are listed in his bibliography).

  1. "John Poinsot." 1994. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68 (3).

    Special issue on John Poinsot (John of St. Thomas) - Table of contents: John Deely: A morning and evening star: editor's introduction pp. 259-278; Mauricio Beuchot: Intentionality in John Poinsot pp. 279-296; John C. Cahalan: If Wittgenstein had read Poinsot: recasting the problem of signs and mental states pp. 297-320; Jeffrey S. Coombs: John Poinsot on how to be, know, and love a non-existent possible pp. 321-336; John P. Doyle: Poinsot on knowability of beings of reason pp. 337-362; Vincent Guagliardo: Being-as-first-known in Poinsot: a priori or aporia? pp. 363-394; Michael Raposa: Poinsot on the semiotic of awareness pp. 395-408; Douglas B. Rasmussen: The significance for cognitive realism of the thought of John Poinsot pp. 409-424; Norman J. Wells: John Poinsot on created eternal truths vs. Vasquez, Suárez and Descartes pp- 425-446.

  2. Ashworth, Earline Jennifer. 1988. "The Historical Origins of John Poinsot's Treatise on Signs." Semiotica no. 69:129-147.

    "In 1631-1632 John Poinsot (otherwise known as John of St. Thomas) published his Ars Logica at Alcalá. From this massive work John Deely has extracted all those parts relating to the theory of signs, and has given them the general heading of Tractatus de Signis (Treatise on Signs), though it should be noted that the Treatise on Signs proper consists of just three Questions related to Aristotle's Perihermenias. The project is a valuable one, for Poinsot was an interesting writer in his own right who frequently had original observations to make. Deely's contribution, so far as the edition and translation are concerned, is superb; and the book itself is a splendid example of the printer's art. However, I have some very grave reservations about Deely's interpretation of Poinsot's work, and it is these reservations that I intend to discuss here. Others (notably Sebeok 1986) have already sung the praises of Deely and Poinsot; and as one of the few philosophers who has actually read some of the sixteenth-century authors to whom Poinsot was indebted, I feel it incumbent on me to point out that there is another side to the coin. However, I do not intend my remarks to detract in any way from the achievement represented by Deely's version of the Treatise on Signs.

    I shall first discuss Deely's attitude toward the historical interpretation of Poinsot and how it differs from my own. In so doing, I shall show that there was a tradition of placing the discussion of signs in a Perihermenias commentary. Second, I shall discuss the topic of relations, since Deely claims that the 'revolutionary' nature of Poinsot's doctrine of signs stems from his classification of relations. I shall remark that a very similar classification of relations is found in at least one of Poinsot's sources, namely Domingo de Soto (1494-1560). Third, I shall discuss the details of the theory of signs as described by some early sixteenth-century writers, and I shall show that the general lines of Poinsot's classification are due to Domingo de Soto. Finally, I shall make some remarks about other aspects of the translation and editorial material which seem to need further comment.

    * John N. Deely (trans. and ed.), with Ralph Austin Powell, Tractatus de Signis. The Semiotic of John Poinsot. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

  3. Bellerate, Bruno. 1958. "Conceito De Existência Em João De S. Tomás." Filosofia no. 5:154-169.

    Reprinted in: Jesué Pinharanda de Gomes (ed.) - Antologia de estudos sobre João de Santo Tomás - Lisboa, Edição do Instituto Amaro da Costa, 1985.

  4. ———. 1960. L'analogia Tomista Nei Grandi Commentatori Di S. Tommaso. Roma: Editrice Salesiana.

  5. Beuchot, Mauricio. 1980. "La Doctrina Tomista Clásica Sobre El Signo: Domingo De Soto, Francisco De Araújo Y Juan De Santo Tomás." Critica:39-60.

  6. ———. 1989. "El Problema De Los Universales En Juan De Santo Tomás." Revista de filosofía (Maracaibo) no. 12:33-42.

  7. ———. 1994. "Intentionality in John Poinsot." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:279-296.

  8. ———. 1999. Semiótica, Filosofía Del Lenguaje Y Argumentación En Juan De Santo Tomás. Pamplona: Universidad de Navarra.

  9. Beuchot, Mauricio, and Deely, John. 1995. "Common Sources for the Semiotic of Charles Peirce and John Poinsot." Review of Metaphysics no. 48:549-566.

  10. Bondi, Eugene. 1966. "Predication: A Study Based on the "Ars Logica" of John of St. Thomas." Thomist no. 30:260-294.

  11. Cahalan, John C. 1994. "If Wittgenstein Had Read Poinsot: Recasting the Problem of Signs and Mental States." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:297-319.

  12. Coombs, Jeffrey S. 1994. "John Poinsot on How to Be, Know, and Love a Non-Existent Possible." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:321-335.

  13. Dalcourt, Gerard J. 1994. "Poinsot and the Mental Imagery Debate." Modern Schoolman no. 72:1-12.

  14. Doyle, John J. 1953. "John of St. Thomas on Mathematical Logic." New Scholasticism no. 27:3-38.

  15. Doyle, John Patrick. 1994. "Poinsot on the Knowability of Beings of Reason." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:337-362.

  16. Fernández RodrÍguez, José Luis. 1997. "Tipologia Del Ente De Razón." Anuario Filosófico no. 30:361-379.

  17. Forlivesi, Marco. 1993. Conoscenza E Affettività. L'incontro Con L'essere Secondo Giovanni Di San Tommaso. Bologna: Edizioni Studio Domenicano.

  18. Furton, Edward J. 1995. A Medieval Semiotic. Reference and Representation in John of St. Thomas' Theory of Signs. New York: Peter Lang.

  19. ———. 1997. "The Constitution of the Object in Immanuel Kant and John Poinsot." Review of Metaphysics no. 51:55-75.

    "Kant was unaware, as are most academic philosophers today, that late Latin scholastics, especially on the Iberian peninsula, had also struggled for an account of the intellect's ability to order our experience of the real and so constitute a properly scientific object. The results of this effort were, of course, quite unlike those of the Kantian solution and compatible with a completely different view of the natural order. Even more important for the history of Western philosophy, the results were immediately and thoroughly eclipsed by the rise of Cartesianism. The great scholastic effort to understand how scientific objects are constituted passed from the modern period into intellectual oblivion.

    Yet there are ample reasons to think that an exploration of these forgotten, pre-Kantian views might shed some light on contemporary efforts to fashion a postclassical epistemology and philosophy of science. Despite the more primitive cosmology, basic concepts of epistemological theory developed by the Latins are far more easily disengaged from medieval physics than are Kantian concepts from Newtonian mechanics. Kant is committed in principle to the view that space, for example, is mathematizable a priori in a completely deterministic manner. This is a much more wide-ranging and deeply-rooted metaphysical commitment than is the claim, for example, that there are only six observable planets.

    What follows is an examination of a generally forgotten theory of objective constitution--one that avoids unnecessary entanglements with the determinism of Newtonian mechanics if only by predating the Cartesian and Kantian turns. It is a theory that in principle allows nature to live by other rules than those of mechanical necessity and one that, I believe, rightly recognizes that nature's laws can suffer exception without thereby destroying the possibility of scientific knowledge. Moreover, it is a 'bridge' theory that unites classical and contemporary philosophic tendencies, for despite its strong medieval roots, it is a theory largely committed to the fundamental insight of modernity that the knower, in some measure, must condition the object known." p. 55

  20. Gomes, Pinharanda. 1983. João De Sancto Tomás Na Filosofia Do Século Xvii. Lisboa: Ministério da Educaçao.

  21. Gracia, Jorge J.E., and Kronen, John D. 1994. "John of Saint Thomas." In Individuation in Scholasticism. The Later Middle Ages and the Counter-Reformation, 1150-1650, edited by Gracia, Jorge J.E., 511-533. New Yourk: State University of New York Press.

  22. Guagliardo, Vincent. 1994. "Being-as-First-Known in Poinsot: A-Priori or Aporia?" American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:363-394.

  23. Herculano de Carvalho, José. 1960. "Segno E Significazione in João De São Tomás." In Aufsätze Zur Portugiesischen Kulturgeschichte - Vol. 2, edited by Flasche, Hans, Briesemeister, Dietrich and Körner, Karl-Hermann, 161-176. Münster: Aschendorff.

    Reprinted in: José Herculano de Carvalho - Estudos linguísticos, vol. II, pp. 131-168, Atlântida Editora, Coimbra 1973

  24. Kennedy, Leonard A. 1972. "La Doctrina De La Existencia En La Universidad De Salamanca Durante El Siglo Xvi." Archivo Teológico Granadino no. 35:5-71.

  25. Kronen, John D. 1994. "The Substantial Unity of Material Substances According to John Poinsot." Thomist no. 58 (599):615.

  26. Marmo, Costantino. 1987. "The Semiotics of John Poinsot." Versus no. 46:109-129.

  27. Maroosis, James. 2003. "Poinsot, Peirce, and Pegis: Knowing as a Way of Being." In A Thomistic Tapestry. Essays in Memory of Étienne Gilson, edited by Redpath, Peter A., 157-176. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  28. Moreno, Alberto. 1959. "Implicación Material En Juan De Santo Tomás." Sapientia no. 14:188-191.

  29. ———. 1963. "Lógica Proposicional En Juan De Santo Tomás." Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic no. 4:113-134.

  30. Murphy, James Bernard. 1983. "Nature, Custom and Stipulation in the Semiotic of John Poinsot." Semiotica no. 83:33-68.

  31. ———. 1994. "Language, Communication, and Representation in the Semiotic of John Poinsot." Thomist no. 58:569-598.

  32. Nuchelmans, Gabriel. 1980. Late-Scholastic and Humanist Theories of the Proposition. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

  33. ———. 1983. Judgment and Proposition. From Descartes to Kant. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

  34. ———. 1994. "Can a Mental Proposition Change Its Truth Value? Some 17th-Century Views." History and Philosophy of Logic no. 15:69-84.

    Reprinted in: Gabriel Nuchelmans - Studies on the History of Logic and Semantics, 12th-17th Centuries, edited by Egbert Peter Bos, Variorum, Aldershot, 1996, (Text XIV).

  35. Powell, Ralph Austin. 1987. "Poinsot as Foil for Doctrinal Considerations on Inexistent Personality in Existent Substance According to C. S. Peirce." In Semiotics 1983, edited by Evans, Jonathan and Deely, John, 93-104. Lanham: University Press of America.

  36. Raposa, Michael. 1994. "Poinsot on the Semiotics of Awareness." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:395-408.

  37. Rasmussen, Douglas B. 1994. "The Significance for Cognitive Realism of the Thought of John Poinsot." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:409-424.

  38. Santaella-Braga, Lucia. 1991. "John Poinsot's Doctrine of Signs: The Recovery of a Missing Link." Journal of Speculative Philosophy no. 51:151-159.

  39. Solana, Marcial. 1928. Los Grandes Escolásticos Españoles De Los Siglos Xvi Y Xvii: Suas Doctrinas Filosóficas Y Su Significación En La Histoire De La Filosofia. Madrid: Jaime Ratés.

  40. Tello, Belisario D. 1954. "El Ente De Razón Según Juan De Santo Tomás." Philosophia no. 11:43-50.

  41. Thomas, Ivo. 1950. "Material Implication in John of St. Thomas." Domincan Studies no. 3:180-185.

  42. Tyn, Thomas. 1989. "L'essere Nel Pensiero Di Giovanni Di San Tommaso." Angelicum no. 66:21-55.

  43. Wells, Norman J. 1994. "John Poinsot on Created Eternal Truths Vs. Vasquez, Suárez and Descartes." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly no. 68:425-446.

  44. Winance, Eleuthère. 1985. "Echo De La Querelle Du Psychologisme Et De L'antipsychologisme Dans L'"Ars Logica" De Jean Poinsot." Semiotica no. 56:225-259.

  45. Wojtkiewicz, C. 1961. "L'objet De La Logique Chez Jean De Saint-Thomas." Roczniki Filozoficzne no. 9:1-21.

  46. Wolicka, Elzbieta. 1979. "The Notion of Truth in the Epistemology of John of Saint Thomas." New Scholasticism no. 53:96-106.


On the website "Theory and History of Ontology" (

Semiotics and Ontology: The Rediscovery of John Poinsot (John of St. Thomas)