OCKHAM ON MENTAL LANGUAGE
Main

Introduction
Chapter 1 On the definition of 'term'.
Chapter 3 On the division of the non-complex term.
Chapter 12 What is a first intention and what a second.
Chapter 13 On the division of names and terms into equivocal and univocal.

Introduction

This is a new translation into English of chapters 1, 3 12 and 13 of the Summa Logicae of William of Ockham (other translations are referenced below). The chapters concern the idea of a 'mental language'. This is a language which exists in the mind (or 'in the soul') consisting of conceived terms, propositions constructed from them, corresponding to and signified by our ordinary outward language of written and spoken terms. See here for a related discussion in Ockham's commentary on Aristotles Perihermaneias. Written and spoken terms are seen and heard. Conceived terms and the propositions put together from them are the 'mental words' (verba mentalia) that St Augustine (De Trinitate XV), says are not of any language because they remain only in the mind and cannot be spoken outwardly, although utterances are pronounced outwardly as if they were signs subordinated to them.

In chapter 1, Ockham gives Aristotle's definition of a 'term', as what a proposition is analysed into, such as a predicate and what it is predicated of. Just as there are three kinds of discourse, namely, written, spoken and conceived so there are three sorts of term, namely written, spoken and conceived. Outward terms signify the same things as the mental ones. The written term 'dog', and the corresponding mental term for a dog, both signify a dog. But the mental term signifies a dog naturally and primarily, whereas the written term signifies it secondarily, and by convention. Thus a spoken or written term can change what it signifies by being given a different meaning, but a mental term does not change its significance in this way, since it signifies naturally.

In Chapter 3 ('On the division of the non-complex term') Ockham discusses the connection between the grammar of spoken and written language, and the grammar of mental language. Certain grammatical accidents are common to both, others are proper only to spoken and written names. Features common to spoken and mental names are case and number. For, just as the spoken propositions 'A man is an animal' [and] 'A man is not animals' have distinct predicates, of which one is singular and the other plural, so the mental propositions - by one of which the mind, before any utterance, says that a man is an animal, and by the other of which it says that a man is not animals - have distinct predicates, one of which is called singular, the other in the plural.

The features proper to spoken and written names are gender and declension. Such accidents do not belong to names on account of the need for signifying. Sometimes it happens that two spoken names are synonyms but are are of different genders or of different declension, but there is no need to attribute such a multiplicity to natural signs. Just as there are certain features that are proper to spoken and written names, and certain that are common also to mental names, so it is with the features of verbs. The common ones are mood, voice [genus], number, tense, and person. The features proper to spoken and written verbs alone, are conjugation and inflection.

Chapter 12 ('What is a first intention and what a second') concerns the difference between so-called 'first' and 'second' intentions. An 'intention of the soul' is 'a certain thing in the soul, suited to signify another thing'. Just as written language is a secondary sign in respect of spoken language (i.e. the written word 'dog' primarily signifies the spoken word), so spoken words are secondary signs of those things of which intentions of the soul are the primary signs. Hence, whenever someone utters a spoken proposition, first he forms within him a mental proposition that does not belongs any language. Hence many people often form propositions in their mind that they cannot express, because of a defect of their language.

There are different opinions about what a mental term actually is. Some say that it is nothing but a certain thing made up by the soul. Others, that it is a certain quality subjectively existing in the soul, distinct from the act of understanding. Others say that is the act of understanding. In support of the latter, there is the argument that it is useless to bring about through several things what can be brought about through fewer'. (frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora - one of the formulation of 'Ockham's Razor', discussed by William Thorburn here).

A 'first intention' is a sign of some object which is not such a sign, as, e.g., 'man' signifies something which is not a sign, namely any man. A 'second intention' is one that is a sign of such first intentions, for example genus, species, and the like. Just as we predicate the first intention common to all men, saying 'this man is a man', 'that man is a man', so we predicate the intention common to all first intentions by saying 'this species is a species'.

The distinction between first and second intentions underpins Ockham's critique of the realist theory of universals. According to realists, what is common to all men humanity, the quality of being human, the essence of humanity or whatever - is a singular thing, a universal, something which exists in reality, outside the mind and independent of it, separate from individual men but existing in them. This views is erroneous, says Ockham. (In his commentary on the Perihermaneias) he says that it is 'altogether absurd and destructive of the whole philosophy of Aristotle, and every science and every truth and reason, and that it is the worst error in philosophy, and reproved by Aristotle in VII Metaphyics, and that those holding it are incapable of knowledge').

The cause of such error is a misunderstanding of the meaning of words, and particularly a misunderstanding of 'first' and 'second' intentions. A first intention, is a mental term that is common to all singulars of the same type, for example, the concept man. A second intention, for example the concept species is a mental term that represents or is a sign for first intentions. Thus 'man is a species' merely predicates the concept genus of the concept man, and is not a statement about extra-mental entities. We should not be misled, by ignorance of the meaning of words, into supposing that there are entities such as species and genus, existing in reality outside the mind and independent of it.

In Chapter 13 ('On the division of names and terms into equivocal and univocal') Ockham explains that only signs that signify by convention are equivocal or univocal. For that reason, an intention of the soul, or concept, is neither equivocal nor univocal.

References

Peirce's translation and commentary.
Spade's translation (parts of Summa, book I)
Michael Loux's translation (includes all of Summa, Book I)
Ockham on connotation Logic Museum translation
Ockham on descriptions Logic Museum translation

LatinEnglish
Pars I CAP. 1. DE DEFINITIONE TERMINI ET EIUS DIVISIONE IN GENERALI ON THE DEFINITION OF 'TERM', AND OF THE DIVISION OF IT IN GENERAL
(i) Omnes logicae tractatores intendunt astruere quod argumenta ex propositionibus et propositiones ex terminis componuntur. Unde terminus aliud non est quam pars propinqua propositionis. Definiens enim terminum Aristoteles, I Priorum, dicit: 'Terminum voco in quem resolvitur propositio, ut praedicatum et de quo praedicatur, vel apposito vel diviso esse vel non esse'. All those who deal with logic aim to show that arguments are put together from propositions and propositions out of terms. Wherefore, a term is nothing other than a neighbouring part of a proposition. For in defining a term Aristotle (Prior Analytics I) says 'I call a 'term', that into which a proposition is analysed, such as a predicate and what it is predicated of, either by putting [terms] together to say what is the case (esse), or by separating them, to say what is not the case' [N1].
(ii) Sed quamvis omnis terminus pars sit propositionis, vel esse possit, non omnes termini tamen eiusdem sunt naturae; et ideo ad perfectam notitiam terminorum habendam oportet aliquas divisiones terminorum praecognoscere. But although every term is, or could be, part of a proposition, yet not all terms are of the same nature, and for that reason, in order to have a complete acquaintance with terms, we must gain a preliminary acquaintance with some of the divisions of terms.
(iii) Est autem sciendum quod sicut secundum Boethium, in I Perihermenias, triplex est oratio, scilicet scripta, prolata et concepta, tantum habens esse in intellectu, sic triplex est terminus, scilicet scriptus, prolatus et conceptus. Now it is to be known that, according to Boethius on On Interpretation I, just as discourse is threefold, namely, written, spoken and conceived ([the last] only having being in the intellect) so the term is threefold, namely, written, spoken and conceived.
(iv) Terminus scriptus est pars propositionis descriptae in aliquo corpore, quae oculo corporali videtur vel videri potest. A written term is part of a proposition written down on some corporeal thing, which is seen by the corporeal eye, or can be seen.
(v) Terminus prolatus est pars propositionis ab ore prolatae et natae audiri aure corporali. A spoken term is part of a proposition spoken by the mouth and suited to be heard by the corporeal ear.
(vi) Terminus conceptus est intentio seu passio animae aliquid naturaliter significans vel consignificans, nata esse pars propositionis mentalis, et pro eodem nata supponere. Unde isti termini concepti et propositiones ex eis compositae sunt illa verba mentalia quae beatus Augustinus, XV De Trinitate, dicit nullius esse linguae, quia tantum in mente manent et exterius proferri non possunt, quamvis voces tamquam signa subordinata eis pronuntientur exterius. A conceived term is an intention or affection of the soul naturally signifying or co-signifying something, suited to be a part of a mental proposition and suited to stand for [supponere] the same thing. Wherefore these conceived terms and the propositions put together from them are those mental words that the blessed Augustine (De Trinitate XV), says are not of any language because they remain only in the mind and cannot be spoken outwardly, although utterances are pronounced outwardly as if signs subordinated to them.
(vii) Dico autem voces esse signa subordinata conceptibus seu intentionibus animae, non quia proprie accipiendo hoc vocabulum 'signa' ipsae voces semper significent ipsos conceptus animae primo et proprie, sed quia voces imponuntur ad significandum illa eadem quae per conceptus mentis significantur, ita quod conceptus primo naturaliter significat aliquid et secundario vox significat illud idem, in quod voce instituta ad significandum aliquid significatum per conceptum mentis, si conceptus ille mutaret significatum suum eo ipso ipsa vox, sine nova institutione, suum significatum permutaret. Now I say that utterances are 'signs subordinated' to concepts or intentions of the soul, not because, by a proper acceptance of the word 'signs', the utterances always signify the concepts of the soul primarily and properly, but because utterances are imposed to signify the same things that are signified by the concepts of the mind. In this way the concept primarily signifies something naturally, and secondarily the utterance signifies that same thing, so that, with the utterance assigned to signify something signified by the concept in the mind, if what that concept signified changed, by that very fact what the utterance itself signified would change, without any new [signification] being fixed.
(viii) Et pro tanto dicit Philosophus quod voces sunt 'earum quae sunt in anima passionum notae'. Sic etiam intendit Boethius quando dicit voces significare conceptus. Et universaliter omnes auctores, dicendo quod omnes voces significant passiones vel sunt notae earum, non aliud intendunt nisi quod voces sunt signa secundario significantia illa quae per passiones animae primario importantur, quamvis aliquae voces primario importent passiones animae seu conceptus, quae tamen secundario important alias animae intentiones, sicut inferius ostendetur. The Philosopher says as much, [saying] that utterances are 'marks of affections that are in the soul'. Thus also Boethius intends the same thing, when he says that utterances signify concepts. And, universally, all authors, in saying that all utterances signify affections or are the marks of those [affections], do not mean anything other than that the utterances are signs secondarily signifying those things that are primarily conveyed by affections of the soul - although some utterances primarily convey affections of the soul or concepts, which other intentions in the soul still convey secondarily, as will be shown below.
(ix) Et sicut dictum est de vocibus respectu passionum seu intentionum seu conceptuum, eodem modo proportionaliter, quantum ad hoc, tenendum est de his quae sunt in scripto respectu vocum. And just as what was said about utterances in respect of affections, or intentions, or concepts, is to be held, for now, in the same way proportionally, concerning things that are written down in respect of utterances.
(x) Inter istos autem terminos aliquae differentiae reperiuntur. Una est quod conceptus seu passio animae naturaliter significat quidquid significat, terminus autem prolatus vel scriptus nihil significat nisi secundum voluntariam institutionem. Ex quo sequitur alia differentia, videlicet quod terminus prolatus vel scriptus ad placitum potest mutare suum significatum, terminus autem conceptus non mutat suum significatum ad placitum cuiuscumque. Now among these terms, some differences are found. One is that the concept or affection of the soul signifies naturally whatever it signifies, but a spoken or written term signifies nothing except according to voluntary imposition. From which there follows another difference, namely that a spoken or written term can change what it signifies by being interpreted, but a term that is conceived does not change its significance by interpretation.
(xi) Propter tamen protervos est sciendum quod signum dupliciter accipitur. Uno modo pro omni illo quod apprehensum aliquid aliud facit in cognitionem venire, quamvis non faciat mentem venire in primam cognitionem eius, sicut alibi est ostensum, sed in actualem post habitualem eiusdem. Et sic vox naturaliter significat, sicut quilibet effectus significat saltem suam causam; sicut etiam circulus significat vinum in taberna. Sed tam generaliter non loquor hic de signo. Still, for the sake of pedants, it should be known that 'sign' is taken in two ways. In one way, for everything that, when apprehended, causes something else come into cognition, although it does not cause the mind to come to a primary cognition of it, just as is shown elsewhere, but to an actual one after its customary one. And in this way, an utterance does naturally signify, just as any effect naturally signifies at least its cause, just as also a hoop [N2] signifies wine in the tavern. But I am not talking about 'sign' here in such a general way.
(xii) Aliter accipitur signum pro illo quod aliquid facit in cognitionem venire et natum est pro illo supponere vel tali addi in propositione, cuiusmodi sunt syncategoremata et verba et illae partes orationis quae finitam significationem non habent, vel quod natum est componi ex talibus, cuiusmodi est oratio. Et sic accipiendo hoc vocabulum 'signum' vox nullius est signum naturale. In another way 'sign' is taken for that which causes something come into cognition and is suited to stand for it, or to be added to such a thing in a proposition. Of such a sort are syncategoremata and verbs and those parts of speech which do not have a definite signification or which is suited to be put together out of such things, as an expression is. And taking the word 'sign' in this way, an utterance is a natural sign of nothing.
CAP. 3. DE DIVISIONE TERMINI INCOMPLEXI ON THE DIVISION OF THE NON-COMPLEX TERM
(1) Visa aequivocatione istius nominis 'terminus' prosequendum est de divisionibus termini incomplexi. Unde non solum terminus incomplexus dividitur in terminum prolatum, scriptum et conceptum, sed etiam singula membra consimilibus divisionibus subdividuntur. Nam sicut vocum quaedam sunt nomina, quaedam sunt verba, quaedam sunt aliarum partium, quia quaedam sunt pronomina, quaedam participia, quaedam adverbia, quaedam coniunctiones, quaedam praepositiones, et consimiliter est de scriptis, sic intentionum animae quaedam sunt nomina, quaedam verba, quaedam sunt aliarum partium, quia quaedam sunt pronomina, quaedam adverbia, quaedam coniunctiones, quaedam praepositiones. Having seen the equivocation in the name 'term', the divisions of the non-complex term is to be investigated. Wherefore the non-complex term is not only divided into the spoken, written and conceived term, but each branch is also subdivided according to similar divisions. For, just as certain utterances are names, certain are verbs, certain ones are of other parts of speech - since certain ones are pronouns, certain are participles, or adverbs, or conjunctions, or prepositions (and similarly for things that are written), so of intentions of the soul, certain are names, certain are verbs, certain are of other parts of speech. For certain are pronouns, certain ones are adverbs, or conjunctions, or prepositions.
(2) Utrum autem participiis vocalibus et scriptis correspondeant in mente quaedam intentiones a verbis distinctae potest esse dubium, eo quod non videtur magna necessitas talem pluralitatem ponere in mentalibus terminis. But there may be a doubt whether to spoken and written participles there correspond certain intentions in the mind, distinct from verbs, seeing that there does not seem to be a great necessity to suppose such a plurality of mental terms.
Nam verbum et participium verbi sumptum cum hoc verbo 'est' semper videntur in significando aequivalere. Propter quod sicut nominum synonymorum multiplicatio non est propter necessitatem significationis inventa, sed propter ornatum sermonis vel aliam causam consimilem accidentalem, quia quidquid per omnia synonyma significatur posset per unum illorum exprimi sufficienter, et ideo multitudo conceptuum tali pluralitati synonymorum non correspondet, ita videtur quod distinctio inter verba vocalia et participia non est propter necessitatem expressionis inventa, propter quod videtur quod non oportet participiis vocalibus distinctos conceptus in mente correspondere. Et de pronominibus posset esse consimilis dubitatio. For a verb and the participle of the verb taken with the verb 'is' always seem to be equivalent in signifying. On which account, just as the multiplication of synonymous names is found not on account of the necessity of signification, but rather for the sake of decoration of speech or another similar accidental cause. For whatever is signified by [several] synonymous names could be sufficiently expressed by one of them, and therefore a multitude of concepts does not correspond to such a plurality of synonyms. Thus it seems the distinction between spoken verbs and participles is not found on account of the necessity of expression. On which account, it seems that there do not have to be distinct concepts in the mind corresponding to spoken participles. And of pronouns there could be a similar doubt.
(3) Est autem inter nomina vocalia et mentalia differentia, quia quamvis omnia accidentia grammaticalia quae conveniunt nominibus mentalibus etiam nominibus vocalibus sint convenientia, non tamen e converso, sed quaedam sunt communia tam istis quam illis, quaedam autem sunt propria nominibus vocalibus et scriptis, quia quaecumque conveniunt vocalibus, et scriptis et e converso. Now there is a difference between mental and spoken names, because, although all the grammatical accidents appropriate to mental names are also appropriate to spoken names, yet it is not conversely so. Rather, certain [grammatical accidents] are common as much to the latter as to the former, others however are proper to spoken and written names. For whatever belong to the spoken also belong to the written, and conversely.)
(4) Accidentia communia nominibus vocalibus et mentalibus sunt casus et numerus. Sicut enim istae propositiones vocales `homo est animal', 'homo non est animalia' distincta habent praedicata quorum unum est numeri singularis et aliud pluralis, ita propositiones mentales quarum una mens ante omnem vocem dicit quod homo est animal et alia dicit quod homo non est animalia distincta habent praedicata quorum unum potest dici numeri singularis et aliud pluralis. Similiter sicut istae propositiones vocales 'homo est homo' et 'homo non est hominis' habent distincta praedicata variata per casus, sic proportionaliter dicendum est de propositionibus in mente correspondentibus. The accidents common to spoken and mental names are case and number. For, just as the spoken propositions 'A man is an animal' [and] 'A man is not animals' have distinct predicates, of which one is singular and the other plural, so the mental propositions - by one of which the mind, before any utterance, says that a man is an animal, and by the other of which it says that a man is not animals - have distinct predicates, one of which can be said to be in the singular number, and the other in the plural. Similarly, just as the spoken propositions 'A man is a man' and 'A man is not of a man' have distinct predicates, varied through case, so proportionally it is to be said of the corresponding propositions in the mind.
(5) Accidentia autem propria nominibus vocalibus et scriptis sunt genus et figura. Talia enim accidentia nominibus propter necessitatem significationis non conveniunt. Unde et aliquando accidit quod duo nomina sunt synonyma et tamen sunt generum diversorum et aliquando diversarum figurarum, propter quod talem multiplicitatem non oportet naturalibus signis tribuere. Unde quaecumque pluralitas et varietas talium accidentium, quae potest competere nominibus synonymis, potest convenienter a mentalibus amoveri. Now the accidents proper to spoken and written names are gender and form [N3]. For such accidents do not belong to names on account of the necessity of signification. Thus also it sometimes happens that two names are synonyms and still are of diverse genders and sometimes in different forms, on account of which we do not have to attribute such a multiplicity to natural signs. Wherefore any plurality and variety of such accidents which can belong to synonymous names can appropriately be set aside in the case of mental [terms].
(6) De comparatione autem, an conveniat solis nominibus ad placitum institutis, posset esse difficultas, quam tamen quia non est magnae utilitatis pertranseo. De qualitate posset esse consimilis difficultas, quam alias pertractabo in sua radice. (6) Now concerning comparison, there can be a difficulty about whether it belongs only to names assigned an interpretation. Which I pass over, nonetheless, because it is of no great use. A similar difficulty could arise over quality, which I shall treat of in detail elsewhere.
(7) Per praedicta autem potest studiosus evidenter perpendere quod quamvis aliquando ex sola variatione accidentium terminorum, scilicet casus, numeri et comparationis, propter tamen rem significatam, potest propositio una verificari et alia falsificari, hoc tamen numquam accidit propter genus et figuram. Now, through what has been said above, the keen student can evidently consider that, although sometimes by variation alone of the accidents of the terms (namely, case, number and comparison), one proposition can be verified and another one falsified, on account of the thing signified, nevertheless this never happens with gender and declension.
Quamvis enim frequenter ad congruitatem orationis habendam oportet aspicere ad genus, - haec enim est congrua 'homo est albus' et haec incongrua 'homo est alba', quod ex sola diversitate generis oritur -, tamen supposita congruitate nihil refert cuius generis vel cuius figurae sit subiectum vel praedicatum. Sed certe, cuius numeri vel casus sit subiectum vel praedicatum, ad sciendum an propositio sit vera vel falsa oportet aspicere. Haec enim est vera 'homo est animal' et haec falsa 'homo est animalia', et sic de aliis. For, even though you often have to respect gender for the agreement of speech (for example, 'Homo est albus' agrees, and 'Homo est alba' does not, and this comes about from a diversity of gender alone), still, assuming agreement, it is of no consideration of what gender or declension is the subject or predicate. But certainly we have to make out of which number or case the subject or predicate has, to know whether the proposition is true or false. For 'a man is an animal' is true, and 'A man is animals' is false, and so for other cases.
(8) Et sicut nominibus vocalibus et scriptis quaedam sunt accidentia propria, quaedam communia illis et mentalibus, consimiliter de verborum accidentibus est dicendum. Communia sunt modus, genus, numerus, tempus, persona. De modo patet, nam alia oratio mentalis comrespondet isti orationi vocali Socrates legit et isti alia utinam Socrates legeret. De genere patet, nam alia oratio mentalis correspondet isti orationi vocali 'Socrates amat' et isti 'Socrates amatur'. Verumtamen in mente non sunt nisi tria genera, nam deponentia et communia vocalia non sunt propter necessitatem significationis inventa, cum verba communia aequivaleant activis et passivis et deponentia neutris vel activis, et ideo non oportet talem pluralitatem in verbis mentalibus ponere. And just as there are certain accidents that are proper to spoken and written names, and certain that are common also to mental names, a similar thing is to be said about the accidents of verbs. The common ones are mood, voice [genus], number, tense, and person. Concerning mood it is clear. For one mental expression corresponds to the spoken expression 'Socrates read' and another to 'Would that Socrates read!'. It is clear with voice. For one mental expression corresponds to the spoken expression 'Socrates loved' and another one to 'Socrates is loved'. Nevertheless there are just three voices in the mind, for spoken deponents and common verbs are not found on account of the necessity of signification, since common verbs are equivalent to active and passive ones, and deponent ones to middle ones and active ones. And for that reason we do not have to suppose such a plurality in mental verbs.
(9) De numero etiam patet, nam distinctae orationes mentales correspondent istis 'tu legis', 'vos legitis'. Idem patet de tempore, nam istis 'tu legis', 'tu legisti' distinctae orationes mentales correspondent. Hoc idem patet de persona, ut istis 'tu legis', 'ego lego' aliae correspondent. Concerning number it is also clear, for distinct mental expressions correspond to 'he reads' [and] 'they read'. The same is clear with tense, for distinct mental expressions correspond to 'You read [present]' [and] 'You read [past]'. The same is clear about person. For example, different [mental expressions] correspond to 'he reads' [and] 'I read'.
(10) Sed quod oporteat ponere talia nomina mentalia et verba et adverbia et coniunctiones et praepositiones ex hoc convincitur quod omni orationi vocali correspondet alia mentalis in mente, et ideo sicut illae partes propositionis vocalis quae sunt propter necessitatem significationis impositae sunt distinctae, sic partes propositionis mentalis correspondenter sunt distinctae. Propter quod sicut nomina vocalia et verba et adverbia et coniunctiones et praepositiones sunt necessariae diversis propositionibus et orationibus vocalibus, ita quod impossibile est omnia exprimere per nomina et verba solum quae possunt per illa et alias partes exprimi, sic etiam distinctae partes consimiles sunt necessariae mentalibus propositionibus. But that we have to suppose such mental names, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions can be proved from the fact that to every spoken expression there corresponds another mental one in the mind, and for that reason, just as those parts of the spoken proposition that are imposed because of the necessity of signification are distinct, so also the corresponding parts of the mental proposition are distinct. On which account, just as spoken names, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions are necessary for diverse spoken propositions and expressions - so that it is impossible to express alone everything by means of names and verbs that can be expressed through those, together with the other parts of speech so, also, similar distinct parts are necessary for mental propositions.
(11) Accidentia autem propria verbis institutis sunt coniugatio et figura. Tamen quandoque verba diversarum coniugationum possunt esse synonyma et similiter verba diversae figurae. The accidents proper to instituted verbs are conjugation and 'form' [inflection]. Yet sometimes verbs in different conjugations can be synonymous, and similarly verbs of divese form.
(12) Per praedicta potest studiosus faciliter advertere quomodo proportionaliter de aliis partibus orationis et earum accidentibus est dicendum. (12) From what has been said, the keen student will easily recognize what there is to be said, proportionally, about the other parts of speech and their accidents.
(13) Nec miretur aliquis quod dico aliqua nomina et verba esse mentalia, sed prius legat Boethium super Perihermenias , et hoc ibidem inveniet. Et ideo quando Aristoteles tam nomen quam verbum definit per vocem, accipit ibi nomen et verbum magis stricte, scilicet pro nomine et verbo vocali. Nor should anyone wonder that I say that some names and verbs are mental, but he should first read Boethius on the De interpretatione, and he will find it there. And for that reason, when Aristotle defines the name, just as the verb, through 'an utterance', he takes there 'name' and 'verb' strictly, i.e., for a spoken name and verb.
CAP. 12. QUID EST INTENTIO PRIMA ET QUID SECUNDA ET QUOMODO DISTINGUUNTUR AB INVICEM WHAT A FIRST INTENTION IS, & WHAT A SECOND IS, AND IN WHAT WAY THEY ARE DISTINGUISHED FROM ONE ANOTHER
(1) Et quia dictum est in praecedenti capitulo quod quaedam sunt nomina primae intentionis et quaedam secundae intentionis, et ignorantia significationum vocabulorum multis est errandi occasio, ideo incidenter videndum est quid sit intentio prima et quid secunda, et quomodo distinguuntur. (1) And because it was said in the preceding chapter that certain names are of first intention and certain of second intention, and ignorance of the significations of words is the occasion for error for many, for that reason it is to be seen, incidentally, what is a first intention and what a second, and in what way they are distinguished.
(2) Est autem primo sciendum quod intentio animae vocatur quiddam in anima, natum significare aliud. Unde, sicut dictum est prius, ad modum quo scriptura est secundarium signum respectu vocum, quia inter omnia signa ad placitum instituta voces obtinent principatum, ita voces secundaria signa sunt illorum quorum intentiones animae sunt signa primaria. Et pro tanto dicit Aristoteles quod voces sunt 'earum quae sunt in anima passionum notae'. (2) And first it is to be known that we call an 'intention of the soul' a certain thing in the soul, suited to signify another thing. Wherefore, as was said before, regarding the way in which an inscription is a secondary sign in respect to an utterance (because among all the signs given an interpretation, utterances hold first place), so utterances are secondary signs of those things of which intentions of the soul are the primary signs. And Aristotle says as much, [saying] that utterances are 'the marks of affections that are in the soul.'
(3) Illud autem exsistens in anima quod est signum rei, ex quo propositio mentalis componitur ad modum quo propositio vocalis componitur ex vocibus, aliquando vocatur intentio animae, aliquando conceptus animae, aliquando passio animae, aliquando similitudo rei, et Boetius in commento super Perihermenias vocat intellectum. (3) Now that which exists in the soul which is a sign of a thing, from which a mental proposition is put together, as regards the manner in which in which a spoken proposition is put together out of utterances, is sometimes called an 'intention of the soul', sometimes a 'concept of the soul', sometimes an 'affection of the soul', sometimes a 'similitude of a thing'. In his commentary on the De interpretatione, Boethius calls it an 'understanding'.
Unde vult quod propositio mentalis componitur ex intellectibus: non quidem ex intellectibus qui sunt realiter animae intellectivae, sed ex intellectibus qui sunt quaedam signa in anima significantia alia et ex quibus propositio mentalis componitur. Wherefore he would have it that a mental proposition is put together out of understandings. Not, of course, out of the understandings which are really of the soul understanding, but rather out of the understandings that are certain signs in the soul, which signify other things, and from which a mental proposition is put together.
(4) Unde quandocumque aliquis profert propositionem vocalem, prius format interius unam propositionem mentalem, quae nullius idiomatis est, in tantum quod multi frequenter formant interius propositiones quas tamen propter defectum idiomatis exprimere nesciunt. Partes talium propositionum mentalium vocantur conceptus, intentiones, similitudines et intellectus. (4) Wherefore, whenever someone utters a spoken proposition, first he forms within him a mental proposition that does not belongs any language, to the extent that many often form propositions within them that nevertheless they do not know how to express, because of a defect of their language. The parts of such mental propositions are called 'concepts', 'intentions', 'similitudes' and 'understandings'.
(5) Sed quid est illud in anima quod est tale signum? (5) But what is it in the soul that is such a sign?
(6) Dicendum quod circa istum articulum diversae sunt opiniones. Aliqui dicunt quod non est nisi quoddam fictum per animam. Alii, quod est quaedam qualitas subiective exsistens in anima, distincta ab actu intelligendi. Alii dicunt quod est actus intelligendi. (6) It is to be said that there are different opinions about this issue. Some say that it is nothing but a certain thing made up by the soul. Others, that it is a certain quality subjectively existing in the soul, distinct from the act of understanding. Others say that is the act of understanding.
Et pro istis est ratio ista quia 'frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora'. Omnia autem quae salvantur ponendo aliquid distinctum ab actu intelligendi possunt salvari sine tali distincto, eo quod supponere pro alio et significare aliud ita potest competere actui intelligendi sicut alii signo. Igitur praeter actum intelligendi non oportet aliquid aliud ponere. And on behalf of these, there is the reason that it is useless to bring about through several things what can be brought about through fewer'. Now all things which are saved by supposing that there is something distinct from the act of understanding can be saved without such a distinct thing, in that to stand for one thing and to signify another can belong just as much to the act of understanding as to another sign. Accordingly, we do not have to suppose there anything else besides the act of understanding.
(7) De istis autem opinionibus inferius perscrutabitur, ideo pro nunc sufficiat quod intentio est quiddam in anima, quod est signum naturaliter significans aliquid pro quo potest supponere vel quod potest esse pars propositionis mentalis. (7) And we will closely examine these opinions below. For that reason, let it be sufficient for now that an intention is a certain thing in the soul, which is a sign naturally signifying something for which it can stand for, or which can be part of a mental proposition.
(8) Tale autem signum duplex est. Unum, quod est signum alicuius rei quae non est tale signum, sive significet tale signum simul cum hoc sive non, et illud vocatur intentio prima; qualis est illa intentio animae quae est praedicabilis de omnibus hominibus et similiter intentio praedicabilis de omnibus albedinibus et nigredinibus et sic de aliis. (8) Now such a sign is twofold. One, that is a sign of some object which is not such a sign, whether it signifies such a sign together with it or not. And this is called a 'first intention'. Of such a kind is an intention of the soul that is predicable of all men, and similarly the intention [that is] predicable of all whitenesses and blacknesses, and so on.
(9) Verumtamen sciendum est quod 'intentio prima' dupliciter accipitur: stricte et large. Large dicitur intentio prima omne signum intentionale exsistens in anima quod non significat intentiones vel signa praecise, sive sit signum stricte accipiendo 'signum' pro illo quod sic significat quod natum est supponere in propositione pro suo significato sive sit signum large accipiendo 'signum', illo modo quo dicimus syncategorema significare. (9) Nevertheless, it is to be known that 'first intention' is taken in two senses: broadly and strictly. Broadly, every intentional sign existing in the soul which does not signify intentions or signs precisely is called a 'first intention', whether it is a 'sign', taking sign strictly for that which signifies so that it is suited to stand for what it signifies in a proposition, or whether it is a 'sign', taking sign broadly in that manner in which we say that syncategoremata signify.
Et isto modo verba mentalia et syncategoremata mentalia et coniunctiones et huiusmodi possunt dici intentiones primae. Stricte autem vocatur intentio prima nomen mentale, natum pro suo significato supponere. And in this manner, mental verbs and mental syncategoremata and conjunctions and things of this kind can be called 'first intentions'. But strictly, what is called a 'first intention' is the mental name that is suited to stand for what it signifies.
(10) Intentio autem secunda est illa quae est signum talium intentionum primarum, cuiusmodi sunt tales intentiones 'genus', `species' et huiusmodi. Sicut enim de omnibus hominibus praedicatur una intentio communis omnibus hominibus, sic dicendo 'iste homo est homo', 'ille homo est homo', et sic de singulis, ita de illis intentionibus quae significant et supponunt pro rebus praedicatur una intentio communis eis, sic dicendo 'haec species est species', 'illa species est species', et sic de aliis. Similiter sic dicendo 'lapis est genus', 'animal est genus', 'color est genus', et sic de aliis, praedicatur una intentio de intentionibus, ad modum quo in talibus 'homo est nomen', 'asinus est nomen', 'albedo est nomen' praedicatur unum nomen de diversis nominibus. (10) Now a 'second intention' is one that is a sign of such first intentions, of which sort are intentions such as 'genus', 'species', and the like. For just as one intention common to all men is predicated of all men by saying 'Yonder man is a man', 'That man is a man', and thus of each individually, so of those intentions that signify and stand for things, one intention common to them is predicated of them by saying 'this species is a species', 'that species is a species', and so on. Similarly, by saying 'stone is a genus', 'animal is a genus', 'colour is a genus', and so on, one intention is predicated of intentions in the manner by which in 'man is a name', 'donkey is a name' 'whiteness is a name', one name is predicated of diverse names.
(11) Et ideo sicut nomina secundae impositionis significant ad placitum nomina primae impositionis, ita secunda intentio naturaliter significat primam. Et sicut nomen primae impositionis significat alia quam nomina, ita prima intentio significat alias res quam intentiones. (11) And for that reason, just as names of second imposition signify names of first imposition according to an interpretation, so a second intention naturally signifies one of the first. And just as a name of first imposition signifies other things than names, so a first intention signifies other things than intentions.
(12) Potest etiam dici quod intentio secunda potest accipi stricte pro intentione quae significat praecise primas intentiones, vel large pro intentione quae significat intentiones et signa ad placitum instituta, si tamen sit aliqua talis. (12) It can also be said that 'second intention' can be taken strictly for an intention that signifies precisely first intentions, or broadly for an intention which signifies intentions and interpreted signs, if there is still some such thing.
CAP. 13. DE DIVISIONE NOMINUM ET TERMINORUM IN AEQUIVOCA, UNIVOCA ET DENOMINATIVA, ET QUID EST AEQUIVOCUM ET QUOT MODIS DICITUR ON THE DIVISION OF NAMES AND TERMS INTO EQUIVOCAL, UNIVOCAL AND DENOMINATIVE, AND WHAT 'EQUIVOCAL' IS, AND IN HOW MANY WAYS IT IS SAID
(1) Sequitur post praedicta tractare de divisione terminorum ad placitum institutorum quae est per aequivocum, univocum et denominativum. Quamvis enim Aristoteles in Praedicamentis tractet de aequivocis, univocis et denomniativis, tamen ad praesens intendo tantum de univocis et aequivocis tractare, quia de denominativis dictum est superius. After the above, [we must] treat the division of interpreted terms by equivocal, univocal and denominative. Now, although Aristotle in the Categories treats of equivocals, univocals and denominatives, still, for now, I aim to treat only of univocals and equivocals, because denominatives were discussed above.
(2) Est autem primo sciendum quod sola vox vel aliud signum ad placitum institutum est aequivocum vel univocum, et ideo intentio animae vel conceptus non est aequivocus nec univocus proprie loquendo. It is to be known first, that only an utterance or another sign given an interpretation is equivocal or univocal, and, for that reason, an intention of the soul, or concept, is neither equivocal nor univocal, properly speaking.
(3) Est autem vox illa aequivoca quae significans plura non est signum subordinatum uni conceptui, sed est signum unum pluribus conceptibus seu intentionibus animae subordinatum. Et hoc intendit Aristoteles quando dicit nomen commune esse idem, sed rationem substantialem esse diversam, hoc est, conceptus vel intentiones animae, cuiusmodi sunt descriptiones et definitiones et etiam conceptus simplices, sunt diversi, tamen vox una est. Now that utterance is 'equivocal' when, signifying several things, is not a sign subordinated to one concept, but rather is one sign subordinated to several concepts or intentions of the soul. And this is what Aristotle means when he says that the common name is the same but the definition of the substance [N4] is diverse. That is, the concepts or intentions of the soul, such as descriptions and definitions and even simple concepts, are diverse, yet the utterance is one.
Hoc expresse patet de dictione diversorum idiomatum, nam in uno idiomate imponitur ad significandum illud idem quod significatur per talem conceptum et in alio imponitur ad significandum illud idem quod significatur per alium conceptum, et ita pluribus conceptibus seu passionibus animae subordinatur in significando. This is plainly obvious concerning an expression that belongs to different languages. For in one language it is imposed to signify that same thing signified through one concept, and in the other it is imposed to signify that same thing signified through another concept. And so it is subordinated in signifying to several concepts or passions of the soul.
(4) Tale autem aequivocum est duplex. Unum est aequivocum a casu, quando scilicet vox pluribus conceptibus subordinatur, et ita uni ac si non subordinaretur alteri et ita significat unum ac si non significaret aliud, sicut est de hoc nomine 'Socrates', quod imponitur pluribus hominibus. Now such an equivocal [term] is of twofold. One is equivocal by accident, namely, when an utterance is subordinated to several concepts and thus to the one as if it were not subordinated to the other, and signifies one as if it did not signify the other. Just as it is concerning the name 'Socrates', which is imposed on several men.
(5) Aliud est aequivocum a consilio, quando vox primo imponitur alicui vel aliquibus et subordinatur uni conceptui et postea propter aliquam similitudinem primi significati ad aliquid aliud vel propter aliquam aliam rationem imponitur illi alteri, ita quod non imponeretur illi alteri nisi quia primo imponebatur alii, sicut est de hoc nomine 'homo'. The other is equivocal by design, when an utterance is first imposed on some thing or things and is subordinated to one concept, and afterwards, on account of some similitude of the first thing signified to something other than that, or for some other reason, it is imposed on that other thing, in a way that it would not be imposed on the other unless because it was first imposed on the first thing. Just as it is with the name 'man'.
Primo enim imponebatur ad significandum omnia animalia rationalia, ita quod imponebatur ad significandum omne illud quod continetur sub hoc conceptu 'animal rationale', postea autem utentes, videntes similitudinem inter talem hominem et imaginem hominis, utebantur quandoque hoc nomine 'homo' pro tali imagine, ita quod nisi hoc nomen homo fuisset primo impositum hominibus, non uterentur nec imponerent hoc nomen homo ad significandum vel standum pro tali imagine; et propter hoc dicitur 'aequivocum a consilio'. For it was first imposed to signify all rational animals, so that it was imposed to signify everything contained under the concept 'rational animal'. But afterwards, the ones using it, seeing a similitude between such a man and the image of a man, sometimes used the name 'man' for such an image, so that unless the name 'man' had first been imposed on men, the name 'man' would not be used or imposed for signifying or standing for such an image. And on this account, it is called 'equivocal by design'.
(6) 'Univocum' autem dicitur omne illud quod est subordinatum uni conceptui, sive significet plura sive non. Tamen proprie loquendo non est univocum nisi significet vel natum sit significare plura aeque primo, ita tamen quod non significet illa plura nisi quia una intentio animae significat illa, ita quod sit signum subordinatum in significando uni signo naturali, quod est intentio seu conceptus animae. Now all that which is subordinated to one concept is called 'univocal', whether it signifies several things or not. Yet, properly speaking, it is not 'univocal' unless it signifies, or is suited to signify, several things equally firstly, yet in such a way that it does not signify those several things unless it is because one intention of the soul signifies those, so that it is a sign subordinated in signifying to one natural sign that is an intention or concept of the soul.
(7) Talis autem divisio non tantum competit nominibus sed etiam verbis et universaliter cuilibet parti orationis, immo etiam sic quod aliquid potest esse aequivocum eo quod potest esse diversarum partium orationis, puta tam nomen quam verbum vel tam nomen quam participium vel adverbium, et sic de aliis partibus orationis. (7) But such a division not only belongs to names, but also to verbs, and in general to any part of speech whatever. Indeed, something can even be equivocal in that it can belong to diverse parts of speech. (Consider, both a name and a verb, or both a name and a participle or an adverb, and so on for other parts of speech).
(8) Est autem intelligendum quod ista divisio terminorum per aequivocum et univocum non est simpliciter per opposita, ita quod haec sit omnino falsa 'aliquod aequivocum est univocum', immo vera est, quia vere et realiter eadem vox est aequivoca et univoca sed non respectu eorundem, sicut idem est pater et filius, non tamen respectu eiusdem, et idem est simile et dissimile non tamen eidem per idem. (8) Now it has to be understood that this division of terms into equivocal and univocal is not simply by opposites so that 'Some equivocal is univocal' is wholly false. By contrast, it is true. For the same utterance is truly and really equivocal and univocal, but not in respect of the same [things], for example, the same person is a father and a son, yet not with respect to the same person, and the same thing is like and unlike, but not the same thing in the same respect.
(9) Unde si sit aliqua dictio diversorum idiomatum, manifestum est quod potest esse univoca in utroque idiomate. Unde ille qui sciret alterum idioma tantum, nullam propositionem in qua poneretur distingueret, scienti tamen utrumque idioma est aequivoca. Unde scientes utrumque idioma in multis casibus distinguerent propositiones in quibus talis dictio poneretur, et ita idem terminus est uni univocus et alteri aequivocus. Wherefore, if there is some expression that belongs to different languages, it is manifest that it can be univocal in both languages. Wherefore, the one who knew only one language would distinguish no proposition in which the word occurred. Yet to one knowing both languages, it is equivocal. Wherefore, those who know both languages would in many cases distinguish propositions in which such an expression occurred. And thus the same term is univocal to one [person] and equivocal to another.
(10) Ex praedictis colligi potest quod non semper univocum habet unam definitionem, quia non semper proprie definitur. Et ideo quando Aristoteles dicit quod est et ratio substantialis eadem accipit rationem pro intentione animae ut tamquam primario signo vox subordinatur. (10) From the above it can be gathered that a univocal term does not always have one definition because it is not always properly defined. And for that reason, when Aristotle says that [univocals are those for which the name is in common] and the definition of the substance the same, he takes 'definition' for the intention of the soul to which the utterance is subordinated as if to a primary sign.
(11) Est autem sciendum quod 'univocum' dupliciter accipitur, scilicet large, pro omni voce vel signo ad placitum instituto correspondente uni conceptui; aliter accipitur stricte, pro aliquo tali praedicabili per se primo modo de aliquibus quibus est univocum, vel de pronomine demonstrante aliquam rem. Now it is to be known that 'univocal' is taken in two ways, namely broadly, for every utterance or sign given an interpretation, corresponding to one concept. In another way it is taken strictly, for some such thing predicable through itself [per se] in the first way of some things to which it is univocal, or of a pronoun indicating some thing.
(12) Terminus autem denominativus, ad praesens, dupliciter potest accipi, scilicet stricte, et sic terminus incipiens sicut abstractum incipit et non habens consimilem finem et significans accidens dicitur terminus denominativus, sicut a 'fortitudine' 'fortis', a 'iustitia' 'iustus'. Aliter dicitur large terminus habens consimile principium cum abstracto, sed non consimilem finem, sive significet accidens sive non, sicut ab 'anima' dicitur 'animatus'. But 'denominative term', can for now be taken in two ways: namely strictly, and in this way a term that begins as an abstract [term] begins but does not have a similar ending and signifies an accident is called a 'denominative term'. For example, 'strong' from 'strength', 'just' from 'justice'. In another way, a term having a beginning as an abstract one, but not a similar ending, whether it signifies an accident or not, is broadly called [a 'denominative term'] . For example, 'besouled' is so-called from 'soul'.
(13) Et haec de divisionibus terminorum sufficiant. Aliqua autem in praedictis omissa inferius supplebuntur. (13) Let these things suffice for the divisions of terms. Now, some things omitted in the above will be filled in below.


[N1] i.e. whether the propositions affirms or denies. Socrates is bald, we apply the term 'bald' to Socrates, and thus say Socrates-is-bald has being (esse). In denying the proposition, i.e. saying 'Socrates is not bald', we separate the terms, and thus say that Socrates-is-bald does not have being (non esse)
[N2] Spade (also Peirce in his 1869 version) translates this as 'barrel-hoop'.
[N3] i.e. declension
[N4] Ratio is used in many ways. In one way it is the same as a definition or description, as in this passage, 'Univocal things are those that share a name, and the definition (ratio) of the substance corresponding to that name is the same'. Peter of Spain, Tractatus, part V, on Aristotle's Topics.



THE LOGIC MUSEUM Copyright (translation) E.D.Buckner 2007.