By Pini Giorgio
Vivarium, Vol. 39 (2001)
Introduction: Between the thirteenth and the fourteenth century the issue of signification of names of first intention such as ‘man’ and ‘animal’ is one of debate among philosophers. It is agreed that such names signify things outside the mind and independent of our understanding. In this respect, they are different from the so-called names of second intention, such as ‘species’ and ‘genus’, which signify concepts of the mind. However, the question concerned how the names of first intentions signify extramental things: do ‘man’ and ‘animal’ signify men and animals primarily, or do they primarily signify the concepts of man and animal, and only secondarily men and animals in the extramental world?