William of Sherwood's Treatise on Syncategorematic Words by Norman Kretzmann

By Norman Kretzmann

William of Sherwood's Treatise on Syncategorematic phrases used to be first released in 1968. Minnesota Archive variations makes use of electronic know-how to make long-unavailable books once more obtainable, and are released unaltered from the unique college of Minnesota Press editions.

This is the 1st translation of a huge medieval paintings in philosophy, a complicated treatise by means of the thirteenth-century English philosopher William of Sherwood. The treatise attracts on doctrines built in Sherwood's creation to good judgment ,which has additionally been translated by way of Professor Kretzmann.

William of Sherwood is a crucial determine within the improvement of the logica moderna ,the distinctively medieval contribution to good judgment and semantics. As Professor Kretzmann explains, the logica moderna could have initially aimed simply advert supplying advert hoc principles concerning inferences that contain frustrating locutions of standard discourse. yet its valuable goal quickly grew to become the advance of a kind of common account of the ways that phrases are used to face for issues or to impact the meanings of different phrases. In Sherwood's time the logica moderna turns out to were considered having branches, an account of the ''properties of terms'' and an account of the signification and serve as of ''syncategorematic words.'' Sherwood offers with the 1st department in his advent to good judgment and with the second one department within the treatise awarded here.

The translation is copiously annotated to provide the type of explanatory fabric a twentieth-century reader may have for an realizing of a thirteenth-century dialogue. As Professor Kretzmann issues out, some of the difficulties handled during this treatise heavily resemble the issues of twentieth-century philosophical good judgment and philosophy of language.

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Extra info for William of Sherwood's Treatise on Syncategorematic Words

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The scholastic formula 'it must be said that' (dicendum quod) is regularly used to introduce the author's own position or the master's attempt to resolve a formal disputation. The frequent occurrence of the formula in this treatise is an aid in discerning its dialectical organization. ''Every* or fAlV (Omnis) & 1. 1 It must be known that 2 'every' or 'all' signifies universality. '5 At other times it signifies universality as a disposition of a subject insofar as it is a subject; in that case it is a syncategorematic word.

Therefore every man is running. But, by the hypothesis, only one man is running. ' 122 dictionis in the argument, for the word 'animal' stood for 2 4 proximate parts in [a] and for remote parts in [b]. From another point of view there will be a paralogism of accident, for the word 'animal' is not predicated of the minor extremity25 in the way in which the major is predicated of it. ^f 5. THE RULE OF THREE Rule [II]: The sign 'every' or 'all' requires that there be at least three appellata™ This is proved in the following way.

Part of what accounts for the historical continuity of medieval logic is the continuous discussion of the same sophismata. In Appendix A (pp. ') The most valuable recent source in English for the study of the extensive medieval sophismata literature is T. K. Scott's annotated translation of John Buridan's Sophisms on Meaning and Truth. 19 The most prevalent pattern in Sherwood's treatment of sophismata is (1) the hypothesis ("there are only asses"); (2) the inference, leading to the sophisma proper; (3) the proof, offered in support of one or more of the premisses in the inference; (4) the "on the contrary," or disproof (lacking in this first example); (5) the solution, dissolving the sophisma by exposing the fallacy (or paralogism) that made it look as if that unacceptable conclusion followed from those premisses.

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