La sémantique ockhamiste des catégories. Essai de reconstruction

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In this paper, I intend to reconstruct Ockham’s semantics of the categories in order to prove first that his semantics is consistent. Second, Ockham is not skeptical about the possibility to derive the categories from primitives. According to Ockham, one must accept two principles in order to derive the categories. The first is the principle of ‘in quid’ predication, according to which a name of category can be predicated ‘in quid’ of a determined class of terms. The second is the principle of the transitivity of predication, according to which A is predicated of C if A is predicated of B and B is predicated of C. I will show that Ockham’s semantics of the categories makes two assumptions. According to the first assumption, there exist only two types of things, substances and qualities. According to the second, the categories are mutually exclusive. Ockham’s semantics of the categories implies that the categories are both ontological and conceptual and that it is not possible to prove that there is a determined number of categories.


A Journal for Medieval and Early-Modern Philosophy and Intellectual Life




Quodl. IV, q. 27, OTh IX, p. 438 : « Ad secundum principale et tertium dico quod Aristoteles non loquitur ibi de per se et per accidens sicut I Posteriorum. Nam hic [Met. V, 13] vocat propositionem “per se” quae est vera, et simul cum hoc praedicatum nihil connotat quin aliquid tale consimili modo significandi connotetur per subiectum. Et sic ista est per se “linea est quantitas”, quia impossibile est quod haec sit vera “linea est” nisi haec sit vera “linea est quantitas”, et praedicatum et subiectum eodem modo connotant partem distare a parte. Alias propositiones vocat “per accidens”. Et isto modo est haec per accidens “album est quantum”, “musicum est quantum” ; quia “album” vel “musicum” non connotat partem distare a parte sicut “quantitas” connotat, ideo “quantitas” non ponitur in eorum definitione. » Voir aussi SL I, 45, OPh I, 140-141.


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