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Supposition and Signification

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    Supposition and Signification


    I've been working through the Martin Cothran's Traditional Logic and have been enjoying myself. My excuse for doing it is that I'm reviewing it for when my children are old enough to study logic. Ha Ha!

    Anyway. . . Great applause to Mr. Cothran for his book. The only difficulty I've had with it so far is that occasionally important words are left undefined. For example in Chapter 3 where Supposition and Signification are introduced there are no definitions of these terms. I've looked them up in the OED but that helped little. Anyone have good definitions for these terms?


    The definition of supposition and signification

    Dear JCEB,

    The reason I didn't try to define those terms in any explicit way in the book is because the terms are medieval terms with a very technical usage and there were no very good English synonyms to use to define them. In order not to confuse the student with a real definition that might confuse him, I chose instead (for better or worse) to give a nominal definition by showing what they meant through a division of signification or supposition into their parts (univocal, equivocal, and analogous terms in signification, and material, logical, and real terms in the case of supposition).

    If you want a technical discussion of these terms (although even here you will look in vain for the elusive definition of these terms), you should try the following link:

    Thank you.

    Martin Cothran