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Aristotle’s Categories in the Early Roman Empire$
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Michael J. Griffin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724735

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724735.001.0001

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Stoic Critique: Athenodorus and Cornutus

Stoic Critique: Athenodorus and Cornutus

(p.129) 5 Stoic Critique: Athenodorus and Cornutus
Aristotle’s Categories in the Early Roman Empire

Michael J. Griffin

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on criticisms of the Categories by the Stoic Athenodorus, who, it suggests, presupposed that the Categories belonged to the rhetorical or grammatical subdivision of logical investigation. Athenodorus’ complaint may have helped to inspire Boethus of Sidon’s influential formula: the Categories concerns neither words as such (with Athenodorus) nor beings as such (with Lucius), but rather words qua significant of beings. The chapter also tries to distinguish different critiques introduced by Athenodorus and the later Stoic Cornutus. We can distinguish a critique of the coherence of the work’s division (diairesis) into chapters and themes, on the one hand, from a different critique of its division (diairesis) of the ten genera of predication. The latter belongs to Athenodorus, but Cornutus may have rejected this line of attack on the Categories, and along the way helped to lay the groundwork for Porphyry.

Keywords:   Athenodorus, Cornutus, Stoic, semantics, philosophy of language

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