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Unconfusing Merely Confused Supposition in Albert of Saxony

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Abstract In this essay I argue that Albert would reject the need for a separate fourth mode of common personal supposition, and that his view of merely confused supposition has not been fully explicated by modern scholars. I first examine the various examples of conjunct descent given by modern scholars from his Perutilis logica, and show that Albert clearly adopts it in resolving the sophistic examples involved. Second, I explicate the view of merely confused supposition that Albert defends in his Sophismata, and then attempt to answer the question: which view of merely confused supposition was his final view, the view articulated in the Perutilis logica or the view in the Sophismata? I conclude that based upon his Sophismata view of merely confused supposition, Albert came to realize the logical strength his revised theory of personal supposition afforded, and consequently, that he is one of the earliest 14th-century logicians to adopt conjunct terminal descent to resolve various sophisms, a move which gave his theory of personal supposition a logical symmetry having two sorts of propositional descents to singulars, and two sorts of terminal descents to singulars.

Affiliations: 1: Itawamba Community College Tupelo, Mississippi


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