The introductory essay briefly reviews the sources of the scarce biographical information available about Benjamin Humphrey Smart and focusses on the eulogistic judgement about the author of the "Outline of Sematology" (the first published part of Smart’s "Beginnings of a New School of Metaphysics") expressed by John Stuart Mill in his "System of Logic", in order to present and evaluate the chief aspects of Smart’s comprehensive view of the phenomena of language and thought and their interconnections. Following Locke, metaphysics is conceived of by Smart as an enqiry "into the Original, Certainty, and Extent of humane Knowledge", but in his opinion it was Horne Tooke, who, a century later, fully appreciated the importance of words and "did question" the notion, "taken for granted by Locke", that "the parts of speech have their origin in the mind independently of the outward signs, when, in truth, they are nothing more than parts in the structure of language". On these grounds, Smarts develops an original generative theory of the parts of speech, that he illustrates by the use of revertible tree-diagrams. The essay proceeds with an exposition of Smart’s semantical views and his theory of the function of language in the process of reasoning, to conclude with an appraisal of his historical merits promptly acknowledged by no lesser examiner than John Stuart Mill.

Introduction

BUZZETTI, DINO
2004

Abstract

The introductory essay briefly reviews the sources of the scarce biographical information available about Benjamin Humphrey Smart and focusses on the eulogistic judgement about the author of the "Outline of Sematology" (the first published part of Smart’s "Beginnings of a New School of Metaphysics") expressed by John Stuart Mill in his "System of Logic", in order to present and evaluate the chief aspects of Smart’s comprehensive view of the phenomena of language and thought and their interconnections. Following Locke, metaphysics is conceived of by Smart as an enqiry "into the Original, Certainty, and Extent of humane Knowledge", but in his opinion it was Horne Tooke, who, a century later, fully appreciated the importance of words and "did question" the notion, "taken for granted by Locke", that "the parts of speech have their origin in the mind independently of the outward signs, when, in truth, they are nothing more than parts in the structure of language". On these grounds, Smarts develops an original generative theory of the parts of speech, that he illustrates by the use of revertible tree-diagrams. The essay proceeds with an exposition of Smart’s semantical views and his theory of the function of language in the process of reasoning, to conclude with an appraisal of his historical merits promptly acknowledged by no lesser examiner than John Stuart Mill.
Beginnings of a New School of Metaphysics, with an Introduction by Dino Buzzetti. With early reviews of the book and B.H. Smart's 'A Letter to Dr. Whately.'
vii
xxiv
D. Buzzetti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/16395
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