The doctrine of distribution

History and Philosophy of Logic 27 (1):59-74 (2006)

Authors
Terence Parsons
University of California, Los Angeles
Abstract
Peter Geach describes the ?doctrine of distribution? as the view that a term is distributed if it refers to everything that it denotes, and undistributed if it refers to only some of the things that it denotes. He argues that the notion, so explained, is incoherent. He claims that the doctrine of distribution originates from a degenerate use of the notion of ?distributive supposition? in medieval supposition theory sometime in the 16th century. This paper proposes instead that the doctrine of distribution occurs at least as early as the 12th century, and that it originates from a study of Aristotle's notion of a term's being ?taken universally?, and not from the much later theory of distributive supposition. A detailed version of the doctrine found in the Port Royal Logic is articulated, and compared with a slightly different modern version. Finally, Geach's arguments for the incoherence of the doctrine are discussed and rejected
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/01445340500321543
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,966
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reference and Generality.P. T. Geach - 1962 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
The Development of Logic.W. C. Kneale - 1962 - Oxford University Press.
Logic Matters.P. T. Geach - 1972 - Blackwell.
Introduction to Logic.Irving M. Copi - 1953 - Pearson/Prentice Hall.
The Development of Logic.A. R. Lacey, W. Kneale & M. Kneale - 1964 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 84:194-195.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Fred Sommers’ Contributions to Formal Logic.George Englebretsen - 2016 - History and Philosophy of Logic 37 (3):269-291.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-08-10

Total views
25 ( #319,345 of 2,235,936 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #576,932 of 2,235,936 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature