"Definition, Hobbes and Medieval Nominalism"
In the semantic theory developed in the tradition founded by Ockham and Buridan there
are no nominal definitions of proper names or natural kind terms and while particular
things bear essential similarities to each other these are posterior to and not constitutive
of the things themselves. These developments reshaped old arguments about
individuation and identity, raised new issues about the relation between ordinary things
and their parts, and forced a reconsideration of the relations between definiens and
definiendum. This paper considers Thomas Hobbes’ account of definition and his
ontology against this background.