Anselm of Canterbury’s Theory of Meaning: Analysis of Some Semantic Distinctions in De Grammatico

María Cerezo

The dialogue De Grammatico, written by (1033-1109), has received little attention, due most likely to its complexity.1 The work includes a conception of paronymy according to which a paronym signifies a quality and is appellative of a substance. The received interpretation of the dialogue was offered by Desmond Paul Henry in 1964,2 but the more recent research of Alain Galonnier, Marilyn McCord Adams, John Marenbon, Peter King and Peter Boschung has brought fresh issues to light, revealing the importance of Anselmian doctrines in the dialogue.3 I have chosen to study De Grammatico on this occasion because Angel d’Ors considered that work and its doctrines significant and encouraged me to read

1 For an analysis of the reasons why St Anselm’s place in the history of has been over- looked, cf. Sara Uckelman, ‘The Reception of Saint Anselm’s Logic in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries’, in Saint Anselm of Canterbury and His Legacy, ed. G.E.M. Gasper and I. Logan (Toronto, 2012), 405-26. 2 Desmond Paul Henry, The De Grammatico of St. Anselm: The Theory of Paronymy (Notre Dame, 1964). 3 Alain Galonnier, ‘(Au sujet) de Grammarien’, in Le Grammarien; De la vérité; la liberté du choix; la chute du diable: Anselme de Cantorbéry, ed. A. Galonnier, M. Corbin and R. de Ravinel (Paris, 1986), 25-49; idem, ‘Le De Grammatico et l’origine de la théorie des proprietés des termes’, in Gilbert de Poitiers et ses Contemporains: aux Origines de la Logica Modernorum, ed. J. Jolivet and A. de Libera (Naples, 1987), 353-75; idem, ‘Sur quelques aspects annonciateurs de la litté- rature sophismatique dans le De grammatico’, in Anselm: Aosta, Bec and Canterbury: Papers in Commemoration of the Nine-Hundredth Anniversary of Anselm’s Enthronement as Archbishop, 25 September 1093, ed. D.E. Luscombe and G. Evans (Sheffield, 1996), 209-28; Marilyn McCord Adams, ‘Re-reading De Grammatico, or Anselm’s Introduction to Aristotle’s Categories’, Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 11 (2000), 83-112; John Marenbon, ‘Some Semantic Problems in Anselm’s De grammatico’, in Latin Culture in the Eleventh Century, ed. M. Herren, C. McDonough and R. Arthur (Turnhout, 2002), 73-86; Peter King, ‘Anselm’s of Language’, in The Cambridge Companion to Anselm, ed. B. Davies and B. Leftow (Cambridge, 2004), 84-110; Peter Boschung, From a Topical Point of View: in Anselm of Canterbury’s De Grammatico (Leiden, 2006). Cf. also Guilherme Wyllie, ‘Signification et forme logique dans le De grammatico d’Anselme de Cantorbéry’, in Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Philosophical and Ethics, ed. R.H. Pich (Porto Alegre, 2011), 111-18.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���5 | doi ��.��63/9789004324275_005 Anselm of Canterbury’s Theory in De Grammatico 57 the dialogue carefully. Angel d’Ors himself focused on other Anselmian works at the beginning of his career and toward the end of his life,4 but he never actually wrote a paper on De Grammatico. However, some handwritten notes in his volume of Anselm’s Complete Works show that he read and through the dialogue on several occasions. There are at least four different sets of notes, written at different times. In what follows, I have taken these notes into account, and I have been inspired by his comments on the contents of par- ticular chapters. Nevertheless, the notes are very sketchy and it is not easy to reconstruct his interpretation of De Grammatico. Although this contribution is therefore my own reflection on Anselm’s semantic doctrines, I must express my debt to Angel d’Ors’ notes and what I have understood of his analysis, in particular, his attention to the different distinctions dealt with in the second section of this article.5 One could study De Grammatico from different perspectives, expressed in four different questions: what are the doctrines out of which the contents of the dialogue are developed (its sources, ‘out-of-what-question’); what are the contents themselves (the doctrines, ‘what-question’); why were they developed (its immediate motivation, ‘why-question’), and for what was it written (the purpose, ‘for-what-question’).6 Broadly speaking, the dialogue can be caus- ally analysed, correlating the four questions with the four Aristotelian causes, material, formal, efficient and final, respectively, although the main focus of this paper is on the second question, regarding the contents of the dialogue

4 Angel d’Ors, ‘ ‘Non erat veritas’, ‘Non erit veritas’. Sobre las pruebas anselmianas de la eternidad de la verdad’, in Verdad, percepción, inmortalidad/Wahrheit, Wahrnehmung, Unsterblichkeit, ed. S. Castellote (Valencia, 1995), 201-14; Angel d’Ors, ‘«Omnis volens ipsum suum velle vult». A propósito del De libertate arbitrii de San Anselmo’, in “Autotrascendimiento”. Homenaje al catedrático de filosofía D. Ignacio Falgueras Salinas por su jubilación, ed. J.A. García González and J.J. Padial (Málaga, 2010), 183-203. 5 My thanks are also due to Alicia García Navarro, the wife of Angel d’Ors, for allowing me to use his materials for my work. I also want to thank Alfonso García Marqués, Paloma Pérez- Ilzarbe, Lucía Rodríguez and two anonymous referees for their useful comments. 6 Of course, there are other important questions, for example on the date of composition of the dialogue and the influence of the Anselmian doctrines on later logical and semantic theories. According to Henry, The De Grammatico of St. Anselm, 1-2, the dialogue was writ- ten between 1060 and 1078, but new research has dated it to the early 1080s; cf. Osmund Lewry, ‘Boethian Logic in the Medieval West’, in Boethius: His Life, Thought, and Influence, ed. M. Gibson (Oxford, 1981), 90-134; R. Sharpe, ‘Anselm as Author: Publishing in the Late Eleventh Century’, Journal of Medieval Latin 19 (2009), 1-87. Galonnier has defended the view that Anselm’s dialogue contains doctrines that anticipate 12th-century logic and semantics (see references in note 1). For some doubts about this claim, see Boschung, From a Topical Point of View, 72-6.