John Buridan's Propositional Semantics

Studia Neoaristotelica 6 (2):183-208 (2009)
Joannis Buridani de semantice propositionum doctrinaDissertatio proposita Joannis Buridani de semantice propositionum sententiam, quae in suis operibus logicis continetur, pertractat. Quaestio de semantice propositionali duplici modo sumi potest: scil. vel pure semantice (quarendo definitionem veritatis) vel ontologice (inquirendo de statu ontologico “complexesignificabilium”). In utraque quaestione solvenda Buridanus doctrinam semanticam quae “terminismus” dicitur assumit. Notionem veritatis Buridanus non ex significatione sed ex suppositione explicat, quo pacto possibile redditur, veritatem inductive per valorem semanticum propositionis partium definiri. Quaestionem alteram circa semanticen complexionis “accusativi cum infinitivo” seu “dicti” propositionis Buridanus ad semanticen terminorum reducit, propositionis structuram logicam explicando. Buridani principalis modus procedendi ergo in hoc consistit, quod ipse “obligationibus ontologicis” alicuius discursus evadere studet, abnegando “denotativam” doctrinam semanticam. Translatio: Lukáš NovákJohn Buridan’s Propositional SemanticsThe paper deals with Buridan’s approach to the problems of propositional semantics, contained in his logical works. This question can be conceived both as semantic (definition of truth) and ontological (ontological status of states of affairs). Buridan’s solution of both of these questions is based upon a terminist theory of meaning. Theory of truth is constructed as suppositional, not as significational, which enables the definition of truth in terms of the semantic values of components of a particular kind of proposition. The other important problem, the semantic analysis of accusative and infinitive constructions (i.e. of sentential nominalizations), is solved within the semantics of terms by exhibiting the logical structure of a proposition. Buridan’s crucial strategy is therefore the elimination of the apparent ontological commitments of a particular discourse in terms of dismissing the denotative theory of meaning
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