_ Source: _Volume 53, Issue 2-4, pp 353 - 371 While agreeing with Professor D’Ors’ thesis that the notion of logical consequence cannot be exhaustively characterized, I depart from Professor d’Ors’ conclusion that the very notion of good consequence is primitive and can only be identified with the set of acceptable rules of inference, and from his conviction that modal notions such as necessity and impossibility are equivocal and gain such clarity as they have by their interaction with rules of (...) inference. Inspired by this picture, Professor d’Ors undertook an examination of a number of medieval attempts to analyze the notion of consequence and tried to show how certain developments in the medieval history of logic made sense in the light of debate over such analyses. This paper examines a small fragment of Professor d’Ors programme and its relation to some aspects of Jean Buridan’s account of the consequence relation. (shrink)
For nearly four centuries Peter of Spain's influential Summaries of Logic was the basis for teaching logic; few university texts were read by more people. This new translation presents the Latin and English on facing pages, and comes with an extensive introduction, chapter-by-chapter analysis, notes, and a full bibliography.
Three philosophical questions that are often confused should instead be keep distinct: First, what is a thought? Second, what is that in virtue of which a thought is a thought? Third, what is it that determines of what a thought is a thought? These questions raise very different issues within Ockham’s philosophy. Although Ockham’s views about the first question evolve, he seems to answer the second and the third questions in the same way, maintaining throughout his career that the intentionality (...) of thoughts, which he expresses in terms of signification, is a primitive feature of them. Ockham’s view contrasts sharply with the view that can be found in Aquinas and others that a thought is a form of being present in an immaterial way. This alternative view explains intentionality by reducing it to the co-presence of a number of non-cognitive factors. This latter view offers hope of unifying epistemology and such sciences as optics but at the price of a very peculiar ontology. Ockham avoids this peculiarity, but his way of doing so raises issues about what determines the taxonomy of thoughts, and about whether the items which are thoughts are essentially so or whether by God’s power they could exist without being thoughts. Despite Ockham’s terminology of similitude, the taxonomy of thoughts is not fixed by internal features of the metaphysical items which are thoughts but by the objects of the thoughts, and this suggests a negative answer to the questions whether thoughts are essentially thoughts, an answer that Ockham seems not to draw explicitly but which is explicit in the work of some, like Pierre d’Ailly, who are much influenced by him. (shrink)
Because the History of Philosophy is a branch of both History and Philosophy, it faces tasks which are Historical, tasks which are Philosophical, and tasks which overlap both. As Philosophy typically flourishes by incorporating and assimilating ideas and bodies of text which have either not previously been part of its stock in trade or have been forgotten, the main task facing the History of Philosophy today is that of developing serious scholarship in areas that have been largely neglected, such as (...) Philosophy in Arabic and Persian as well as in Sanskrit and Chinese. (shrink)
It is often said that an argument is valid if and only if it is impossible for its premises to be jointly true and its conclusion false. Usually there is little harm in saying this but it places the concept of truth at the very heart of logic and, given how complex and obscure that concept is, one might wonder if trouble arises from this.It does — in at least two contexts. One of these was explored in the first half (...) of the fourteenth century by Jean Buridan and by the mysterious figure known as the Pseudo-Scotus of the Questions on the Prior Analytics printed in the edition of Scotus's works edited by Luke Wadding. Buridan thought that the bearers of truth were particular sentence-tokens; he thought of truth as a .. (shrink)
This is a marvelous book, a “must read’ for anyone interested in understanding the philosophical debates of the later Middle Ages and a useful book for contemporary philosophers who will find in it a sophisticated articulation of a philosophical position well able to provide perspective on a number of contemporary debates. It is exceptionally well-written, clear, and insightful.We are now in a fairly good position to understand Buridan’s role in later medieval philosophy, his general philosophical orientation, and the milieu in (...) which he worked. What we have lacked is a detailed study of the core of his philosophy, and it is this gap that Gyula Klima’s book splendidly fills—just as our picture of Buridan’s thought is coming into focus. Much of Buridan’s work is either unedited or exists only in incunabula, and there are underway editing projects of central texts that will shed considerable new light on the man and his work. We are fortunate, however, to have already a splendid English translation of and commentary on Buridan’s massive and rich Summulae de dialectica by Klima himself, and this, together with incunabula and with recent editions of some of his other logical works, forms a sufficient basis of text for reasonable confidence that Klima’s. (shrink)
Prof. Pasnau’s remarkable book offers an exciting integration of medieval and early modern philosophy. It begins, however, in mediis rebus and so downplays the role that a particularly Nominalist tradition plays in explaining the abandonment of substantial form rise of the mechanical philosophy. This paper attempts to sketch some of that role.