Aristotle's De Interpretatione: Contradiction and Dialectic by C. W. A. Whitaker

By C. W. A. Whitaker

De Interpretatione is between Aristotle's so much influential and broadly learn writings; C. W. A. Whitaker offers the 1st systematic examine of this paintings, and gives a thorough new view of its goals, its constitution, and its position in Arisotle's process. He exhibits that De Interpretatione isn't really a disjointed essay on sick- hooked up matters, as normally concept, yet a hugely equipped and systematic treatise on good judgment, argument, and dialectic.

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Extra resources for Aristotle's De Interpretatione: Contradiction and Dialectic

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3'We are told that 'goat-stag* is not true or false unless 'is' or 'is not' is added (De Int, 16*16). Since no goat-stags exist, we would expect Aristotle to mean that 'goat-stag is* is false, while 'goat-stag is not* is true. Since truth and falsehood are to do with combination and separation, one explanation would be to say that the error in 'goat-stag is' lies in claiming that goats and stags cohere as a single entity. This would be to take goat-stag to be itself complex: it would be like the y!

Similarly, if things are divided, a true statement about them will be a negation, asserting that they are separated, and a false statement the affirmation which falsely asserts their combination. Truth consists in correctly matching combination and division in thought or utterance with the combination and division in things. In an affirmation, a subject and predicate are represented as combined, and in a negation they are shown as divided front each other. Combination and division, then, are features of the world, which thoughts and statements represent either truly or falsely.

W. Belardi, It tinguaggio netta jtiosafia, diAristottle (Rome, 1975): see especially 106-9. m Ibid, 109. zt With reference to this passage, Belardi argues that we must instead take Aristotle to mean that words are used as symbols of states of mind. Chapter i: Significant Utterances 21 onymous adverbs, 'first' (nganajg or xQfinav). The first of these is an emendation proposed by Minio-Paluello,22 It would have the consequence of making the sentence read 'the first things of which these [that is, the utterances] are signs, namely the affections in the soul, are the same for everyone, as are the things of which these are likenesses,' This reading would, in other words, exclude the interpretations of Kretzmann and Belardi, and leave only that of Ammonius as possible.

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