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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?
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Roberto Pinzani