States of Affairs

Laurent Cesalli

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

States of Affairs

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  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Metaphysics



This article examines whether medieval authors consider that propositions, too, are semantically related to special objects just as names signify things. If so, then what kind of things did they think those special objects are? The discussion begins with remarks about the notion of state of affairs (SOA), as well as the identification criteria for the theories describing them before the technical category of SOA was coined: reism, adverbialism, mentalism, suigenerism, and eliminativism. Then, it presents a survey of the five main types of medieval answer given to the question of the nature of SOAs, and, finally, compares the medieval conceptions with later (late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century), as well as contemporary, theories of SOAs.

Keywords: state of affairs; SOA; propositions; semantic relations; mentalism; eliminativism; suigenerism

Article.  11402 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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