This article is about the conception of truth and signification in Augustine's early philosophical writings. In the first, semantic-linguistic part, the gradual shift of Augustine's position towards the Academics is treated closely. It reveals that Augustine develops a notion of sign which, by integrating elements of Stoic epistemology, is suited to function as a transmitter of true knowledge through linguistic expressions. In the second part, both the ontological structure of signified (sensible) things and Augustine's solution to the apparent tautologies of mathematical truths are examined. Again his notion of sign turns out to be the keystone; this time, however, the natural in contrast to the conventional sign of linguistic expressions. In their complementarity, both parts show how Augustine intensely struggles with and (partially) overcomes the skepticism of the sensible world through his conception of sign and signification.
This article examines one aspect of Thomas Aquinas' understanding of abstraction. It shows in which way, according to Aquinas, universal material objects and individual material objects are the starting point for mathematical objects. It comes to the conclusion that for Aquinas there are not only universal mathematical objects (circle, line), but also individual mathematical objects (this circle, that line). Universal mathematical objects are properties of universal material objects and individual mathematical objects are properties of individual material objects. One type of abstractio formae leads from individual material objects to universal mathematical objects, a second type from universal material objects to universal mathematical objects, and a third type from individual material objects to individual mathematical objects. Therefore, the concept of abstractio formae is ambiguous.
Thomas Bradwardine makes much of the fact that his solution to the insolubles is in accordance with Aristotle's diagnosis of the fallacy in the Liar paradox as that of secundum quid et simpliciter. Paul Spade, however, claims that this invocation of Aristotle by Bradwardine is purely "honorary" in order to confer specious respectability on his analysis and give it a spurious weight of authority. Our answer to Spade follows Bradwardine's response to the problem of revenge: any proposition saying of itself that it is false says more than does Bradwardine's proposition saying of it that it is false, and so follows from that other proposition only in respect of part of what it says, and not simpliciter.
This paper is an examination of the theory of materia prima of the fifteenth century Platonist Marsilio Ficino. It limits its discussion of Ficino's theory to the ontological and epistemic status of prime matter in his Platonic Theology. Ficino holds a "robust" theory of prime matter that makes two fundamental assertions: First, prime matter exists independent of form, and second, it is, at least in principle, intelligible. Ficino's theory of prime matter is framed in this paper with a discussion of the divergence among Scholastic philosophers over the nature of prime matter.