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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

There was enormous debate in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries over the nature of truth and our relation to it. This chapter presents the central positions and debates, ultimately rooted in ancient theories from Aristotle and Augustine, but magnificently transformed by medieval interests. Topics considered include the metaphysical and the propositional status of truth, the paradigm of scientific knowledge as necessary truth known with certainty and evidentness, and the debates over how truth is cognized, which concern whether illumination from God is required or whether by human effort alone truth can be accessed. Major figures in these debates include many of the medieval period’s heavy-hitters, including Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Henry of Ghent, and Duns Scotus. Finally, in the fourteenth century, from William of Ockham and John Buridan emerges a new paradigm: the theory of semantic truth.

Keywords: being, certainty, illumination, intelligible species, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, Buridan, nominalism

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