Thursday 12 July 2007

Time and Thought

This is just a collection of references to passages in Auriol about the relationship between time and thought. I'll update it as and when.

Scriptum I.3.14.ii.b (‘Quid sit memoria in Deo et in nobis’), §§45, 47.

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Disjunction and Modality

As part of my attempt to explain Auriol's denial, I've been reading Ray Jennings's refreshingly irreverent book The Genealogy of Disjunction (1994). Jennings makes some interesting points about Latin and about the Stoics, but focuses on English 'or' and says little about our period. But he has suggested to me by email that Auriol might think of disjunctions as listing alternative possibilities, so that his denial might be prompted by the modal status of the disjuncts.

This suggestion is promising, because Auriol is adamant that the truth of ‹Antichrist will be› would entail its necessity, and so presumably the impossibility of ‹Antichrist will not be›. And given that the same reasoning should apply to propositions about the present and the past, this might be taken to corroborate my suspicion that Auriol thinks disjunctions are somehow indeterminate.

I'm now keener than ever to seek out any further remarks of Auriol's on disjunction. Watch this space.

Alone Among Contemporaries?

I mentioned before that Robert Caubraith's Quadrupertitum (1510) explicitly sanctions or-introduction. It turns out that so do Ockham's Summa Logicae II.33 (c. 1323) and Buridan's Tractatus de Consequentiis III.1.5 (c. 1335), not to mention Albert of Saxony's subsequent Perutilis Logica (1350s?). The licence is also implicit in William of Sherwood's Introductiones in Logicam I (c. 1245?) and Walter Burley's Tractatus Brevior 280,285 (c. 1320?) and Tractatus Longior II.3.i 548,551 (c. 1326?).

Does this mean that Auriol stands alone among his contemporaries?

Well, Giles of Rome (d. 1316) is thought to have followed Boethius (De Hypotheticis Syllogismis) in treating disjunction as exclusive, in which case he would have denied or-introduction as a rule of inference. But as I said before, the incompatibility of the two disjuncts in our particular case (‹Antichrist will be›, ‹Antichrist will not be›) renders such considerations inoperative. So this is unlikely to be relevant to Auriol's denial.