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Philosophical Interpretations$
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Robert J. Fogelin

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195071627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019507162X.001.0001

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Hamilton's Quantification of the Predicate

Hamilton's Quantification of the Predicate

(p.149) 10 Hamilton's Quantification of the Predicate
Philosophical Interpretations

Robert J. Fogelin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

These essays offer an exposition and defense of William Hamilton's theory that categorical propositions implicitly involve quantification over the predicate term; e.g., for Hamilton, “All S is P” is more accurately rendered as, “All S is some P.” This makes good sense if we treat this proposition as an embedded identity statement, i.e., “If anything is an S then there is some P it is identical with.” This approach yields a coherent theory of the distribution of terms that can be used for evaluating the validity of both immediate inferences and categorical syllogism. It also captures a fragment of the identity theory.

Keywords:   categorical propositions, categorical syllogisms, distribution, Hamilton, identity, quantification theory, validity

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