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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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Boethus of Sidon

Boethus of Sidon

(p.176) (p.177) 6 Boethus of Sidon
Aristotle’s Categories in the Early Roman Empire

Michael J. Griffin

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to sketch Boethus’ responses to criticisms of the Categories, and his elaboration of Andronicus’ interpretation of the treatise, with important additions and revisions. Boethus maintained that the Categories concerns significant words qua significant of beings: this is what restricts its scope in ontology to sensible beings, the referents of ordinary speech, excluding intelligible beings, and restricts its scope in grammar and rhetoric to significant terms. Boethus goes beyond Andronicus in adding a role for mediating concepts between words and beings. Here perhaps he was influenced by the first chapter of De Interpretatione, whose Aristotelian authorship had been rejected by Andronicus. Treating the Categories as in part a work of ontology led Boethus to problematize the relationship between the Categories and the central books of the Metaphysics, a development which would contribute to influential ontological interpretations of the Categories that have persisted until today.

Keywords:   Boethus of Sidon, Peripatetic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, semantics

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