Ignacio De De Ribera-Martín
Catholic University of America
According to Aristotle’s homonymy principle, when we use a common name to refer to wholes and parts that lack the capacity to carry out the function signified by the name, we are using the name in a homonymous way. For example, pictures and statues of a man, or a dead eye, are called “man” and “eye” only homonymously because they cannot carry out their proper function, i.e., to live and to see. This principle serves well Aristotle’s purposes in natural philosophy, for it avoids a reduction of the essence of living bodies and their parts to their material composition and shape. This principle, however, leaves unexplained why we still use those names in common language, despite their homonymy. Using Aristotle’s own comments on homonymy, I will examine the role played by external figure, for it explains why such homonyms are not accidental. In fact, they are correct forms of linguistic usage in non-philosophical contexts.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq201872117
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,043
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Aristotle on the Homonymy of Being.Frank A. Lewis - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):1–36.
Different Kinds of Equivocation in Aristotle.Jaakko Hintikka - 1971 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 9 (3):368-372.
Homonymy in Aristotle and Speusippus.Jonathan Barnes - 1971 - Classical Quarterly 21 (01):65-.
Aristotelian homonymy.Julie Ward - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):575-585.
Is Ground Said-in-Many-Ways?Margaret Anne Cameron - 2014 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):29.
Aristotle on the Homonymy of Being.Frank A. Lewis - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):1-36.


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #554,839 of 2,498,557 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,098 of 2,498,557 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes