- The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy
- The Late Ancient Background to Medieval Philosophy
- Greek Philosophy
- Arabic Philosophy and Theology before Avicenna
- Avicenna and Afterwards
- Averroes and Philosophy in Islamic Spain
- Medieval Jewish Philosophy in Arabic
- Jewish Philosophy in Hebrew
- Latin Philosophy to 1200
- Latin Philosophy, 1200–1350
- Latin Philosophy, 1350–1550
- Medieval Philosophy after the Middle Ages
- Logical Form
- Logical Consequence
- Meaning: Foundational and Semantic Theories
- Mental Language
- States of Affairs
- Parts, Wholes and Identity
- Material Substance
- Mind and Hylomorphism
- Body and Soul
- Scepticism and Metaphysics
- Freedom of the Will
- Moral Intention
- Virtue and Law
- Natural Law
- Arguments for the Existence of God
- Philosophy and the Trinity
Abstract and Keywords
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.
Martin Lenz is Privatdozent at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, where he runs the research group ‘Transformations of Mind. Philosophical Psychology from 1500 to 1750’. He works on the philosophy of language and mind, and on epistemology; his historical research is on medieval and modern philosophy. After obtaining his Ph.D. (Bochum 2001), he was Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge (2002–2004). From 2004, he was Research Associate at the Free University Berlin, and from 2006 at Humboldt University (Habilitation in 2009). From 2009 to 2010 he was Visiting Professor at Tübingen University. His publications include: ‘Peculiar Perfection: Peter Abelard on Propositional Attitudes’ (2005), ‘Why Is Thought Linguistic? Ockham’s Two Conceptions of the Intellect’ (2008) and Lockes Sprachkonzeption (2010).
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