Mental Language

Martin Lenz

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195379488
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Mental Language

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  • History of Western Philosophy
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This article examines the structural problem in the medieval debates on mental language. It argues that that the variants of the received “standard theory” by William of Ockham face quite powerful competitors in medieval adherents of the Augustinian model, which compelled later theorists to rethink the relation between thought and language. Before looking at the discussion of structure, the discussion introduces the main ingredients of the rival theories and shows how they lead to competing views on the priority question. After setting out the “standard theory” as an answer to this question, it looks at competing solutions of the structure problem in more detail, while hinting at parallels in contemporary discussions.

Keywords: thinking; William of Ockham; Augustinian model; structural problem; semantic priority

Article.  9677 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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