Thomas Compton Carleton

Thomas Compton Carleton (c. 1592 – 24 March 1666) was an English Jesuit and scholastic philosopher, chiefly remembered for his contributions to natural philosophy and the philosophy of language.

Thomas Compton Carleton
Title-page of Thomas Compton Carleton's Philosophia universa (Antwerp, 1649)
Bornc. 1592
Died(1666-03-24)March 24, 1666
Era17th-century philosophy
InstitutionsColleges of St Omer, Bruges and Liège
Main interests
Metaphysics, philosophy of language, natural philosophy

Biography edit

Thomas Compton was born in Cambridgeshire around 1592. He was one of three brothers sent abroad by their uncle to be given a Roman Catholic education – all three were to become priests. He studied at the Jesuit College of St Omer in the Southern Netherlands, and then in Madrid and Valladolid, Spain, where he was a fellow student with the famous Spanish philosopher, Rodrigo de Arriaga. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1617, was ordained priest at Douai in 1622, went on the hazardous English Mission in 1625, and took the four vows of the Jesuit order on 21 May 1628. He was not destined for martyrdom: his superiors thought his talents best suited for promoting the education of the English Catholics in the Low Countries. For a while he taught rhetoric and belles-lettres at the English College of St Omer, near Calais. Then for most of his adult life he taught philosophy, theology and Holy Scripture at the Jesuit College in Liège, where he was also for a long time prefect of studies.[1] He died in Liège on 24 March 1666, aged seventy-five.

Works edit

Compton was universally admired for his classic taste and his skill in philosophical and theological science.[2] As well as two volumes of Christian theology, Compton also wrote a commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, published at Antwerp in 1652. Other Aristotelian commentaries (on De generatione et corruptione and on the Organon) were published posthumously at Salamanca.

Compton Carleton was a fierce critic of cartesian philosophy. He criticized Descartes's views of substantial and accidental forms, the Eucharist, creation, ‘rarefaction’, and matter.[3]

List of works edit

  • Philosophia universa (Antwerp, 1649).
  • Prometheus Christianus, seu liber moralium in quo philosophiae finis aperitur (Antwerp, 1652).
  • Cursus theologici tomus prior (Liège, 1658); and tomus posterior (Liège, 1664).
  • Disputationes physicae, ubi etiam de generatione et corruptione (Salamanca, 1676).
  • Disputationes in universam Aristotelis logicam (Salamanca, 1716).

Notes edit

  1. ^ Cooper 1887.
  2. ^ Oliver, George (1838). Collections towards illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English, and Irish Members of the Society of Jesus. Exeter: W.C. Featherstone. p. 57.
  3. ^ See: Monchamp, Georges (1886). Histoire du cartésianisme en Belgique. Bruxelles: Hayez. pp. 170–187.

Bibliography edit