Saturday, February 16, 2008

Additions to the Logic Museum

Two new things in the Logic Museum. One a well known piece by Boethius of Dacia, but a new translation and in parallel with the Latin. The other by Siger of Brabant, previously untranslated and also with the Latin (of course: The Logic Museum never publishes a translation without the original).

The pieces concern the familiar question of whether universal propositions are true when nothing is denoted by the subject. Boethius takes an 'externalist' line, arguing that nothing is true, unless there is a corresponding truth in reality. Every A is B asserts a combination of A and B, i..e a really existing combination, ergo is false when no A exists. Other writers of that school and period thought that the proposition, when 'per se' or 'essential' must be true even when no A exists, and even when nothing exists. The questions by Siger reflect the latter position more.

I will shortly be publishing another related set of questions attributed to Scotus, on the very same topic, but publication was delayed owing to my uncertainty about the attribution (it is supposed to be by Scotus, by I am not so sure).

A Happy New Year to all my readers.

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