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Names That Can Be Said Of Everything: Porphyrian Tradition And ‘Transcendental’ Terms In Twelfth-Century Logic

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Chapter Summary

In an article published in 2003, Klaus Jacobi-using texts partially edited in L. M. De Rijk's Logica Modernorum-demonstrated that twelfth-century logic contains a tradition of reflecting about some of the transcendental names. In addition to reinforcing Jacobi's thesis with other texts, this chapter demonstrates two points: 1) that twelfth-century logical reflection about transcendental terms has its origin in the logica vetus, and especially in a passage from Porphyry Isagoge and in Boethius's commentary on it. 2) That this theory is centred on the idea that there exists a particular group of names which have the property that they can be said of everything; this group includes "being", "one", "thing" and "something". Twelfth-century masters in logic try to question the (originally Aristotelian) thesis that these terms are equivocal, although they do not deny it completely.

Keywords: Aristotelian thesis; Boethius; Klaus Jacobi; L. M. De Rijk; Porphyrian tradition; transcendental names



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