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Semantics and Ontology. An Assessment of Medieval Terminism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses medieval terminism, particularly supposition theory, in the development of Aristotelian thought in the Latin West. The focus is on what the present author considers the gist of Aristotle's strategy of argument, to wit conceptual focalization and categorization. This argumentative strategy is more interesting as it can be compared to the modern tool known as 'scope distinction'. Aristotle's search for genuine knowledge runs along the following lines. The ever-changing things of the outside world, he takes it, are in many ways or they enjoy their 'being-ness' multifariously. Unlike Plato, Aristotle recognizes unchangeable ontic elements as immanently present in outside things. Philosophers and linguists alike assume that there is a linguistic correlation between language and thought.

Keywords: Aristotelian thought; medieval terminism; ontology; semantics; supposition theory



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