David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
"With Abelard, the term 'copula' enters into western thought. In fact, although widely attested, the use of the term 'copula' in reference to Aristotle's work is totally anachronistic. (1) What led to this term? In his Dialectica, Abelard was mainly concerned with the way syllogisms can be construed. The interest of the copula was in fact derivative from this main concern. As Kneale and Kneale (The development of logic, 1962: 206) put it, 'it is clear that for his [Aristotle's] theory of syllogism he assumes in every general proposition two terms of the same kind, that is to say, each capable of being a subject and each capable of being a predicate'. Thus, since the only linguistic entities that can play these two roles are nouns (in modern terms, noun phrases), it is easy to understand why the copula became central. Abelard pursued the Aristotelian theory by emphasizing the role of be as the element that can turn a noun into a predicate in a syllogism rather than as the element that provides the sentence with a time specification (see Dialectica: 161). It is this conceptual shift that underlies the invention of the term 'copula', which is cast on the Latin copulare meaning 'to link'. For example, in sentences like a man is a mammal and Socrates is a man the copula allows the noun phrase a man to play the role of the subject, in the first, and that of the predicate, in the second. Clearly, in such a framework the assumption that the copula can be interpreted as a predicate meaning 'existence'
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (2010). The Tenseless Copula in Temporal Predication. Erkenntnis 72 (2):267 - 280.
Robyn Ferrell (2000). Copula: The Logic of the Sexual Relation. Hypatia 15 (2):100-114.
Alessandro Lenci (1998). The Structure of Predication. Synthese 114 (2):233-276.
Gerhard Jäger (2003). Towards an Explanation of Copula Effects. Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (5):557-593.
Stephen Read (2012). John Buridan's Theory of Consequence and His Octagons of Opposition. In J.-Y. Beziau & Dale Jacquette (eds.), Around and Beyond the Square of Opposition. Birkhäuser. 93--110.
Nathan Salmon (2012). Generality. Philosophical Studies 161 (3):471-481.
Richard Gaskin (2008). The Unity of the Proposition. Oxford University Press.
Paloma Pérez-Ilzarbe (2003). John Buridan and Jerónimo Pardo on the Notion of Propositio. In R. L. Friedman & S. Ebbesen (eds.), John Buridan and Beyond. Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. 89--153.
Bradley Rettler (2012). McTaggart and Indexing the Copula. Philosophical Studies 158 (3):431-434.
Paloma Pérez-Ilzarbe (2009). Jerónimo Pardo on the Unity of Mental Propositions. In J. Biard (ed.), Le langage mental du Moyen Âge à l'Âge Classique. Peeters Publishers.
Phil Corkum (2013). Aristotle on Predication. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2).
Peter King (2007). Abelard on Mental Language. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (2):169-187.
G. Bealer (1975). Predication and Matter. Synthese 31 (3-4):493 - 508.
Added to index2011-04-24
Total downloads30 ( #85,224 of 1,696,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #250,888 of 1,696,808 )
How can I increase my downloads?