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Walter Chatton on Enumerating the Categories

In: Vivarium
Author:
Jenny Pelletier Research Foundation Flanders Belgium jenny.pelletier@kuleuven.be

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Although the fourteenth-century Franciscan theologian Walter Chatton did not comment on Aristotle’s Categories, he discussed a number of issues relating to categories in his Lectura on the Sentences. The author examines his response to the question ‘How many categories are there?’ He gives three methods by which we can arrive at the number of the categories, the last two of which seem to meet his approval. Chatton advocates a strong isomorphism between ontology and semantics: the number of the categories is determined by and equal to the number of classes of things.

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