Mental Language in Aquinas?

In Gyula Klima (ed.), Intentionality, Cognition, and Mental Representation in Medieval Philosophy. New York: Fordham University. pp. 29-45 (2015)
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Ockham is usually considered the first to hold a proper theory of mental language, but Aquinas is willing to call the concept, or the act of intellect by which something is understood, a verbum mentis or “mental word.” This essay explores the sense in which Aquinas regarded concepts as language-like. It argues that Aquinas's understanding of concepts and their objects meant that his application of syntactic and semantic analysis to them did not and could not lead in the direction of theories of mental language as it was conceived by nominalist philosophers. (Version for download here is uncorrected proofs. Please cite from published final version.)

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Joshua P. Hochschild
Mount St. Mary's University


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