Book Chapter

On What is Said: The Stoics and Peter Abelard

M Cameron, M Cameron, RJ Stainton

Linguistic Content: New Essays on the History of Philosophy of Language | Oxford University Press | Published : 2015


This chapter takes up this new type of propositional meaning in the Stoics and Peter Abelard (1079-1142). Abelard developed a theory of propositional meaning without, apparently, access to the work of the ancient Stoics, and while working within an Aristotelian context. Both the Stoics and Abelard introduce the notion of a 'sayable', a kind of content that is mind-independent and has as its meaning some sort of state of affairs or way things are. The chapter outlines the ways this idea might have evolved. Both the Stoics and Abelard restrict their focus to natural kind terms, and both seem to have been motivated by a desire for a deflationary metaphysics.