Authors
Peter King
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Abstract
I argue that Abelard was the author of the first theory of mental language in the Middle Ages, devising a “language of thought” to provide the semantics for ordinary languages, based on the idea that thoughts have linguistic character. I examine Abelard’s semantic framework with special attention to his principle of compositionality (the meaning of a whole is a function of the meanings of the parts); the results are then applied to Abelard’s distinction between complete and incomplete expressions, as well as the distinction between sentences and the statements which the sentences are used to make. Abelard’s theory of mental language is shown to be subtle and sophisticated, the forerunner of the great theories of the fourteenth century.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq200781236
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,827
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Peter Abelard.Peter King - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Peculiar Perfection: Peter Abelard on Propositional Attitudes.Martin Lenz - 2005 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (4):377-386.
Peter Abelard: Collationes.Peter Abelard (ed.) - 2001 - Clarendon Press.
The Rediscovery of Peter Abelard's Philosophy.John Marenbon - 2006 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (3):331-351.
Abelard and Heloise.C. J. Mews - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Abelard, Peter.Kevin Guilfoy - 2007 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Philosophy of Peter Abelard.John Marenbon - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
Responsibility, Passion, and Sin: A Reassessment of Abelard's Ethics.Jean Porter - 2000 - Journal of Religious Ethics 28 (3):367 - 394.
Abelard’s Assault on Everyday Objects.Andrew Arlig - 2007 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (2):209-227.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
101 ( #102,493 of 2,432,687 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #464,418 of 2,432,687 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes