John Buridan

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Oxford University Press, 23. 12. 2008 - Počet stran: 368
John Buridan (ca. 1300-1362) has worked out perhaps the most comprehensive account of nominalism in the history of Western thought, the philosophical doctrine according to which the only universals in reality are "names": the common terms of our language and the common concepts of our minds. But these items are universal only in their signification; they are singular entities like any other in reality. This book examines what is most intriguing to contemporary readers in Buridan's medieval philosophical system: his nominalist account of the relationship between language, thought and reality. The main focus of the discussion is Buridan's deployment of the Ockhamist conception of a "mental language" for mapping the complex structures of written and spoken human languages onto a parsimoniously construed reality. Concerning these linguistic structures, this book carefully analyzes Buridan's conception of the radical conventionality of written and spoken languages, in contrast to the natural semantic features of concepts. The discussion pays special attention to Buridan's token-based semantics of terms and propositions, his conception of existential import, ontological commitment, truth, and logical validity. Finally, the book presents a detailed discussion of how these logical devices allow Buridan to maintain his nominalist position without giving up Aristotelian essentialism or yielding to skepticism, and pays special attention to contemporary concerns with these issues.

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Buridans Life Works and Influence
Buridans Logic and the Medieval Logical Tradition
The Primacy of Mental Language
The Various Kinds of Concepts and the Idea of a Mental Language
Natural Language and the Idea of a Formal Syntax in Buridan
Existential Import and the Square of Opposition
Ontological Commitment
The Properties of Terms Proprietates Terminorum 9 The Semantics of Propositions
Logical Validity in a Tokenbased Semantically Closed Logic
The Possibility of Scientific Knowledge
Buridans Antiskepticism
Buridans Essentialist Nominalism
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O autorovi (2008)

Gyula Klima, having taught previously at Yale and the University of Notre Dame, is Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University. He is the author of Readings in Medieval Philosophy, John Buridan: Summulae de Dialectica, an annotated translation with a philosophical introduction, and ARS ARTIUM: Essays in Philosophical Semantics, Medieval and Modern.

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