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Title: Hic sunt chimaerae?
Subtitle: On Absolutely Impossible Significates and Referents in Mid-14th-Century Nominalist Logic
Author(s): CIOLA, Graziana
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 87    Issue: 2   Date: 2020   
Pages: 441-467
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.87.2.3289012

Abstract :
Marsilius of Inghen’s account of imaginable impossibilities became paradigmatic in logic, semantics, and metaphysics throughout the later Middle Ages and well into the early modern period. The present study focuses on imaginable impossibilities in 14th-century logic, underlining the relevance of Marsilius of Inghen’s innovative approach through a comparison with the semantic accounts proposed by other mid-14th-century Parisian nominalists, namely John Buridan and Albert of Saxony. In particular, this paper tracks the specific issue of the admissibility of absolute impossibilities – such as the chimera – within Marsilius of Inghen’s semantic analysis, proving that there is a sense in which the chimera is indeed treatable. The present study does so by analysing the issues involved in impossibilities on the levels of signification, supposition, and extended reference. In doing so it provides a clearer picture of the problems involved, where they emerge and why, as well as of the significance and range of Marsilius of Inghen’s approach.

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