Lies, Language and Logic in the Late Middle Ages
’This sentence is false’ - is that true? The ’Liar paradox’ embodied in those words exerted a particular fascination on the logicians of the Western later Middle Ages, and, along with similar ’insoluble’ problems, forms the subject of the first group of articles in this volume. In the following parts Professor Spade turns to medieval semantic theory, views on the relationship between language and thought, and to a study of one particular genre of disputation, that known as ’obligationes’. The focus is on the Oxford scholastics of the first half of the 14th century, and it is the name of William of Ockham which dominates these pages - a thinker with whom Professor Spade finds himself in considerable philosophical sympathy, and whose work on logic and semantic theory has a depth and richness that have not always been sufficiently appreciated.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Recent research on medieval logic; The origins of the medieval insolubilia-literature; Ockham on self-reference; Insolubilia and Bardwardine’s theory of signification, William Heytesbury’s position on insolubles; John Buridan on the liar; Roger Swyneshed’s Insolubilia; Roger Swyneshed’s theory of Insolubilia; Ockham’s rule of supposition; Some epistemological implications of the Burley-Ockham dispute; Ockham’s distinctions between absolute and connotative terms; Priority of analysis and the predicates of O-form sentences; Synonymy and evocation in Ockham’s mental language; Ockham on terms of first and second imposition and intention; Les modalités aléthiques selon Ockham; Swyneshed’s Obligationes; Three theories of obligationes: Burley, Kilvington and Swyneshed on counterfactual reasoning; Addenda; Index.