By William Ockham, Alfred J. Freddoso, Henry Schuurman

During this paintings Ockham proposes a idea of straightforward predication, which he then makes use of in explicating the reality stipulations of more and more complex sorts of propositions. His dialogue contains what he is taking to be the proper semantic therapy of quantified propositions, earlier annoying and destiny annoying propositions, and modal propositions, all of that are receiving a lot cognizance from modern philosophers. He additionally illustrates using exponential research to house propositions that turn out problematical in either semantic idea and different disciplines, corresponding to metaphysics, physics, and theology. this kind of research performs a vital position in his substantive philosophical and theological works, and in lots of circumstances then can hardly ever be understood and not using a past acquaintance with this component of the Summa.

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Extra info for Ockham's Theory of Propositions: Part II of the Summa Logicae

Example text

For, it ap pe ars , even if Socrates no longer exists, the su bj e cts of the following propositions supposit for him : ' S o cra t es was a man' and 'Some man was white', where 'man ' is taken to supposit o nly for what was a m an . Nevertheless, Ockham seems to have accep ted-and correctly , I believe -the metaphysical- principle that only actually existing things can have p r o p er ties or stand in relations . For, as we shall see below, he insists that a prop osition can have a tru th value -or, presumably, properties in general-only if it exists.

First, it is clear from the con­ text of this passage and from the examples that Ockham uses in this chapter that the singulars to which he is alluding need not have singular terms as their predicates. This is consonant with what I said above. Second, it is true, as Loux has shown in s o me detail, 38 that the p oint made by Ockham in the above passage can be a c c om­ modated by a the ory of quantification based on the account of the MCPS. This is accomplished by adding the appropriate affir­ mative or negative existential proposition , as either a 'conjunct or truth conditions for a universal or particular proposition of a given type.

This suggestion, however, is misguided. Ockham's talk of sin-. gulars in this section of Part II has to do with singular proposi­ tions which are formed by replacing the particular or universal sign determining the subject with a demonstrative term . Thus, 'This man is an animal' is a singular of both 'Every man is an animal' and 'Some man is an animal'. likewise, 'This man is every animal ' is a singular of both 'Every man is every animal' and 'Some man is every animal'. But the predicate of such a singular proposition remains the same as the predicate of the corresponding universal or particular proposition.

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