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date: 15 May 2021

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.

Keywords: thinking, William of Ockham, Augustinian model, structural problem, semantic priority

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