By Julie K. Ward
During this publication, Julie ok. Ward examines Aristotle's inspiration relating to how language informs our perspectives of what's genuine. First she locations Aristotle's concept in its historic and philosophical contexts when it comes to Plato and Speusippus. Ward then explores Aristotle's idea of language because it is deployed in numerous works, together with Ethics, issues, Physics, and Metaphysics, in order to give some thought to its relation to dialectical perform and clinical rationalization as Aristotle conceived it.
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Additional info for Aristotle on Homonymy: Dialectic and Science
The other, more basic, issue that distinguishes Aristotle’s account from that of Speusippus concerns the difference in the method of classification. Although it is not obvious from his account of names, Speusippus is thought to have followed a method of definition by division, one that is criticized by Aristotle in Top. and De Part. An. 33 According to Speusippus’ method, kinds are obtained by a procedure marking off dichotomic divisions, divisions that exclude one other. Accordingly, for each class postulated, one part of the class will have the defining feature and the other part will lack it.
Other passages that mention homonymos ¯ in relation to Plato’s theory of Forms that employ the term homonymos ¯ in the same way as 987b10 include Meta. 990b6 and Meta. 1079a2. 78e2. It is significant that the slippage, or double sense, in Plato’s notion of homonymos ¯ does not escape Aristotle’s notice. In fact, he chooses to exploit the range in applications of the term to his advantage in some of his criticisms against aspects of Plato’s metaphysics, such as participation. One such text occurs at Meta.
Aristotle generalizes the criticism mentioned by going on to explain that the error committed consists in taking a binary opposition as definitive of a kind. He claims, instead, that real genera, such as birds or fish, are marked off by several differentiae, not by dichotomic divisions (cf. 643b12–13). As Aristotle sees it, division by dichotomy faces one of two problems: either it fails to arrive at a genuine kind because contrary groups will fall under the same division – as evident in the group of wild and tame animals – or it will yield a single differentia as the infima species (cf.
Aristotle on Homonymy: Dialectic and Science by Julie K. Ward