Early Scholastic Views on Ambiguity
Composition and Division
This article presents a linguistic study of a number of 12th-century logical tracts with respect to their views on fallacies of composition and division. It will be seen that early Scholastic work done in this area was greatly influenced by certain syntactic properties of Latin.The correlation between meaning and syntactic order came to preoccupy logicians upon the rediscovery and subsequent translation of Aristotle’s De Sophisticis Elenchis at the beginning of the 12th century. Some logicians of the period felt that a composite syntactic order correlated obligatorily with a composite sense; others thought that order and sense could be independent from each other, and that, consequently, a composite syntactic order could have two readings, a composite one and a divided one. A third opinion expressed was that certain syntactic orders received two interpretations, one considered to be normal (a composite order correlating preferentially with a composite sense), and another one regarded as secondary (the possibility for a composite order to be understood in a divided sense as well).The ideas which found expression in the 12th century manuscripts discussed in this study influenced logical speculation throughout the Scholastic period.
Published online: 01 January 1975
Bocheński, Innocentius M(aria)
Bursill-Hall, G(eoffrey) L(eslie)
Cohen, Morris R(aphael), and Ernest Nagel
Frege, (Friedrich Ludwig) Gottlob
Kneale, William, and Martha Kneale
Lakoff, George, and Stanley Peters
McCawley, James D.
Moody, Ernest A(ddison)
Newmeyer, Frederick J.
O’Donnell, J. Reginald
Paul of Pergula [Paulus Pergulensis
Rijk, L(ambertus) M(arie) de
Robins, R(obert) H(enry)
Russell, Bertrand (Arthur William
Thomas Aquinas, Saint
William of Sherwood [Guilelmus Shirwodus
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Rivero, María Luisa
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