The Varieties of Homonymy

Christopher Shields

in Order in Multiplicity

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253074
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598401 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies

The Varieties of Homonymy

Show Summary Details


The aims of this chapter are, firstly, to understand homonymy, or multivocity; secondly, to reveal the theoretical foundations of homonymy; and thirdly, to reflect on the cogency of the general framework of Aristotle's approach to homonymy. Shields discusses Aristotle's introduction of homonymy in the Categories and how it contrasts with synonymy; this distinction is exhaustive, in that every definable term is either homonymous or synonymous. Shields argues that Aristotle implicitly relies upon different conceptions of homonymy in different contexts. Aristotle recognizes discrete homonyms and associated homonyms, and, of the latter, he reserves a special philosophical role for core‐dependent homonymy among the latter. Shields argues that Aristotle appeals to functional determination to establish homonymy or non‐univocity; however, functional determination cannot show that distinct homonyms are associated.

Keywords: associated homonyms; Categories; core‐dependent homonymy; discrete homonyms; functional determination; homonymy; multivocity; non‐univocity; synonymy

Chapter.  16027 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.