Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Journal of the History of Philosophy: July 2011, Vol. 49, No. 3

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Journal of the History of Philosophy: July 2011, Vol. 49, No. 3

Article excerpt

Duns Scotus: Some Recent Research, RICHARD CROSS

This article aims to give a brief survey of some of the major secondary literature on Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308) from 1999 to the present, under the following headings: universals and individuation (including discussion of Scotus's analysis of different kinds of identity and distinction); modal theory (both the nature of modalities and their origin); cognitive psychology (the ontological status of conceptual content and the question of objects of thought internal to the mind); semantics (the ways in which words signify concepts and/or things); logic (the nature of Aristotle's Categories and the logic of counterfactuals); and divine command metaethics.

Alexander of Aphrodisias's Account of Universals and Its Problems, RIIN SIRKEL

This paper explores Alexander of Aphrodisias's account of universals, which offers a significant contribution to the problem of universals. The author argues that Alexander is the first post-Aristotelian philosopher who explicitly defends a distinction between what it is to be a form and what it is to be a universal. This distinction is clear if we consider that when there is only one particular in existence; then, although there is no ground for universal predication, the particular still has its form or nature. The author shows that this distinction invokes two fundamental problems--namely, the problem about the ontological status of the form, and that of the universal. In the last part of the paper, Boethius's solution to the problem of universals, which he claims to take from Alexander and which clarifies some problematic aspects of Alexander's account, will be examined.

Berkeley's "Defense" of "Commonsense," S. SETH BORDNER

Nearly as famous as his denial of the existence of matter is Berkeley's insistence that his philosophy is somehow a defense of commonsense. …

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