Aristotle on Predication

Abstract
A predicate logic typically has a heterogeneous semantic theory. Subjects and predicates have distinct semantic roles: subjects refer; predicates characterize. A sentence expresses a truth if the object to which the subject refers is correctly characterized by the predicate. Traditional term logic, by contrast, has a homogeneous theory: both subjects and predicates refer; and a sentence is true if the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In this paper, I will examine evidence for ascribing to Aristotle the view that subjects and predicates refer. If this is correct, then it seems that Aristotle, like the traditional term logician, problematically conflates predication and identity claims. I will argue that we can ascribe to Aristotle the view that both subjects and predicates refer, while holding that he would deny that a sentence is true just in case the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In particular, I will argue that Aristotle's core semantic notion is not identity but the weaker relation of constitution. For example, the predication ‘All men are mortal’ expresses a true thought, in Aristotle's view, just in case the mereological sum of humans is a part of the mereological sum of mortals
Keywords aristotle  predication  reference
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    George Englebretsen (1981). A Journey to Eden. Grazer Philosophische Studien 14:133-141.
    Bo Mou (2008). A Subject-Comment Account of Predication. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:167-191.
    Martha I. Gibson (1998). The Unity of the Sentence and the Connection of Causes. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):827-845.
    Danny Frederick (2011). P. F. Strawson on Predication. Polish Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):39-57.
    S. Marc Cohen (1978). Essentialism in Aristotle. Review of Metaphysics 31 (3):387-405.
    J. M. E. Moravcsik (1967). Aristotle. Garden City, N.Y.,Anchor Books.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-11-28

    Total downloads

    98 ( #9,305 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,743 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.