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Thomas Aquinas and Some Italian Dominicans (Francis of Prato, Georgius Rovegnatinus and Girolamo Savonarola) on Signification and Supposition

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the relationship between supposition and signification by discussing how some Italian, and in particular Florentine, Dominican followers of Aquinas such as Francis of Prato, Girolamo Savonarola and Georgius Rovegnatinus, explained the relation between the linguistic terms' properties of signifying and suppositing, and hence the division of supposition. First, the chapter considers what two authoritative masters of the Order, namely Thomas Aquinas and Hervaeus Natalis, had to say about supposition. Then, it illustrates why, on the basis of Aquinas's and Hervaeus's account of supposition, Francis of Prato thinks that Ockham provided a bad explanation of the division of supposition, while Burley gave a good one. Francis follows Burley and Hervaeus Natalis, and adopts a non-parsimonious realist ontology. Finally, the chapter concludes by saying something about how Savonarola understands supposition in his handbook of logic.

Keywords: Francis of Prato; Georgius Rovegnatinus; Girolamo Savonarola; Hervaeus Natalis; Italian Dominicans; supposition; Thomas Aquinas



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