Author: Richard Cross. Date: Sept.
From: Medium Aevum Vol. Document Type: Book review.
Length: words. Sign In to view the full article. Gale Academic Onefile , Accessed 22 Sept. The criterion for the belonging to the internal loci had been identified by Buridan Summulae de dialectica.
The classification of the applicita among the external loci might also be questioned, first because time and place are strictly constitutive of situations adiacentia and events actus , which are consistently numbered among the internal loci, and then because the correlatives connexa , like king vs. Definitions towards ontologies Let us now consider some of the fine analyses elaborated by Agricola for loci. His treatment of definition is rigorous and innovative; definition is first distinguished from description p.
Agricola confirms the validity of the classical Aristotelian procedure for defining, which connects the next genus genus proximum with the specific difference. However, he also remarks that perfectly fitting definitions like Homo est animal rationale, where rationale really identifies the constitutive trait characterizing humans among all other animals, are not available for non-humans. For all other non-human species, which are called bruta in Latin, like donkeys, mules and horses, no specific difference in form of one predicate is available.
A conjunction of predicates like auritus long-eared , solidis pedibus single toed and foecundus fertile , here plays the role of specific difference, as it enables us to differentiate the nature of donkeys from all other animals: single toed are only donkeys, horses and mules, but horses are not long-eared and mules are not fertile.
Not simply connecting genus with specific difference, but conjoining often complex sets of predicates see complexus definitionis , p. This way, definition procedures get very close to the ontologies [xi] elaborated in current trends of semantics. The author proposes two fair examples, by defining as many social realities: ius law and ciuitas political community.
In both cases the definition is the result of intense considerations through which the distinctive function of each predicate of the definition is justified. More in detail, a conceptual basis constituting the genus is enriched specified step by step, by adding all traits that prove to be needed in order to differentiate the concerned domain from all other domains.
The loci circa substantiam around the constituency embrace the categories of quality and quantity under the unique label of adiacentia covering the static states of affairs l. Within the locus of events actus , action actio is specified as a purposeful behavior, p. Interestingly, the author makes a distinction between the purpose and the effect of an action and gives a fine example to highlight it p. Argumentation vs.
Review of 'Summulae de dialectica' by J. Buridan, edited by G. Klima - CentAUR
Exposition In the 16 th chapter of the second book, Agricola brings to light that loci , as headings of the semantic network shaping the map of reality, do not exhaust their role in the construction of arguments see also Mack , but are not less relevant in expositio , i.
The role played in exposition is particularly important for two main reasons: it stresses the ontological nature of loci, as it is properly understood by Agricola, and specifies the differences, without neglecting the connections, between explanation and argumentation. Loci are not exclusively argumentative categories. They are the nodes of the ontological structure of reality and are used in its representation for describing it, explaining it and arguing for it and from it.
Moreover, Agricola, considering, in particular, causal exposition or explanation, discovers that the same state of affairs can be referred to both in explanatory and in argumentative terms. Another interesting example refers to the eclipse of the moon p. Let us consider the interposition of the earth between the sun and the moon. One can explain the eclipse of the moon as the effect of such an interposition, but the evidence of this particular position of the earth could, in another communicative interaction, also be interpreted as an argument allowing to predict an eclipse of the moon.
While breaking with the Medieval tradition and adopting in relation to it a decidedly polemical attitude, he established a critical continuity with Antiquity. Numerous innovative aspects emerge in his doctrine: his autonomous, correctly critical, attitude towards the authorities of tradition, his original classification and definition of loci, the often sharp and fertile insights through which the nature of each locus is highlighted, the richness of examples, the discovery of the relevant role played by loci in exposition.
Moreover, thanks to the discovery of the relevant role played by them not only in argumentation but also in exposition, loci are no longer exclusively argumentative categories. They become, in this new perspective, the nodes of the ontological structure of reality that are available, in the construction of human discourse, for the representation of reality aiming at describing it, explaining it and arguing for it and from it.
This holds in particular for the still controversial problem of arguments schemes that may be regarded as the present day heirs of loci.
The rhetorical dimension is certainly predominant in his approach. However, the critical remark moved to Quintilian also proves his strong commitment to dialectical cogency. He is known to us mainly as the author of the book we are now considering. Educated first in St. He concentrated his studies on Cicero and Quintilian, and during his university years added French and Greek to his ever-growing language repertoire. After living for a time in Paris, where he worked with Heynlin von Stein, — a classics specialist — he went, in around , in Italy, where he associated with humanist masters and statesmen.
In the years he studied at the University of Pavia, and later went to Ferrara, where he attended lectures on the Greek language of the famous Theodorus Gaza c. Here Agricola wholly devoted himself to the study of classical texts. He won renown for the elegance of his Latin style and his knowledge of philosophy. Also while in Ferrara he was formally employed as the organist to the ducal chapel, which was one of the most opulent musical establishments in Europe. He held that post until , after which, having visited Rome, he definitively turned to his native country in In , on the invitation of Johann von Dalberg, bishop of Worms, with whom he had become friendly while in Italy at the university of Pavia, he accepted a professorship at the University of Heidelberg and for three years lectured there and at Worms on the Greek literature.
In Agricola accompanied Dalberg, who was sent as an ambassador to Innocent III the new elected Pope in Rome, but was struck gravely ill on the journey back to home. In the cultural history of Europe of the late fifteenth century, he is considered as the father of northern European humanism Vasoli, Quorum scholia exactissimo iudicio contulit ac congessit Ioannes Nouiomagus. Coloniae Anno M.
This is the work Agricola is particularly known for. Topics like the semantics of religious language, the problem of universals, the nature of human freedom were innovatively investigated by him. Thus the traditional philosophical concept of ontology is mainly meant to deal with questions concerning what entities exist or at what conditions they can be said to exist, by what relations they are bound together and how they can be grouped and related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. More recently, within computer science and information science, the term ontology has been used for referring to a formal representation of a set of concepts within a domain and the relationships between those concepts, that may be used to define the domain and to reason about its constitutive properties.
Rodolphi Agricolae Phrisii de inuentione dialectica libri omnes integri et recogniti iuxta autographi, nuper D. Alardi Aemstelredami opera in lucem educti fidem, atque doctissimis scholiis illustrati, Ioannis Phrissem, Alardi Aemstelredami, Reinardi Hadamarii. Boethius, A. De differentiis topicis: Patrologia Latina B — D. Argumentation , 19 , Bochenski, M.
Signed vs. Inscribed
Petri Hispani Summulae Logicales. Torino: Marietti. Buridan, J. Summulae de Dialectica , an annotated translation with a philosophical introduction by G. New Haven: Yale University Press. Colombo, S.
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Vergilii Maronis Opera. Torino: SEI. De Rijk, L. Assen: Van Gorcum.
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