Les Etudes Philosophiques 3:307-321 (1996)

Authors
Cyrille Michon
Université de Nantes
Abstract
La « théorie des deux noms », qui assigne la même fonction sémantique au sujet et au prédicat, est souvent considérée comme caractéristique de l'analyse occamiste de la prédication, et du nominalisme en général. On l'oppose à la doctrine de l'asymétrie du sujet et du prédicat, telle qu'elle a été formulée par Frege, et qui paraît caractéristique d'une forme de réalisme, ainsi qu'en témoignent Frege lui-même et les versions préfrégéennes de cette doctrine chez les Médiévaux, comme Thomas d'Aquin. L'examen des analyses de la prédication de Thomas d'Aquin et de Guillaume d'Occam montre que le second, comme le premier, a soutenu une forme d'asymétrie sémantique. Les options ontologiques ne déterminent pas, sur ce point, leur philosophie du langage. The so-called « two names theory » which attributes the same semantic function to both subject and predicate, is frequently considered as reflecting the occamist analysis of predication, and as characteristic of nominalism in general. It has been opposed to the fregean doctrine of the asymmetry of subject and predicate, which seems connected with realism, as it can be seen in Frege's work, and in the medieval and pre-fregean versions of that same doctrine, for which Aquinas is a good example. But Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham's analysis of predication do not show such an opposition. On the contrary, both have formulated a kind of semantical asymmetry, which is not undermined by their ontological commitments
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