Language and Logic in the Post-Medieval Period by E.J. Ashworth

By E.J. Ashworth

Keckermann remarked of the 16th century, "never from the commence­ ning of the realm used to be there a interval so partial to common sense, or within which extra books on good judgment have been produced and reports oflogic flourished extra abun­ dantly than the period-in which we are living. " 1 yet regardless of the good great quantity of books to which he refers, and regardless of the dominant place occupied by way of common sense within the academic approach of the 15th, 16th and 7­ teenth centuries, little or no paintings has been performed at the good judgment of the publish­ medieval interval. the one whole examine is that of Risse, whose account, whereas traditionally exhaustive, will pay little realization to the particular logical 2 doctrines mentioned. differently, you can still tum to Vasoli for a examine of humanism, to Munoz Delgado for scholastic common sense in Spain, and to Gilbert and Randall for medical strategy, yet this nonetheless leaves mammoth components untouched. during this ebook i will not wish to therapy the entire deficiencies of prior reviews, for to survey the literature on my own might take a lifetime. for this reason i've got constrained myself in quite a few methods. within the first position, I con­ centrate in simple terms on these issues that are of specific curiosity to me, particularly theories of which means and reference, and formal logic.

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John of St. Thomas, for instance, saw it as having both speculative and practical elements. " MEANING AND REFERENCE 31 The last two classifications of logic were less common. Smiglecius attributed the view that logic is a faculty to Aristotle, but did not dwell on it. The final view, with which both he and Robertis agreed,15 comes from Zabarella, who wrote a whole book on the nature oflogic. In it he denied that logic was an art, since it was not directed toward some external end; and he also denied that it was a science, since it had no independently necessary subject matter, but was concerned only with second intentions [secundae notiones], or such concepts as those of genus, species and syllogism, which were contingent.

It is quite possible that tradition and precedent were the determining factors. If one were writing a commentary on Peter of Spain, the order of contents had already been chosen. Equally, if one were writing a text-book, one could very easily follow the pattern of the Organon, and many did. Even if one were striving for independence, there were standard doc- 28 CHAPTER II trines to be covered. The undoubted differences in content and organization between texts do not usually seem to mirror any corresponding differences of view about the nature and scope of logic itself, but rather differing opinions as to what was pedagogically useful or necessary.

He added the phrase 'act of understanding' in order to allow for syncategorematic terms, which are meaningful, but are not concepts of anything. Spoken and written terms represent not formally but instrumentally, for they are the means whereby concepts or acts of the understanding are caused. any of the logicians I have read. For a term to signify in some way [aliqualiter] was often said to be for it to exercise a function [officium] whereby other terms were confused, distributed and so on. He warned that this was an inadequate characterization of 'signifying in some way' since in his view, though not in the view of all, propositions could also be said to signify aliqualiter and it makes no sense to say that a proposition affects the terms in it.

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