Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 December 2021
This essay considers Duns Scotus’s arguments against the so-called semantic analogy—the view according to which a term can signify two or more things according to relations of priority and posteriority. It argues that this view was commonly adopted in Paris but was rejected by a group of late thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century English thinkers, which included Duns Scotus. Since supporters of semantic analogy held that ‘being’ was the foremost example of a term signifying according to priority and posteriority, the implications of this debate on metaphysics are profound. This essay's conclusion is that Duns Scotus’s rejection of semantic analogy should be considered as preliminary to his famous claim that being is a univocal concept.