De Interpretatione

Hermann Weidemann

in The Oxford Handbook of Aristotle

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195187489
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

De Interpretatione

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Both the title of this treatise (in Greek: Peri Hermêneias, in Latin: De Interpretatione) and its traditional placement as the second of Aristotle's logical writings (neither of which is due to Aristotle himself) are highly misleading. What, on the one hand, De Interpretatione deals with is not, as its title suggests, a theory of interpretation, but rather a theory of statement-making sentences of different sorts and the logical relations that obtain between them; and what, on the other hand, this theory aims at is not, as suggested by the place which De Interpretatione traditionally occupies in the Organon between the Categories and the Prior Analytics, providing preliminaries to the study of syllogistic by analyzing statement-making sentences as possible parts of syllogisms, but rather underpinning the study of dialectical debates by examining such sentences as possible members of contradictory pairs. Among other things, De Interpretatione deals with symbols or signs, truth, bivalence, determinism, modal logic, and modal statements.

Keywords: Aristotle; De Interpretatione; modal logic; statement-making sentences; syllogisms; symbols; truth; bivalence; determinism; modal statements

Article.  16750 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Classical Philosophy

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