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AL-FĀRĀBĪ ON INDEFINITE AND PRIVATIVE NAMES

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2008

PAUL THOM
Affiliation:
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, The University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia Email: thm_pl@yahoo.com.au

Abstract

In his Short Treatise and his Commentary on the Peri hermeneias, al-Fārābī offers two different but related accounts of indefinite terms and the propositions that contain them. In both works he presents a series of different senses that an indefinite term may have, commencing with a sense in which such a term would be equivalent to a privative term, and concluding with a sense in which it would determine the logical complement of the corresponding definite term. I offer an interpretation of this series according to which they reveal the workings of a fine analytical mind and a subtle teacher.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright Cambridge University Press 2008

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