David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (5):429 - 445 (1994)
This paper arose from an attempt to determine how the very late medieval1 supposition theorists treated anaphoric pronouns, pronouns whose significance is derivative from their antecedents. Modern researches into pronouns were stimulated in part by the problem of "donkey sentences" discussed by Geach 1962 in a section explaining what is wrong with medieval supposition theory. So there is some interest in seeing exactly what the medieval account comes to, especially if it turns out, as I suspect, to work as well as contemporary ones. Besides, finding a good analysis of pronouns has proved to be very difficult, and so we might possibly find some insight in a historically different kind of approach. I discuss a version of supposition theory that aims at producing analyses of sentences containing quantified terms,2 as articulated around 1400 by Paul of Venice, and as further developed by certain logicians such as de Soto and Celaya in the 1400's and early 1500's.3 Much of what I will say also applies indirectly to earlier versions of supposition theory (before 1400)
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