Significative Supposition and Ockham’s Rule

Vivarium 52 (1-2):72-101 (2014)

Paul Spade argues that there is a tension between Ockham’s descriptions of the various types of supposition at Summa Logicae I.64 and a rule he provides at sl I.65. In later papers, Spade proposes a solution: a term supposits significatively just in case it supposits for everything it signifies. I evaluate Spade’s proposal and explore some of its implications. I show that it successfully resolves the tension and that it suggests a way to more precisely describe material and simple supposition. I argue furthermore that Ockham is committed to the proposal by showing that uncontroversial features of his theory imply it. In doing so, I raise and refute three potential objections. Finally, I highlight and discuss a controversial result: self-signifying conventional terms can supposit materially. I argue that this result makes for a more satisfying theory.
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DOI 10.1163/15685349-12341272
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How Is Material Supposition Possible?Stephen Read - 1999 - Medieval Philosophy and Theology 8 (1):1-20.
A Medieval Theory of Supposition.Philotheus Boehner - 1958 - Franciscan Studies 18 (3-4):240-289.

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