Systems of Predication. Aristotle’s Categories in Topics, I, 9

Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 27:1-18 (2016)
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In this paper I investigate Aristotle’s account of predication in Topics I 9. I argue for the following interpretation. In this chapter Aristotle (i) presents two systems of predication cutting across each other, the system of the so-called four ‘predicables’ and of the ten ‘categories’, in order to distinguish them and explore their mutual relationship. I propose a semantic interpretation of the relationship between them. According to this reading, every proposition formed through a predicable constitutes at the same time a predication according to one of the ten categories, and, consequently, signifies one of them, expressing one of the predicative relationship conveyed by them. Further, Aristotle (ii) explains the predicative connection between these two systems and the ten items signified by the ‘things said without any combination’ enumerated in Chapter 4 of the Categories, whose list is almost identical with that of categories in Top. I 9, with the only exception of their first members.



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