Anyway, one of the problems with the article is the way it compares supposition theory to modern theories of reference. That's actually not a problem for Wikipedia – most standard reference works say exactly the same. But Catarina Dutilh Novaes has objected, in a number of published works including her Ph.D. thesis, that this is an anachronism. She doesn't think the concepts of supposition and reference are comparable at all, and part of the problem, she says, is that modern philosophical logicians do not understand medieval theories of supposition, and medieval scholars do not understand the concepts of modern philosophical logic such as reference. Each is comparing something they do understand to something they don't understand, and it's all wrong.
I used to think she was right about this, but now I don't. The problem is that modern philosophical logicians don't really agree on what 'reference' is, and the definitions they give are extremely vague. Consider the definition from the much-better-than-Wikipedia SEP:
Reference is a relation that obtains between expressions and what speakers use expressions to talk about. When I assert ‘George W. Bush is a Republican’, I use the proper name ‘George W. Bush’ to refer to a particular individual, an individual about whom I go on to speak. [...] More picturesquely, we are able to use language to talk about the world because words, at least certain types of words, somehow ‘hook on to’ things in the world — things like George W. Bush. Proper names — expressions like ‘George W. Bush’ — are widely regarded as paradigmatic referring expressions.What does all that mean? One of Catarina's objections to comparing supposition to reference is that in classical supposition theory, common terms as well as proper names have supposition. 'Man' supposits for all men, 'Socrates' supposits for just Socrates. But according to the SEP definition above, it seems like common terms can refer. If reference is 'talking about', then we can use the expression 'every man' to talk about every man, and when we assert 'every man is an animal' we use the quantified expression 'every man' to talk about a particular group of individuals, individuals about whom we go on to speak.
Now Frege had an objection to this (and Frege is the source of all our modern ideas about reference).
If I utter a sentence with the grammatical subject 'all men', I do not wish to say something about some Central African chief wholly unknown to me. It is thus utterly false that I am in any way designating [my emphasis] this chief when I use the word 'man', or that this chief belongs in any way to what the word 'man' means.Which is not correct at all. When you use the expression 'every man' or 'all men', you certainly are saying something about this individual, even though he is unknown to you. And why is it false that you are designating him? It depends what mean by designation, but then you are back to the problem of defining 'reference'. And the chief does belong in some way to what the name means. If it meant something different, e.g. if the English word 'man' meant only European men, then the sentence wouldn't be about this chief, would it?
In summary, there is nothing about the definition of reference as given by at least two authoritative sources (the SEP and Frege) that distinguishes it from the medieval concept of supposition. More later.