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Understanding Medieval Latin with the Help of Middle Dutch

Magistri Symonis (?) Questiones secunde partis Doctrinalis Alexandri de Villa Dei First Critical Edition from the Manuscript with Introduction, Appendices and Indexes

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Edited by E.P. Bos

How advanced students in the 15th century learned to understand Latin with the help of Middle Dutch becomes clear in Master Simon’s (?) commentary in the form of questions on the famous medieval didactical poem on grammar Doctinale of Alexander de Villa Dei. The master discusses notions such as the six cases of Latin (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative and ablative), construction, impediments of construction, and participles. The author has a conceptualist approach of language and criticizes interpretations by realists (Modists). He refers to other important medieval grammars, viz. Commentary on Priscian attributed to Peter Helias, Compendium de modis significandi attributed to Thomas of Erfurt, the Metrista, the Regulae Puerorum and the Florista.

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Roberto Pinzani

The problem of universals is one of the main philosophical issues. In this book the author reconstructs the history of the problem considering a selection of medieval representative texts and authors. The source of medieval and postmedieval debate is identified in the Socratic-Platonic survey on the definition of concepts. In the Categories, Aristotle discusses important topics concerning the relations that exist between logical terms. In particular he establishes a kind of predication principle: categorial terms have a certain predication relation if (and only if) some facts expressed by ordinary sentences hold. The Categories also because of their particular disciplinary status, halfway between logic and metaphysics, leave a number of questions open. Among these questions, a particularly intriguing one is Porphyry’s riddle: are there genera and species? And, if there are such things, what are they like?