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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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Andronicus of Rhodes

Andronicus of Rhodes

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Andronicus of Rhodes
Source:
Aristotle’s Categories in the Early Roman Empire
Author(s):

Michael J. Griffin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724735.003.0002

Andronicus foregrounded the Categories and rechristened it because he found it useful as a beginner’s aid to Aristotelian demonstration. Its survey of the distinguishing features of the ten highest kinds of predicates (or predications) helps us to distinguish when we are predicating an attribute of a substance per se, and when we are doing so per accidens. The former can be used to construct good definitions, whereas the latter cannot. Moreover, the Categories introduced these subjects in a manner suitable to beginners, thanks to the relatively non-technical manner in which Aristotle wrote about the categories themselves. On Andronicus’ view, the descriptions of the ten katēgoriai in the central chapters of the Categories articulate the beginner’s innate preconceptions (prolēpseis) of the most general kinds of being. The Categories is particularly effective in this introductory capacity because it offers only hupographai, ‘sketch accounts’, of each genus. Thus pedagogical considerations, underwritten by a more or less Hellenistic epistemology, underwrite Andronicus’ value for the treatise.

Keywords:   Andronicus, Categories, demonstration, Aristotelian corpus, library, semantics

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