By Christos Evangeliou
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Extra info for Aristotle's Categories and Porphyry
10, 2 and 13-16. 21 EAC, pp. 130-132; PhAC, p. 9, 12. TRADITIONAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE CATEGORIES 27 both Porphyry and Alexander as holders and defenders of what became later on the standard interpretation of the Aristotelian categorial theory. This inclusive and, so to speak, more sophisticated exegesis was favored by later commentators as the standard one. In fact, it was the outcome of a long series of attempts to synthesize and reconcile the previously existing and competing one-sided interpretations of the treatise.
This question caused prolonged debates which seem to justify Dexippus' opinion: What was the reason which made the ancient philosophers have so many and diverse debates about that work of Aristotle which we call Categories'? For I am quite sure that there have been neither more disputations nor 22 The question of whether or not the treatise is a genuine Aristotelian work has been debated rigorously in modern times. e. the conclusion of Chapter 9 and the post-praedicamenta) or (b) wholly spurious is long.
Having symbolically posited certain words on the things around him, man then considered the posited words for a second time, and one type of them he called nouns, another type he called verbs . . For example, to call this particular object gold is a case of the first position of names, but to call the word 'gold' a noun is a case of the second position of names and signifies the grammatical type of this word. (pp. 57, 20-58, 3) It is clear from this passage that Porphyry draws here a fundamental distinction between the words of first position (πρώτη 6eatc) and the words 17 The signifying sign is called by Porphyry and other ancient commentators variably φωνή, λέξις, δνομα, κατηγόρημα, or κατηγορια (especially if the significatum is not an individual, a species, or a genus, but a γένος γενικώτατον, that is, one of the highest genera in terms of predicative power).
Aristotle's Categories and Porphyry by Christos Evangeliou