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  • Author or Editor: Milo Crimi x
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Paul Spade argues that there is a tension between Ockham’s descriptions of the various types of supposition at Summa Logicae ( sl ) I.64 and a rule he provides at sl I.65. In later papers, Spade proposes a solution: a term supposits significatively (i.e., personally) just in case it supposits for everything it signifies. I evaluate Spade’s proposal and explore some of its implications. I show that it successfully resolves the tension and that it suggests a way to more precisely describe material and simple supposition. I argue furthermore that Ockham is committed to the proposal by showing that uncontroversial features of his theory imply it. In doing so, I raise and refute three potential objections. Finally, I highlight and discuss a controversial result: self-signifying conventional terms can supposit materially. I argue that this result makes for a more satisfying theory.

In: Vivarium
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William of Ockham and John Buridan provide different accounts of the distinction between formal and material consequences. Some consequences – in particular, enthymemes – that Ockham would classify as formal would be classified as material by Buridan. This paper explains this taxonomical discrepancy. It identifies the root of the discrepancy not in a difference between Ockham’s and Buridan’s notions of propositional hylomorphism but rather in Ockham’s endorsement of relational characterizations of consequences.

In: Vivarium
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The Destructions of the Modes of Signifying (henceforth: dms ) is an anonymous fourteenth-century polemic against modist speculative grammar (grammatica speculativa). Wielding Ockhamist logic and metaphysics, the dms repeatedly attacks the very root of modism: the claim that the grammatical features of language are grounded in the metaphysical properties of the world. I call this the Modist Correspondence Thesis (henceforth: mct). In its most general form, mct says that every mode of signifying exhibited by an utterance corresponds to a mode of being exhibited by a thing. The Emptiness Argument of the dms tries to show that mct fails to accommodate certain special cases, such as privative, fictitious, and divine utterances, like ‘blindness’ (caecitas), ‘chimera’ (chimaera), and ‘deity’ (deitas). The modist Thomas of Erfurt directly addresses the Emptiness Argument, anticipating the anti-modist criticisms present in the dms . In doing so, he points the way to alternative formulations of mct that are immune to those criticisms.

In: Vivarium