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John Buridan$
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Gyula Klima

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195176223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195176223.001.0001

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Buridan’s Logic and the Medieval Logical Tradition

Buridan’s Logic and the Medieval Logical Tradition

John Buridan

Gyula Klima (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The second chapter spells out Buridan’s conception of logic as a practical science, teaching us, as logica docens, to heed the valid rules of reasoning embedded in our logical practice, logica utens. The chapter also deals with the particular difficulties of Buridan’s approach, considering his idea of the radical conventionality of written and spoken languages, consisting of token-symbols that owe their meaningfulness to the natural representational system of the human mind. This is the fundamental idea that naturally leads to the nominalist conception of a mental language. On this conception, mental language itself is a compositional semantic system of naturally representative token-symbols, the singular mental acts of singular human minds.

Keywords:   logica utens, logica docens, token-symbols, conventional representation, natural representation

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