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Articulating Medieval Logic$
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Terence Parsons

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688845

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688845.001.0001

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Modes of Personal Supposition

Modes of Personal Supposition

(p.184) 7 Modes of Personal Supposition
Articulating Medieval Logic

Terence Parsons

Oxford University Press

A mode of supposition is a quantificational status a term has, defined in terms of ascents and descents. ‘Cat’ has determinate supposition in ‘Some cat is grey’ because from that proposition one can descend to ‘This cat is grey or that cat is grey or . . . for all cats’, and from any disjunct one can ascend back to the original proposition. Distributive supposition is a kind of universal status; merely confused supposition is more complex. Modes are caused by logical signs; ‘every’ confers distributive supposition on a term. A variant account by Ockham is discussed. Modes figure in general rules; if a term has determinate supposition it may be replaced by a superior term preserving truth. A refined version of the theory is discussed; this permits a more accurate theory of causes of the modes. The refined modes correspond to kinds of global quantificational import.

Keywords:   mode of supposition, determinate, distributive, merely confused, Ockham

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