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Understanding the Semantics of “Relativa Grammaticalia” some Medieval Logicians on Anaphoric Pronouns

  • Reinhard Hülsen
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 72)

Abstract

When in the early nineteen-sixties Geach presented his by now well known theory of the semantic roles of anaphoric pronouns, he did something quite unusual in those days: time and again he critically referred to certain medieval approaches to the same subject. He thought, apparently, that these sophisticated approaches showed the enormous difficulties a coreferential approach was bound to lead into. Geach (1960) even went so far as to claim sweepingly that “the medievals who discussed relativa — pronouns with antecedents — were groping in the dark despite all their ingenuity.” It is one of the ironies of the history of philosophy that one such medieval theory — to be found in the fourteenth-century philosopher Buridan and his pupils (though foreshadowed a century earlier) — has now raised his head again in the work of Gareth Evans — this time against Geach.

Keywords

Noun Phrase Fourteenth Century Subject Term Supposition Theory Anaphoric Pronoun 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhard Hülsen

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