By Christos Evangeliou
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Extra info for Aristotle's Categories and Porphyry
In_ number b u t j ^ in number both the particular jhings I land thewords [that is^ their proper names] are indefinite, (p. 58, 5-12) Regarding Porphyry's interpretation of the purpose of the treatise, there are two points to be made. (1) The treatise deals with words of the "first position'' which signify things. e. '' By (1) the categorial words are distinguished from other words which are significant by the second position and signify not things but types of words. g. g. man, horse). ''the multiplicity of beings and the simple words which designate them has been found to be comprehended in ten genera" (p.
10 Consider, for instance, Nicomachean Ethics 1096a 24, "τάγαθόν ίσαχώς λέγεται τω ovrt" and compare it to Metaphysics 1017a 23-24, "όσαχώς γάρ λέγεται τοσαυταχώς τό είναι σημαίνει" (with reference to τά σχήματα της κατηγοριας). Book Delta as a whole, is the locus classicus of Aristotle's treatment of the πολλαχώς λεγόμενα. 38 PORPHYRY ON ARISTOTLE'S CATEGORIES discussion of όμώνυμα which he intended to use in stating his categorial doctrine. Here I must quote the entire opening paragraph of the Categories because it is important in itself and because I intend to discuss it in some detail following the Greek commentators, especially Porphyry.
B. The Ontological Interpretation Those who understood and interpreted the Categories ontologically were able to support their position on two grounds. First they paid attention to those passages of the treatise where Aristo tle used such ontologically charged terms as δντα, ούσία, έστί, all of which are etymologically related to the verb eivat (to be). " From this they inferred that the treatise deads with δντα, so that the ontological interpretation of it was the only correct inter pretation.