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Aristotle's De InterpretationeContradiction and Dialectic$
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C. W. A. Whitaker

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199254192.001.0001

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Chapter 12: Modal Assertions

Chapter 12: Modal Assertions

(p.156) 12 Chapter 12: Modal Assertions
Aristotle's De Interpretatione

C. W. A. Whitaker

Oxford University Press

Aristotle now turns his attention to assertions involving the ideas of necessity and possibility, and examines how they should be arranged into their correct contradictory pairs. Here, he argues, the contradictory is formed not (as in other cases) by negating the copula ’is’, which unites subject and predicate, but by negating the modal word instead. Being becomes a kind of 'subject’, and the modal words are ’additions’ or copulas, thus establishing an interesting parity between the modal and non‐modal classes of assertion.

Keywords:   Aristotle, contradictory, copula, De Interpretatione, modal assertion, modality, necessity, possibility, predicate, subject

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