Roger Bacon is a remarkable figure for his theory of the sign. According to the new reading hypothesis presented in this article, the whole theory is grounded on the relational nature of the sign. Every sign is involved in two relations: one to the interpreter, the other to the significate, the first being “more essential” than the second. The hypothesis allows for a better understanding of Bacon’s central claim that speakers constantly re-impose words in colloquial practice, as well as of its main technical developments. In his whole semantics, Bacon’s focus is not so much on entities as on relations holding between entities. From a comparative point of view, the paper offers considerations on the theological background of Bacon’s ideas.
Keywords Roger Bacon, medieval philosophy, philosophy of language, theory of the sign, theory of relations, medieval theology
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DOI 10.1093/oso/9780198827030.003.0003
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