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Semantics of Analogy

The Semantics of Analogy

Rereading Cajetan’s De Nominum Analogia

Joshua P. Hochschild

The Semantics of Analogy is the first book-length interpretive study in English of Thomas de Vio Cajetan’s (1469?-1534) classic treatise on analogy. Written in 1498, De Nominum Analogia (On the Analogy of Names) has long been treated as Cajetan’s attempt to systematize Aquinas’s theory of analogy. A traditional interpretation regarded it as the official Thomistic treatise on analogy, but current scholarly consensus holds that Cajetan misinterpreted Aquinas and misunderstood the phenomenon of analogy.

Both approaches, argues Joshua P. Hochschild, ignore the philosophical and historical context and fail to accurately assess Cajetan’s work. In The Semantics of Analogy, Hochschild reinterprets De Nominum Analogia as a significant philosophical treatise in its own right. He addresses some of the most well-known criticisms of Cajetan’s analogy theory and explicates the later chapters of De Nominum Analogia, which are usually ignored by commentators. He demonstrates that Cajetan was aware of the limits of semantic analysis, had a sophisticated view of the relationship between semantics and metaphysics, and expressed perceptive insights about concept formation and hermeneutics that are of continuing philosophical relevance.

“Cajetan’s universally scorned doctrine on analogy of proportionality has for some time been ripe for rehabilitation. Given recent philosophical and scholarly work on the semantics of analogy, it is no accident that only now could a philosopher be found who is up to the task. Joshua Hochschild is certainly that; The Semantics of Analogy will make the Thomist and Scotist alike rethink his or her position on analogy, and his sustained argument will challenge all to take seriously the way classical semantics deals with ambiguity. It is a masterful book.” — David B. Twetten, Marquette University

ISBN: 978-0-268-03091-9
280 pages
Publication Year: 2010

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Joshua P. Hochschild is associate professor of philosophy and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Mount St. Mary’s University.

“Students of the Protestant Reformation may remember Cardinal Cajetan as Martin Luther’s key opponent during a crucial early phase of the reformer’s public career. . . . Joshua Hochschild’s careful analysis of Cajetan’s recondite defense of analogy late in the 15th century may yet once again challenge Protestants to become more self-conscious about how they speak about God, themselves, and the world in the early 21st century.” — Books and Culture

“In this work, Joshua Hochschild presents the semantic principles of Cajetan’s understanding of analogy, arguing that they should be understood on their own terms and not as a commentary on Aquinas despite the inevitable comparisons between the two thinkers. Hochschild’s work is both readable and well argued and will no doubt expose Cajetan’s writings to a wider audience. Moreover, this volume should appeal to scholars interested in semantics and philosophy of language, as well as those interested in religious language and the history of philosophy.” — Journal of the History of Philosophy

“In his study of De nominum analogia , Hochschild sets out to do two things. First, he demolishes what he describes as an outdated paradigm concerning the interpretation of Cajetan’s work. Second, Hochschild gives an explanation and what amounts to a paraphrase of Cajetan’s distinctions and arguments in their order of presentation. . . . this book should certainly be read by Thomists, and by anyone who wants a readable account of what Cajetan actually said.” — Philosophy Reviews

“After an illuminating analysis of Aristotle on analogical usage and a brief resume of key figures between Aristotle and Aquinas (notably Boethius), Hochschild executes a hermeneutical tour-de-force, using Collingwood, Gadamer, and Thomas Kuhn to initiate a ‘new paradigm,’ one based on identifying the questions Cajetan actually faced rather than reading in the expectations later Thomists brought to the text. . . .” — Nova et Vetera

“Hochschild’s book provides a clear exposition of Cajetan’s doctrine and a philosophically intriguing analysis of it. . . . But for historians of philosophy generally, and historians of early modern philosophy of language in particular, Hochschild’s book provides a fabulous introduction to Cajetan’s historically and philosophically important doctrine and is an ideal companion for reading it.” — Philosophy in Review

“In The Semantics of Analogy: Rereading Cajetan’s De Nominum Analogia, Joshua Hochschild takes on some of the most difficult issues, and, in a major contribution to the history of analogical discourse, convincingly shows why Cajetan (1469–1534) was not explicating Aquinas’ theory of analogy.” — Modern Theology

“Hochschild convincingly argues that, considered as a philosophical response to a Scotistic criticism, Cajetan’s discussion of analogous naming is sophisticated and initially plausible. In general, the book is well written, enjoyable to read, and includes many rich discussions. . .". — The Thomist

“. . . This is an excellent and constructive contribution to a topic that is still of considerable relevance to the philosophical questions surrounding religious language.” — Journal of Theological Studies

“This lucid . . . study is an account of Cajetan’s short work, De nominum analogia. After successfully refuting a number of earlier inaccurate accounts of the work’s nature and importance, Hochschild gives a useful extended paraphrase and explanation of the work’s contents. In so doing, he raises a number of interesting issues about late medieval semantics which call for further exploration.” — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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P03364

William Desmond and Contemporary Theology


Edited by Christopher Ben Simpson and Brendan Thomas Sammon

P03313

Linguistics and Philosophy

An Essay on the Philosophical Constants of Language

Étienne Gilson
Translated by John Lyon

The Semantics of Analogy

Rereading Cajetan’s De Nominum Analogia

Joshua P. Hochschild

The Semantics of Analogy: Rereading Cajetan’s De Nominum Analogia
Paper Edition

The Semantics of Analogy is the first book-length interpretive study in English of Thomas de Vio Cajetan’s (1469?-1534) classic treatise on analogy. Written in 1498, De Nominum Analogia (On the Analogy of Names) has long been treated as Cajetan’s attempt to systematize Aquinas’s theory of analogy. A traditional interpretation regarded it as the official Thomistic treatise on analogy, but current scholarly consensus holds that Cajetan misinterpreted Aquinas and misunderstood the phenomenon of analogy.

Both approaches, argues Joshua P. Hochschild, ignore the philosophical and historical context and fail to accurately assess Cajetan’s work. In The Semantics of Analogy, Hochschild reinterprets De Nominum Analogia as a significant philosophical treatise in its own right. He addresses some of the most well-known criticisms of Cajetan’s analogy theory and explicates the later chapters of De Nominum Analogia, which are usually ignored by commentators. He demonstrates that Cajetan was aware of the limits of semantic analysis, had a sophisticated view of the relationship between semantics and metaphysics, and expressed perceptive insights about concept formation and hermeneutics that are of continuing philosophical relevance.

“Cajetan’s universally scorned doctrine on analogy of proportionality has for some time been ripe for rehabilitation. Given recent philosophical and scholarly work on the semantics of analogy, it is no accident that only now could a philosopher be found who is up to the task. Joshua Hochschild is certainly that; The Semantics of Analogy will make the Thomist and Scotist alike rethink his or her position on analogy, and his sustained argument will challenge all to take seriously the way classical semantics deals with ambiguity. It is a masterful book.” — David B. Twetten, Marquette University

ISBN: 978-0-268-03091-9

280 pages

“Students of the Protestant Reformation may remember Cardinal Cajetan as Martin Luther’s key opponent during a crucial early phase of the reformer’s public career. . . . Joshua Hochschild’s careful analysis of Cajetan’s recondite defense of analogy late in the 15th century may yet once again challenge Protestants to become more self-conscious about how they speak about God, themselves, and the world in the early 21st century.” — Books and Culture

“In this work, Joshua Hochschild presents the semantic principles of Cajetan’s understanding of analogy, arguing that they should be understood on their own terms and not as a commentary on Aquinas despite the inevitable comparisons between the two thinkers. Hochschild’s work is both readable and well argued and will no doubt expose Cajetan’s writings to a wider audience. Moreover, this volume should appeal to scholars interested in semantics and philosophy of language, as well as those interested in religious language and the history of philosophy.” — Journal of the History of Philosophy

“In his study of De nominum analogia , Hochschild sets out to do two things. First, he demolishes what he describes as an outdated paradigm concerning the interpretation of Cajetan’s work. Second, Hochschild gives an explanation and what amounts to a paraphrase of Cajetan’s distinctions and arguments in their order of presentation. . . . this book should certainly be read by Thomists, and by anyone who wants a readable account of what Cajetan actually said.” — Philosophy Reviews

“After an illuminating analysis of Aristotle on analogical usage and a brief resume of key figures between Aristotle and Aquinas (notably Boethius), Hochschild executes a hermeneutical tour-de-force, using Collingwood, Gadamer, and Thomas Kuhn to initiate a ‘new paradigm,’ one based on identifying the questions Cajetan actually faced rather than reading in the expectations later Thomists brought to the text. . . .” — Nova et Vetera

“Hochschild’s book provides a clear exposition of Cajetan’s doctrine and a philosophically intriguing analysis of it. . . . But for historians of philosophy generally, and historians of early modern philosophy of language in particular, Hochschild’s book provides a fabulous introduction to Cajetan’s historically and philosophically important doctrine and is an ideal companion for reading it.” — Philosophy in Review

“In The Semantics of Analogy: Rereading Cajetan’s De Nominum Analogia, Joshua Hochschild takes on some of the most difficult issues, and, in a major contribution to the history of analogical discourse, convincingly shows why Cajetan (1469–1534) was not explicating Aquinas’ theory of analogy.” — Modern Theology

“Hochschild convincingly argues that, considered as a philosophical response to a Scotistic criticism, Cajetan’s discussion of analogous naming is sophisticated and initially plausible. In general, the book is well written, enjoyable to read, and includes many rich discussions. . .". — The Thomist

“. . . This is an excellent and constructive contribution to a topic that is still of considerable relevance to the philosophical questions surrounding religious language.” — Journal of Theological Studies

“This lucid . . . study is an account of Cajetan’s short work, De nominum analogia. After successfully refuting a number of earlier inaccurate accounts of the work’s nature and importance, Hochschild gives a useful extended paraphrase and explanation of the work’s contents. In so doing, he raises a number of interesting issues about late medieval semantics which call for further exploration.” — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews