Duns Scotus on Time and Existence
The Questions on Aristotle's 'De interpretatione'
The De interpretatione (or Perihermenias in the original Greek) was understood in the medieval university as a work of dialectic or logic, although the text itself deals with subjects we would nowadays consider to belong to the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of language: the semantics of time, existence, modality, and quantification. At its heart is the important and still philosophically relevant question of how we can talk about things which no longer exist, or which do not yet exist. The topics covered include reference and signification; existence and essence; truth and its relation to things. What is the relationship between existence in reality and existence in the understanding? Does the meaning of a name depend on the existence of the objects falling under it? Is the present time all that exists? If a proposition about the future can be true now, what now makes it true?
The English translation includes an extensive commentary explaining and elaborating on some of the more difficult ideas Scotus develops in the work, placing them in the context of the teaching of logic and metaphysics in late-thirteenth century Europe.
About the Authors
"The translation is readable and reliable The book is well-produced."—Journal of the History of Philosophy
"To my mind, Buckner and Zupko's commentary is the real treasure of the volumeIin Latin or in English, Scotus's commentary is just plain hard to understand. Buckner and Zupko do a good job of showing the philosophical relevance of the discussions and unpacking these in a way that makes Scotus's handling of the issues as clear as possible For those interested in careful, sober scholarship on the Subtle Doctor's treatment of semantic and logical issues connected with both Being and Time, Bucker and Zupko's translation and commentary will reward continual consultation."—History and Philosophy of Logic
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