Lysis by Plato

By Plato

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By simultaneously providing all nonsubstance predicates with referents that are in subjects and by denying these features ontological independence, Aristotle forestalls the Platonist outcome that the subsequent analysis of predicates would otherwise yield, namely, placing the ontological correlates of all predicates on an equal footing. This is the object of the fourfold classification scheme in Categories 2. , primary attributes); these are the subjects of which other terms are predicated and to which they refer.

34 In the case of 'A manandhorse is white', the listener lacks such a context in contrast to a listener who is familiar with the mythical creature that is half goat and half stag. (Aristotle arbitrarily assigns the name 'garment' [ijLtorciov] to the putative concept of 'manandhorse' at i8aig, thus making it clear that this example is not about a centaur [Kevxcropcx;] a mythical creature that is half horse and half man. )35 This is not to say that treating 'goatstag' or 'centaur' as significant terms is not troublesome for Aristotle.

Ultimately, it will be answered by an appeal to truth; meanings are required in order for linguistic entities, sentences, to represent what is actually the case. Unlike a modern linguistic philosopher, Aristotle is not interested in generating an analysis of meaning for any possible language. He is interested in explaining meaning in the context of actual languages and in particular in explaining meaning in the context provided by a language that is adequate to the task of describing the external world.

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