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Que reste-t-il du langage mental dans les textes philosophiques français, à la fin de la Renaissance ?

Abstract : The French texts analyzed in this article maintain the triplex oratio elaborated from the three kinds of signs according to Boethius: mentalis, vocalis, scriptum. The linchpin is the conceptus, similar to the species of Aristotelian psychology and sometimes to the ens. The methodological distinction between "modular" concepts (founded on categories) and predicative concepts allows the identification of an iconic (Scotist and Neoplatonist) movement which attributes a certain cognitive value to the concept and not a sign value, connecting to the thing itself, as with hieroglyphs. Still, stoic semiotics was revived among the (mostly Jesuit) authors who declined signs into two categories, manifestative or suppositive: mental language is the inferred "cause" from the manifest, besides all similitude. Contrary to the renewal of the entia rationis, Scipion Dupleix prolonged a conceptualism favorable to a language of concepts organized in propositions, whereas Jean Crassot allows the ens logicum. The rhetorical vision of affects contradicts neither the predicative dimension nor the vestiges of the Augustinian verbum cordis, a Christian version of the stoic logos endiathetos, either a word or a "cipher" according to the authors. It may connect with a psychology of language developed under the influence of medical theories: Peletier du Mans uses this framework, giving mental psychology a determinative role which, as for Montaigne, even imagines a creative fantasia in animals. For Verville, the interior "discourse," capable of combining res, is directly connected to a psychology of cognition and to this new notion that is "thought." Even if the theory of genius gives new powers to the spirit, the existence of the concept is questioned by Nizzolio and by Sanches, for whom even the "suppositio" is fictional.
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Contributor : Marie-Luce Demonet <>
Submitted on : Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 9:52:15 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 1:48:03 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00713425, version 1



Marie-Luce Demonet. Que reste-t-il du langage mental dans les textes philosophiques français, à la fin de la Renaissance ?. Le Langage mental du Moyen Âge à l'âge classique, 2005, Tours, France. pp.241-264. ⟨halshs-00713425⟩



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