Sunday, March 01, 2009

Priscian's Institutiones Grammaticae

Priscian's Institutiones Grammaticae now available (Latin version only) in the Logic Museum annex. I had ignored Priscian before, thinking of him as a grammarian. Which he is, mostly, but there are interesting philosophical and logical insights in this enormous work. Such as that the present time is that of which part is past, part is future (Book 8, p. 414). Scotus uses this to explain how a sentence in the present tense (e.g. "Robert is just passing through the door") may be true even when the event it refers to may just be over.

Praesens tempus est cuius pars praeteriit, parsque futura est