Hamilton's Quantification of the Predicate

Robert J. Fogelin

in Philosophical Interpretations

Published in print April 1992 | ISBN: 9780195071627
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833221 | DOI:
Hamilton's Quantification of the Predicate

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These essays offer an exposition and defense of William Hamilton's theory that categorical propositions implicitly involve quantification over the predicate term; e.g., for Hamilton, “All S is P” is more accurately rendered as, “All S is some P.” This makes good sense if we treat this proposition as an embedded identity statement, i.e., “If anything is an S then there is some P it is identical with.” This approach yields a coherent theory of the distribution of terms that can be used for evaluating the validity of both immediate inferences and categorical syllogism. It also captures a fragment of the identity theory.

Keywords: categorical propositions; categorical syllogisms; distribution; Hamilton; identity; quantification theory; validity

Chapter.  5851 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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