Temporal ampliation

Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 57)


The temporal reference of terms is one of the problem domains of tense-logic. The basic nature of the problem involved should be clear when considering sentences such as ‘Young Socrates was going to argue’, and ‘The king of France was bald’. Obviously, an adequate logical analysis of these propositions requires an analysis of the temporal content of their subject terms. In the Middle Ages, this problem field was commonly called ‘ampliatio’, and great energy was invested into its solution. Indeed, the work of the Medieval logicians on ‘ampliatio’ is perhaps the clearest example of the great importance which they attributed to the logical study of temporal aspects of propositions. One can hardly think of a Scholastic author of a major logical work from the 14th century onwards, who would not also be concerned with the temporal reference of terms. However, this does not mean that all logicians called the problem domain ‘ampliatios’: to our knowledge Ockham did not use this particular term at all in his analysis, perhaps because he had his very own solution to this problem. Most Medieval logicians nevertheless did use the term ‘ampliatio’ when discussing how to determine the temporal reference of the subject.


Temporal Reference Problem Domain Subject Term Problem Field Temporal Content 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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