The Interdependence of Semantics, Logic, and Metaphysics as Exemplified in the Aristotelian Tradition
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Philosophical Quarterly 42 (1):63-91 (2002)
A general metaphysical account of logic, meaning, and reference that developed from the Greeks through the medievals and up into modem times can be called Aristotelian. “Copernican” claims (Kant, Frege), radically to replace this paradigm as quasi-“Ptolemaic,” actually participated in the prolonged decline of scholasticism, after Aquinas in particular. We need to recognize, or to remember, thepriority of being to truth and not to conflate them. We need to explicate the origin of thinking (abstraction) as at one remove from immediate sense-experience. Syllogistic logic then emerges as a true causal account of reasoning in general; it is not some primitive attempt to outline a formal logical system. An account of suppositio as controlling the analogous uses of our finite store of words in reference to an infinite reality itself shaped by criss-cross patterns of likenesses, governs the general picture supplied here.
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