For the first time a complete medieval logical textbook has now been translated into English, accompanied by a lengthy introduction and very full notes. The original Latin text is not presented, but key sections of it are added in brackets at appropriate points. In general, the contents of this volume would serve quite well as an initiation into the style, topics and history of medieval logic, as well as into some of the discussions which currently centre around that logic. They (...) would have served even better had the translation been accompanied by the Latin text, since anyone interested enough to pursue the notes would surely have some acquaintance with the Latin which is essential for study in this field. It is hence rather difficult to imagine the exact type of student for whom the book as it stands is intended. (shrink)
We have here a worthy successor to Professor Kretzmann’s earlier work, William of Sherwood’s Introduction to Logic. The latter had already shown that the work of a thirteenth-century logician could be of much more ample scope and philosophical and logical interest than was that of the more recent so-called ‘traditional’ logicians. A similar comparative amplitude of interest is also evident in the present companion-volume, wherein the form-words studied go well beyond the ‘traditional’ syncategorematics, all, no and some, to extend to (...) whole, infinitely many, both, of every qualification, nothing, neither, but, alone, only, if, unless, and, or and so forth. (shrink)
There is no single theme to the papers bound in this volume, and my comments hence tend inevitably to reflect a selection based on my own interests. The majority, however, have some connection with medieval Philosophy, the chief exception being a description of the Logic of Confucian Dialogue.
It is not often that one can literally describe the critical edition of the work of a medieval philosopher as being exciting. After all, what could such an edition comprise, over and above a more exact version of an already-familiar text? In the present case, however, not only the content, but also the inception and execution of the project which comes to fruition in this edition have involved adventures and even tragedies, major and minor. The fact that there already exists (...) an excellent preliminary detailed commentary on the material contained in this volume, thus lightening and heightening the pleasures of research in this area, is another feature in its favour. (shrink)
It may well be asked: what sort of interest to the philosopher has a work on rhetoric such as this? Consider, however, an utterance such as the following: ‘In every discussion three things are the objects of enquiry: an sit, quid sit, and quale sit. For first there must be something about which the discussion has arisen. Until this is made clear no discussion as to what it is can arise; far less can we determine what its qualities are, until (...) this second point is ascertained’. In spite of its prima facie Thomistic flavour, it antedates Aquinas by a good twelve centuries, and has a writer on rhetoric as its author. And at the opening of the Middle Ages Lafranc lectured on the Herennian Rhetoric, the influence of which is visible in the works of St Anselm, emerging as a rudimentary doctrine of analogy. The tenets of the ancient rhetorical writers also exert their influence on medieval literature, of course, and acquaintance with them is sometimes essential for the full understanding of the moral points which are being made by an author such as Chaucer, for example. (shrink)
The medieval version of the problem of universals centres around propositions such as ?man is a species? and ?animalis a genus?. One of C. Lejewski's analyses of such propositions shows the semantic status of their terms by means of Ajdukiewicz-style categorical indices having participial or infinitive forms as their natural-language counterparts. Some medievals certainly used such forms in their corresponding analyses, thus avoiding the alleged referential demands generated by nominally-termed propositions. Boethius the Consul exemplifies the confusion which may still arise (...) from the traditional definition of universal in terms of predication of many. Unnecessary adherence to nominally-termed analyses not only grounded a tendency towards nominalism and Platonism, but also towards the moderns? ?way of ideas? (shrink)
A proposition containing an adjectival predicate has customarily been described as one which predicates some quality of its subject; thus "William is white" is said to attribute whiteness to William. The concrete adjectival form in such a situation was sometimes said (e. g. by Boethius) to be derived from the corresponding abstract (as "white" from whiteness, "just" from justice, and so on), thus enabling the subject in question to be "denominated" from the abstract by means of the concrete. The quality (...) is then said to be predicated of its subject in a denominative or paronymous fashion. Involved here also is the shaky assumption that adjectives may indeed be distinguished from substantives on the basis of the former's correlation with available abstract forms which the latter lack, but this need not concern us here. (shrink)
Recent books in English on the history of Logic have tended to concentrate on the formal and semantical aspects of that history, and say little or nothing concerning its inductive aspects. Treatment of the latter has been left to historians of science, such as Duhem, Crombie and Claggett. The present work, however, is a full examination of the doctrines of Balduino, who is presented as the most significant exponent of sixteenth-century Paduan Aristotelianism. This Aristotelianism is part of an Averroistic tradition (...) proper to Padua, and the discussion circles at great length around problems having their roots in the Posterior Analytics, and which hence concern theory of scientific discovery. (shrink)