The Theory of Suppositio in the Mexican Golden Age

Atocha Aliseda

Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, UNAM
Circuito Mario de la Cueva, s/n
México, 04510, D.F.


In this paper, I treat the subject concerned with the theory of Suppositio in the Mexican golden age, as exposed by Alonso de la Veracruz and Tomós de Mercado. According to this tradition, supposition is a property of terms occurring in propositions and are such that are verifiable of what they signify. On the one hand, there is a taxonomy in which suppositions are classified by their corresponding terms. That is, for example, whether a term stands for its meaning versus when it is used in a metaphor; or by its relative position with respect to the determiners of the proposition. On the other hand, two inferential rules, ascent and descent serve to further characterize this last kind of supposition, each one validating certain instances of these rules. Moreover, this inferential analysis extends to suppositions of `grammatical relative terms', including (what we now call) anaphoric expressions. Besides its historical appeal, this theory of supposition suggests interesting connections to contemporary semantics, but only a few of them will be sketched at the end of this paper.

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