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Quotations from the Writings of

Thomas Hobbes

Linguistic Conventionalism(1)
Linguistic Conventionalism(2)

Linguistic Conventionalism(1)
But what shall we say now, if reasoning chance to be nothing more than the uniting and stringing together of names or designations by the word `is'? It will be a consequence of this that reason gives us no conclusion about the nature of things, but only about the terms which designate them, namely, whether or not there is a convention (arbitrarily made about their meanings) according to which we join these names together.
From his Objections to Descartes' Meditations

Linguistic Conventionalism(2)

The first truths were arbitrarily made by those that first of all imposed Names upon Things, or received them from the imposition of others. For it is true (for example) that Man is a Living Creature; but it is for this reason, that it pleased men to impose both those names on the same thing.... Now Primary Propositions are nothing but Definitions, or parts of Definitions, and these onely are principles of demonstration, being Truths constituted arbitrarily by the Inventors of Speech, and therefore not to be demonstrated.
From Computatio sice Logica, first part of De Corpora 1655.


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