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Publication details for Dr Sara L. UckelmanUckelman, Sara L. (2015). Sit Verum Obligationes and Counterfactual Reasoning. Vivarium 53(1): 90-113.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0042-7543, 1568-5349
- DOI: 10.1163/15685349-05301005
- Keywords: Sit verum, Obligationes, Counterfactuals.
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
In the early 1980s, Paul V. Spade advanced the thesis that obligational reasoning was counterfactual reasoning, based upon his interpretation of the obligationes of Walter Burley, Richard Kilvington, and Roger Swyneshed. Eleonore Stump in a series of contemporary papers argued against Spade’s thesis with respect to Burley and Swyneshed, provisionally admitting it for Kilvington with the caveat that Kilvington’s theory is by no means clear or non-idiosyncratic. In this paper, we revisit the connection between counterfactual reasoning and obligationes, focusing on one particular treatise, the anonymous early twelfth-century Obligationes Parisienses edited by L.M. de Rijk in the late 70s. We show that while positio in this treatise does not involve counterfactual reasoning, the species sit verum or rei veritas apparently does, and it is precisely this which distinguishes the two species in this treatise.