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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 17, 1998

Philosophical Methodology

John Tomarchio
Pages 79-90

Computer Linguistics and Philosophical Interpretation

This paper reports a procedure which I employed with two computational research instruments, the Index Thomisticus and its companion St. Thomas CD-ROM, in order to research the Thomistic axiom, ‘whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver.’ My procedure extends to the lexicological methods developed by the pioneering creator of the Index, Roberto Busa, from single terms to a proposition. More importantly, the paper shows how the emerging results of the lexicological searches guided my formation of a philosophical thesis about the axiom’s import for Aquinas’s existential metaphysics.

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