About this topic
Summary Medieval philosophy of language addresses a wide number of linguistic problems related to notions such as signification, reference, empty reference, analogy and univocity, theories of supposition, ambiguity, quantification, inference, validity, truth-conditions, modal assertions, logical operators, fallacies, dialectical and demonstrative argumentation, semantics and pragmatics, future contingents and paradoxes, as discussed in texts of both linguistic and theological nature. Other widely discussed topics are Priscianic grammar, Augustinian semiotics, angelic locution, divine nomination and mental language. 'Medieval' in this category covers authors as early as Boethius and Augustine and as late as Suárez.
Key works The medieval properties of terms - significatiow (Mora-Márquez 2015) and suppositio (Read 2002). The related problem of aequivocatio. Their role on problems touching upon inferentia (Read 2012) and veritas (Cesalli 2007). The logical analyses of fallaciae (Sten 2001), syllogismus dialecticus and demonstrativus. The definitions and further discussions on syncategoremata. The analysis of typically medieval logical exercises as obligationes, sophismata (Pironet forthcoming) and insolubilia.
Related categories

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  1. Re-Reading De Grammatico, or Anselm's Introduction to Aristotle's Categories.Marilyn McCord Adams - 2000 - Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 11:83-112.
    L'A. propone una lettura critica della questione De grammatico di Anselmo in contrasto con l'interpretazione già proposta da D.P. Henry, per il quale l'opera intende sviluppare una teoria del significato dei paronimi. Dopo un esame del testo e della teoria di Henry, l'A. propone la tesi che lo scritto sia un'introduzione alla lettura delle Categorie di Aristotele ad uso del lettore/studente. Una sezione dello studio verte sulla distinzione fra quaestio, lectio e disputatio nella seconda metà del sec. XII, che giustifica (...)
  2. Saint Anselm's Theory of Truth.Marilyn McCord Adams - 1990 - Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 1 (2):353-72.
    Nella prima parte del saggio l'A. esamina gli argomenti del Monologion sulla verità e il modo in cui si collegano allo studio ontologico della summa natura. Nella seconda parte passa all'analisi della teoria anselmiana della verità esposta nel De veritate, dove si definisce il significato della verità nel linguaggio , nelle azioni e nell'essenza delle cose. Nell'ultima parte si approfondisce il senso della convergenza dei tre approcci alla verità, si valuta la definizione di verità come giustizia percepibile dalla mente e (...)
  3. Ockham on Truth.Marilyn McCord Adams - 1989 - Medioevo 16:143-72.
  4. Ockham's Theory of Natural Signification.Marilyn McCord Adams - 1978 - The Monist 61 (3):444-459.
  5. What Does Ockham Mean by `Supposition'?Marilyn McCord Adams - 1976 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 17 (3):375-391.
  6. Aristotelian Substance and Supposits.Marilyn McCord Adams & Richard Cross - 2005 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79:15-72.
    [Marilyn McCord Adams] In this paper I begin with Aristotle's Categories and with his apparent forwarding of primary substances as metaphysically special because somehow fundamental. I then consider how medieval reflection on Aristotelian change led medieval Aristotelians to analyses of primary substances that called into question how and whether they are metaphysically special. Next, I turn to a parallel issue about supposits, which Boethius seems in effect to identify with primary substances, and how theological cases-the doctrines of the Trinity, the (...)
  7. What's Metaphysically Special About Supposits? Some Medieval Variations on Aristotelian Substance.Marilyn McCord Adams & Richard Cross - 2005 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):15–52.
  8. Mental Language and Tradition Encounters in Medieval Philosophy : Anselm, Albert and Ockham.Claude Albert - 2007 - In John Marenbon (ed.), The Many Roots of Medieval Logic: The Aristotelian and the Non-Aristotelian Traditions: Special Offprint of Vivarium 45, 2-3 (2007). Brill.
  9. Marsilio Ficino on Significatio.Michael J. B. Allen - 2002 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 26 (1):30–43.
  10. Language and Myth.Rudolph Allers - 1947 - Modern Schoolman 24 (4):241-246.
  11. Per velamina veritatis.Guido Alliney - 2000 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 4 (1):97-97.
    A long philosophical tradition has regarded the use of metaphorical utterances as a stylistic figuration without any cognitive aspect. Metaphors are categorial mistakes diverting the ordinary usage of concepts, and therefore are in logical opposition to standard meaning. However, a metaphor can be regarded not only as a vague linguistic enunciation, but also as a significant process of thought. In other words, metaphor is a figure of the mind, a necessary way of thinking, because the language-world relation is not bijective. (...)
  12. The Early Arabic Liar: The Liar Paradox in the Islamic World From the Mid-Ninth to the Mid-Thirteenth Centuries Ce.Ahmed Alwishah & David Sanson - 2009 - Vivarium (1):97-127.
    We describe the earliest occurrences of the Liar Paradox in the Arabic tradition. e early Mutakallimūn claim the Liar Sentence is both true and false; they also associate the Liar with problems concerning plural subjects, which is somewhat puzzling. Abharī (1200-1265) ascribes an unsatisfiable truth condition to the Liar Sentence—as he puts it, its being true is the conjunction of its being true and false—and so concludes that the sentence is not true. Tūsī (1201-1274) argues that self-referential sentences, like the (...)
  13. Thomas Aquinas and Some Italian Dominicans (Francis of Prato, Georgius Rovegnatinus and Girolamo Savonarola) on Signification and Supposition.Fabrizio Amerini - 2013 - Vivarium 51 (1-4):327-351.
  14. Pragmatics and Semantics in Thomas Aquinas.Fabrizio Amerini - 2011 - Vivarium 49 (1-3):95-126.
    Thomas Aquinas's account of the semantics of names is based on two fundamental distinctions: the distinction between a name's mode of signifying and the signified object, and that between the cause and the goal of a name's signification, i.e. that from which a name was instituted to signify and that which a name actually signifies. Thomas endows names with a two-layer signification: names are introduced into language to designate primarily conceptions of extramental things and secondarily the particular extramental things referred (...)
  15. Tommaso d’Aquino, la verità e il Medioevo.Fabrizio Amerini - 2009 - Annali Del Dipartimento di Filosofia 15:35-64.
    Aristotle’s definitions of truth and falsity, on the one hand, and the relational and cognitive account of truth entailed from its transcendental nature, on the other hand, naturally lead later medieval philosophers towards correspondence theories of truth. Nonetheless in the later Middles Ages at least three versions of the correspondence theory can be found. Thomas Aquinas, in particular, proposed a mixed interpretation, bringing together metaphysical and semantical considerations.
  16. William of Ockham and Mental Synonymy. The Case of Nugation.Fabrizio Amerini - 2009 - Franciscan Studies 67:375-403.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:I. William of Ockham and Mental SynonymyIn recent years an important point of discussion among the scholars of William of Ockham has been the possibility of accounting for a reductionist interpretation of Ockham's mental language. Especially, the debate focused on the legitimacy of eliminating connotative simple terms from mental language by reducing them to their nominal definition. The distinction between absolute and connotative terms plays an important role in (...)
  17. The Semantics of Substantial Names.Fabrizio Amerini - 2008 - Recherches de Theologie Et Philosophie Medievales 75 (2):395-440.
    Aristotle begins the third chapter of book VIII of the Metaphysics by claiming that sometimes it is not clear whether a name refers to the composite substance or to the actuality and the form, for instance whether «animal» refers to the soul in a body or simply to the soul. In solving this problem, Aristotle states that the name «animal» can refer to both, not, however, in one and the same sense but rather by expressing two different senses which are (...)
  18. What is Real. A Reply to Ockham's Ontological Program.Fabrizio Amerini - 2005 - Vivarium 43 (1):187-212.
    When Ockham's logic arrives in Italy, some Dominican philosophers bring into question Ockham's ontological reductionist program. Among them, Franciscus de Prato and Stephanus de Reate pay a great attention to refute Ockham's claim that no universal exists in the extra-mental world. In order to reject Ockham's program, they start by reconsidering the notion of 'real', then the range of application of the rational and the real distinction. Generally, their strategy consists in re-addressing against Ockham some arguments extracted from Hervaeus Natalis's (...)
  19. I Trattati de Universalibus di Francesco da Prato E Stefano da Rieti I Trattati de Universalibus di Francesco da Prato E Stefano da Rieti.Fabrizio Amerini - 2003
  20. Il trattato De suppositionibus terminorum di Francesco da Prato O.P. Una rilettura della dottrina ockhamista del linguaggio.Fabrizio Amerini - 2000 - Medioevo 25:441-550.
  21. La dottrina della «significatio» di Francesco da Prato O.P. . Una critica tomista a Guglielmo di Ockham.Fabrizio Amerini - 2000 - Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 11:375-408.
    Il pensatore domenicano Francesco da Prato, attivo nel secondo quarto del XIV sec. tra Perugia, Siena e Firenze, rappresenta una delle prime testimonianze in Italia della ricezione di Ockham e di reazione tomista alla sua logica. Lo studio si articola in due sezioni: nella prima l'A. esamina la dottrina della significazione nelle fonti principali degli scritti di logica di Francesco: Tommaso d'Aquino, Herveus Natalis e Guglielmo di Ockham; nella seconda analizza la posizione di Francesco in scritti trasmessi nei seguenti mss: (...)
  22. [Ammoniou Tou Hermeiou Hypomnema Eis to Peri Hermeneias Aristotelous. Magentenou Metropolitou Mitylenes Exegesis Eis to Auto]. = Ammonii Hermei Commentaria in Librum Peri Hermenias. Margentini Archiepiscopi Mitylenensis in Eundem Enarratio. [REVIEW]Leo Ammonius, Michael Aristotle, Aldo Magentus, Psellus & Manuzio - 1503 - Apud Aldum.
  23. A Thomistic Definition of the Dialectical Topic.Anthony P. Andres - 1993 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    Dialectical reasoning comprises a large part of Aristotle's philosophical method. He has set down his theory of dialectic in a treatise called the Topics. The central feature of that theory is the dialectical topic, but nowhere in the Topics does he explain what the topic is. Modern Aristotelian scholarship has reached no consensus on this important matter. Although modern scholars have searched for a solution in many ancient and medieval commentators, for the most part they have failed to consult the (...)
  24. Aristotle's Categories in the Byzantine, Arabic, and Latin Traditions Ed. By Sten Ebbesen, John Marenbon, and Paul Thom (Review).Robert Andrews - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (3):602-603.
    This volume, surveying a narrow topic over a long expanse of time, is comprised of selections from a trio of international conferences on the title theme. It is an expensive book, but even its most valuable articles are marred by slovenly editing.Börje Bydén’s contribution begins the survey in Byzantium. By linking Photios’s (apparently) original criticism of Aristotle to Plotinus, Bydén gives an interesting hint of how neo-Platonism came to permeate Christianity. But Photios seems to have been “ignored by posterity” (31). (...)
  25. Peter of Auvergne's Commentary on Aristotle's "Categories": Edition, Translation, and Analysis.Robert R. Andrews - 1988 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    This study comprises an analysis of the Categories commentary of Peter of Auvergne, based upon an edition from the manuscripts, and supplemented by a translation. Much information about other Categories commentaries has been included to place the work in its historical and philosophical perspective. ;Peter of Auvergne, active in Paris in the late thirteenth century, had a long career as an Aristotelian commentator and continuator of Thomas Aquinas. His Categories commentary provides me the occasion to survey the genre of Categories (...)
  26. The Doctrine of Propositions and Terms.Ignacio Angelelli - 1980 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 18 (2):244-246.
  27. Eine Guillelmus Anglicus Zugeschriebene Quaestio 'Utrum Iste Terminus 'Homo' Secundum Unam Rationem Indifferens Sit Ad Suppositia Eius Existentia Et Non Existentia'.H. Anzulewicz & G. Krieger - 1997 - Recherches de Theologie Et Philosophie Medievales 64 (2):352-384.
    In dem bislang wenig beachteten Kodex Ms. lat. fol. 456 der Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz zu Berlin fanden wir unter den vielen, zumeist anonym überlieferten Werken des 13. Jahrhunderts eine interessante Quaestio, die ein Problem aus dem Bereich der Metaphysik und Sprachlogik zum Gegenstand hat. Der Verfasser dieser Abhandlung, ein gewisser Magister Guillelmus Anglicus, dessen Name wir aus dem Kolophon erfahren, greift die, wie er selbst betont, zu seiner Zeit viel und kontrovers diskutierte Frage auf: Ist der Terminus «Mensch» einem einzigen (...)
  28. Ausgewählte Literatur in »westlichen« Sprachen für das Studium der mittelalterlichen Philosophie in arabischer und persischer Sprache.Rüdiger Arnzen - 2002 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 7 (1):125-178.
  29. Suárez on the Analogy of Being: Some Historical Background. Ashworth - 1995 - Vivarium 33 (1):50-75.
  30. Le Discours Intérieur de Platon À Guillaume d'Ockham.E. J. Ashworth - 2002 - Dialogue 41 (1):202-203.
  31. Analogical Concepts: The Fourteenth-Century Background to Cajetan.E. J. Ashworth - 1992 - Dialogue 31 (3):399-.
  32. Signification and Modes of Signifying in Thirteenth-Century Logic: A Preface to Aquinas on Analogy.E. J. Ashworth - 1991 - Medieval Philosophy & Theology 1:39-67.
  33. Egbert P. Bos, "Marsilius of Inghen: Treatises on the Properties of Terms". [REVIEW]E. J. Ashworth - 1986 - Vivarium 24:158.
  34. The Structure of Mental Language: Some Problems Discussed by Early Sixteenth Century Logicians.E. J. Ashworth - 1982 - Vivarium 20 (1):59-83.
  35. Mental Language and the Unity of Propositions: A Semantic Problem Discussed by Early Sixteenth Century Logicians.E. J. Ashworth - 1981 - Franciscan Studies 41 (1):61-96.
  36. Can I Speak More Clearly Than I Understand? A Problem of Religious Language in Henry of Ghent, Duns Scotus and Ockham.E. J. Ashworth - 1980 - Historiographia Linguistica 7 (1/2):29-38.
  37. The "Libelli Sophistarum" and the Use of Medieval Logic Texts at Oxford and Cambridge in the Early Sixteenth Century.E. J. Ashworth - 1979 - Vivarium 17 (2):134-158.
  38. Theories of the Proposition: Some Early Sixteenth Century Discussions.E. J. Ashworth - 1978 - Franciscan Studies 38 (1):81-121.
  39. Thomas Bricot (D. 1516) and the Liar Paradox.E. J. Ashworth - 1977 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 15 (3):267-280.
  40. Chimeras and Imaginary Objects: A Study in the Post-Medieval Theory of Signification.E. J. Ashworth - 1977 - Vivarium 15 (1):57-77.
  41. I Promise You a Horse.E. J. Ashworth - 1976 - Vivarium 14 (1):62-79.
  42. "I Promise You a Horse": A Second Problem of Meaning and Reference in Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century Logic.E. J. Ashworth - 1976 - Vivarium 14:139.
  43. 'For Riding is Required a Horse': A Problem of Meaning and Reference in Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century Logic.E. J. Ashworth - 1974 - Vivarium 12 (2):146-172.
  44. The Doctrine of Exponibilia in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.E. J. Ashworth - 1973 - Vivarium 11 (1):137-167.
  45. The Doctrine of Supposition in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.E. J. Ashworth - 1969 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 51 (3):260-285.
  46. Richard Billingham and the Oxford Obligationes Texts: Restrictions on Positio.E. Jennifer Ashworth - 2015 - Vivarium 53 (2-4):372-390.
    _ Source: _Volume 53, Issue 2-4, pp 372 - 390 This paper investigates a series of Oxford _Obligationes_ texts, all of which can be associated with Richard Billingham. My study is based on eleven of the surviving manuscripts and two early printed texts. I focus on one aspect of their discussion, namely the rule for granting the initial _positum_ of an obligational disputation of the type called _positio_, and the six restrictions that could be placed on that rule. I explain (...)
  47. Descent and Ascent From Ockham to Domingo de Soto: An Answer to Paul Spade.E. Jennifer Ashworth - 2013 - Vivarium 51 (1-4):385-410.
  48. Review of Joshua P. Hochschild, The Semantics of Analogy: Rereading Cajetan's De Nominum Analogia[REVIEW]E. Jennifer Ashworth - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (7).
  49. Metaphor and the Logicians From Aristotle to Cajetan.E. Jennifer Ashworth - 2007 - Vivarium 45 (s 2-3):311-327.
    I examine the treatment of metaphor by medieval logicians and how it stemmed from their reception of classical texts in logic, grammar, and rhetoric. I consider the relation of the word 'metaphor' to the notions of translatio and transumptio, and show that it is not always synonymous with these. I also show that in the context of commentaries on the Sophistical Refutations metaphor was subsumed under equivocation. In turn, it was linked with the notion of analogy not so much in (...)
  50. Medieval Theories of Analogy.E. Jennifer Ashworth - 2004 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Metaphysics Research Lab. pp. 22.
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