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The Role of ‘Denotatur’ in Ockham’s Theory of Supposition

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on a phrase that occurs countless times throughout Ockham's writings: the phrase 'denotatur'. It claims that an adequate understanding of the role of the concept of denotatur within Ockham's supposition theory yield a deeper understanding of the theory as a whole. The chapter examines a few uses of the term 'denotatur' and its variants by other authors. It then turns to Ockham: the chapter briefly mentions some uses of the term in contexts other than his theory of supposition. Following that, it focuses on his supposition theory, in particular on how 'denotatur' allows him to deal with two crucial puzzles, namely the supposition of empty terms and the supposition of terms in false affirmative propositions. The chapter discuss the similarities between the conceptual role of 'denotatur' within Ockham's theory and Peter of Spain's distinction between supposition and verification.

Keywords: denotatur; Ockham's supposition theory; Peter of Spain; supposition of empty terms



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