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History of Logic from Aristotle to Gödel by Raul Corazzon | e-mail: rc@ontology.co


Annotated bibliography on Aristotle's De Interpretatione (Peri Hermeneias)

Studies in English

  1. Ademollo, Francesco. 2010. "The Principle of Bivalence in De Interpretatione 4." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 38:97-113.

    Abstract: "In De int. 9 Aristotle argues that some declarative sentences are neither true nor false. This raises the problem of how we should understand the words of ch. 4, which introduces the declarative sentence as ‘that in which being true or being false holds’. In this paper I remove the contradiction by arguing that in ch. 4 Aristotle does not intend to claim that *all* declarative sentences are either true or false, but rather that *only* they are either true or false, unlike other kinds of sentence; I defend the soundness of this interpretation on the linguistic and textual level; and I show how we can make good philosophical sense ot it."

  2. Albritton, Rogers. 1957. "Present Truth and Future Contingency." The Philosophical Review no. 66:29-46.

    "Mr. Taylor refers, in his footnotes, to a recent article(1) in which Miss G. E. M. Anscombe denies that what he calls "Aristotle's opinion" was Aristotle's opinion. Her translation and commentary do not appear to have troubled Taylor's conviction that this opinion is maintained in the De Interpretatione. I had thought, like him, that it was. I am now inclined to think that this was a mistake. Miss Anscombe has a strong case. Since Taylor says nothing in defense of his interpretation of Aristotle, I will not discuss the question in commenting on his article.2 Instead, I will treat the thesis of the article, and the arguments that he paraphrases from Aristotle, as Taylor's own, without pressing upon him the language of his direct quotations from the Oxford translation of the De Interpretatione." (p. 29)

    (1) "Aristotle and the Sea Battle," Mind, n.s., LXV (1956), 1-15.

  3. Anscombe, G. E. M. 1956. "Aristotle and the Sea Battle. De Interpretatione Chapter IX." Mind no. 65:1-15.

    Revised reprint in: J. M. E. Moravcsik (ed.), Aristotle: A Collection of Critical Essays, London: Macmillan, 1968, pp. 15-33 and in: The Collected Philosophical Papers of G.E.M. Anscombe, Vol. 1: From Parmenides to Wittgenstein, Oxford: Blackwell, 1981, pp. 44-55.

    "Aristotle's point (as we should put it) is that "Either p or not p" is always necessary; this necessity we are familiar with. But - and this is from our point of view the right way to put it, for this is a novelty to us - that when p describes a present or past situation, then either p is necessarily true, or ∼ p is necessarily true; and here "necessarily true" has a sense which is unfamiliar to us. In this sense I say it is necessarily true that there was not - or necessarily false that there was - a big civil war raging in England from 1850 to 1870; necessarily true that there is a University in Oxford; and so on. But "necessarily true" is not simply the same as "true"; for while it may be true that there will be rain tomorrow, it is not necessarily true. As everyone would say: there may be or may not. We also say this about things which we don't know about the past and the present. The question presents itself to us then in this form: does "may" express mere ignorance on our part in both cases?

    Suppose I say to someone: "In ten years' time you will have a son; and when he is ten years old he will be killed by a tyrant." Clearly this is something that may be true and may not. But equally clearly there is no way of finding out. (Unless indeed you say that waiting and seeing is finding out; but it is not finding out that it will happen, only that it does happen).

    Now if I really said this to someone, she would either be awestruck or think me dotty; and she would be quite right. For such a prediction is a prophecy.

    Now suppose that what I say comes true. The whole set of circumstances - the prophecy together with its fulfilment - is a miracle; and one's theoretical attitude (if one has one at all) to the supposition of such an occurrence ought to be exactly the same as one's theoretical attitude to the supposition that one knew of someone's rising from the dead and so on." (p. 53 of the reprint)

  4. Åqvist, Lennart. 2003. "Future Contingents and Determinism in Aristotle's De Interpretatione IX: Some Logical Aspects of the So-Called Second Oldest Interpretation." Logique et Analyse no. 46:13-48.

    Abstract: "Dealing with the famous Chapter IX of Aristotle's De Interpretatione, the paper proposes a formal reconstruction of the so-called Second-Oldest Interpretation, which (i) is based on the indeterminist logic DARB [*] of historical necessity [Åqvist & Hoepelman (1981)]

    and which (ii) is inspired by the seminal work done by the scholars van Eck (1988) and von Kutschera (1986). It must be emphasized that the point of view from which De Int. IX is studied here is not so much that of a strict philologist engaged in Aristotelian scholarship

    as rather that of a modern philosophical logician concerned about systematic combinations of tense and modality. However, both points of view are of course respectable and justified in the case of De Int. IX, and, in the opinion of the present author, there ought to be more cross-fertilization between them."

    [* The purpose of this paper is to develop and to investigate some properties ofa system of so called deontic tense logic, i.e. a logic which combines tense operators, or temporal modalities, with operators expressing obligation and permission. (...) "We call the proposed system DARB, where "D" suggests "deontic" and "ARB" the Latin arbor (meaning "tree")", Åqvist & Hoepelman (1981), p. 187].


    Åqvist, L. & Hoepelman, J. (1981): Some Theorems About a Tree System of Deontic Tense Logic. In R. Hilpinen (ed.), New Studies in Deontic Logic. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1981, pp. 187-221.

    van Eck, J.A. (1988): Another Interpretation of Aristotle's De Interpretatione IX: A support for the so-called second oldest or `mediaeval' interpretation. Vivarium XXVI, 1 (1988), 19-38. This commentary also contains translations into English of various important passages in De Int. IX.

    von Kutschera, F. (1986): Zwei Modallogische Argumente für den Determinismus: Aristoteles und Diodor. Erkenntnis 24 (1986), 203-217.

  5. Arens, Hans, ed. 1984. Aristotle's Theory of Language and Its Tradition. Texts from 500 to 1750. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Selection, translation and commentary by Hans Arens.

    Contents: Preface 1; 1. The extraordinary fate of Peri hermeneias 6; 2. Aristotle's text (Peri hermeneias 16a1 - 17a7) 16; 3. Commentary to Aristotle 24; 4. Ammonius Hermeiu: Commentary to Aristotle's Peri hermeneias 58; 5. Commentary to Ammonius 124; 6. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius: Commentaries to Aristotle's Peri hermeneias. Second edition. 159; 7. Commentary to Boethius 205; 8. Peter Abaelard: Glosses on Peri hermeneias 231; 9. Commentary to Abaelard 303; 10. Albertus Magnus: Perihermeneias. Paraphrase 339; 11. Commentary to Albert 376; 12. Thomas Aquinas: Exposition of Aristotle's Perihermeneias 397; 13. Commentary to Thomas 434; 14. Martinus de Dacia: Quaestions concerning Peri hermeneias 458; 15. Commentary to Martin 471; 16. Johannes a S.Thoma: Artis logicae prima pars 484; 17. Commentary to John of St.Thomas 507; 18. James Harris, an Aristotelian of the 18th century 514; References 523; Concordance 527; Index of Persons 530-532.

    "It is a very small particle of the philosophic and scientific cosmos that bears Aristotle's name, in fact, it is little more than one page of the whole corpus that I am going to consider, that one page out of 1500 where, in the frame of his logic, he formulates his general views on language. Yet, here, in the first four chapters of Peri hermeneias, he is not primarily interested in language, which is a natural - and therefore self-evident - instrument of expression and communication: he considers it only as the indispensable means of forming a proposition, which is part of a syllogism. The linguistic theory sketched here without any pretence to originality would not claim our serious attention and careful examination if those 48 Greek words in ch. 1 had not proved of such incredibly far-reaching influence in the development of linguistic thought. This influence was rendered possible by the steady tradition of the text, and this book is intended as its documentation. As far as I know there exist no modern translations of all the old commentaries I present, and so I hope to do some pioneer work in the field. As the list in ch. 1 shows, I offer only a selection: the works of eminent authors available in modern editions.

    Up to Martinus de Dacia the material consists of explanations of the Philosopher's words, and it is obvious that the same words must often lead to the same explanations, the more so as the explainers did not want to criticize him, but to prove him right. This attitude was bound to lead to many parallelisms between the different texts. I could not omit all those repetitions if I did not want to present mere fragments to the reader. Fortunately the writers are different personalities with different styles and ways of handling the matter so that the reader does not only get acquainted with the medieval ways of thinking and argumentation, but also with the different forms of that sort of literature: the commentary, the exposition, the glosses,the paraphrase, and the questions. At the same time he can follow the development of the scholastic method. And with all the burden of formalism, traditionalism, and dependence on authority which the authors carry along, they have ideas of their own - more or less, of course - and all these chapters add up to a book on linguistic logic or the logic of language, which makes an interesting section in the history of linguistics, being a museum of past views on language. And my serious advice is to wander through it and see what is there, so as to avoid presenting thoughts as new and progressive which are in fact very old - it is always a poor sight and a little ridiculous too.

    I had to content myself with presenting the Greek and Latin material in English and adding my comment where I thought it necessary or at least desirable. I am not giving a philosophical exegesis, but an interpretation from the linguistic point of view. The grammatica speculativa and the grammaire générale or universal grammar could not be included, though I end with the latter (James Harris). From Aristotle on, the translation is always more or less an interpretation, sometimes not really possible, because there is no exact equivalent, for instance, of onoma and rhema. And the interpretation is a hazardous enterprise because of the distance of time (1500 years between us and our first commentator) and the lack of an elaborate terminology, which manifests itself in the polysemy of the essential terms, especially in the Latin commentaries, for instance: forma, vox, intellectus, ratio. And, also from Aristotle on, one often cannot be sure that the text is correct or whether by an error of the author, of the scribe, of the editor or, lastly, of the printer, there is something wrong with it - sometimes the only thing one knows (or thinks one knows). For all these reasons, and because I am neither an expert medievalist nor a logician, I can, despite several revisions of my text, not guarantee that my translation is always correct." (From the Preface)

  6. Bäck, Allan. 1992. "Sailing through the Sea Battle." Ancient Philosophy no. 12:133-151.

    Abstract: "I wish to present a simple resolution of the problem of the sea battle treated in Aristotle’s On Interpretation 9. Though my model is simple, the task is not. I am going to have to battle with the text and to wade through a sea of secondary literature. Let me, then, first present the solution, and then face these labors. I shall conclude with some reflections about certain problems that my solution makes."

  7. Bluck, Richard. 1963. "On the Interpretation of Aristotle, De interpretatione 12-13." Classical Quarterly no. 13:214-222.

    "Chapters 12 and 13 of the De Interpretatione present some puzzles, which it is my purpose to try to solve. The latest commentator, Professor Jaakko Hintikka, attempts in Acta Philosophica Fennica XIV (1962), 5-22, to abolish the difficulties by taking certain verbs in an unusual way. He suggests that in these chapters ακολουθείν, which is usually taken to denote logical consequence, sometimes expresses simply compatibility (2Ib35-22a1, 22b11-I4, 22b17-22), sometimes equivalence (22a14 and 33, 22b22 ff., 23a18 ff.), and that at 22a38 ff., 22b30, and 23a17 ἕπεσθαι, which again is usually taken to denote consequence, in fact expresses compatibility. I propose to counter Hintikka's arguments and to maintain that both verbs express consequence; but as my main purpose is to give my own explanation of the general trend of Aristotle's remarks, I shall take the passages discussed by Hintikka in the order in which they occur in Aristotle's text.

    The root of the difficulties that arise is what appears, at least at first sight, to be a confusion about the meaning of 'possible' (δυνατόν), which may mean 'contingent' or may include what is necessary. For convenience I shall keep in my translations to the rendering 'possible', and where necessary discuss the meaning of the word in the commentary that follows. Where either of the above-mentioned verbs occurs, I shall translate as though it expresses consequence, since I wish to show that good sense can thus be obtained." (p. 214)

  8. Bobzien, Susanne. 2007. "Aristotle's De Interpretatione 8 is about Ambiguity." In Maieusis. Essays in Ancient Philosophy in Honour of Myles Burnyeat, edited by Scott, Dominic, 301-321. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "My goal in this paper is to shows that contrary to the prevalent view, in his De Interpretatione 8, Aristotle is concerned with homonymy; more precisely, with homonymy of linguistic expressions as it may occur in dialectical argument. The paper has two parts. In the first I part argue that in Soph. el. 175 b 39 - 176 a 5, Aristotle indubitably deals with homonymy in dialectical argument; that De Interpretatione 8 is a parallel to Soph. el. 175 b 39 - 176 a 5; that De Interpretatione 8 is concerned with dialectical argument; that, hence, De Interpretatione 8, too, deals with homonymy in dialectical argument. In the second part I discuss objections that have been put forward against the view that De Interpretatione 8 is about homonymy and shows that they do not succeed." (p. 301)

  9. Bolonyai, Gábor. 2005. "Aristotle on Sentence Types and Forms of Speech." Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae no. 45:143-152.

    Summary: "According to Hermeneutics ch. 4, the analysis of non-assertive sentences such as wishes, commands, etc. belongs to rhetoric or poetics. They are, however, examined neither in the Rhetoric, nor in the Poetics, where in ch. 20 their treatment is explicitly excluded from the art of poetry and referred to that of delivery or performance. In this paper an explanation is given for this discrepancy, based on an interpretation of Aristotle’s rejection of Protagoras’ criticism of Homer."

    "Non-assertive sentences are first mentioned by Aristotle in chapter 4 of his Hermeneutics. Before addressing the logical analysis of sentences, he makes a distinction between sentences that are apt for logical examination and sentences that are not.

    The criterion of distinction is their capacity of being true or false. Assertions and negations do have this aptitude, while other types of sentences have a meaning, but can be neither true nor false." (p. 143)

  10. Bosley, Richard. 1978. "In Support of an Interpretation of On Int. 9." Ajatus no. 37:29-40.

  11. Brandon, E. P. . 1978. "Hintikka on ἀϰολουθεῖν." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no. 23:173-178.

    "Hintikka has argued (1) that the term ἀϰολουθεῖν, usually translated in logical contexts as 'follow from', is in fact less definite, sometimes possessing a wider sense of 'going together with', 'accompanying', 'being compatible with', 'conforming with', sometimes a stronger sense of 'logically equivalent with'. These claims were originally used to clear up some difficulties in Aristotle's De Interpretatione 12-13, but they have subsequently been employed in an attempt to obtain a consistent interpretation of Pappus' remarks about the geometrical method of analysis and synthesis.(2)

    It is not my intention to query the general claim that ἀϰολουθεῖν and its cognates have a less definite meaning in ordinary Greek than 'to follow logically from'. What I do wish to show, however, is that Hintikka does not give sufficient grounds for disputing the traditional understanding of this term in the discussion of modal notions in the De Interpretatione. (3)" (p. 173)

    (1) In 'On the Interpretation of De Interpretatione 12-13' originally published in Acta Philosophica Fennica 1962, reprinted with revisions as chapter III of his Time and Necessity (Oxford, 1973). All page references to this later version.

    (2) J. Hintikka and U. Remes, The Method of Analysis (Dordrecht, 1974) passim, esp. ch. II.

    (3) Thus my argument has no immediate consequences for the understanding of Pappus. It may be noted, however, that, as Hintikka and Remes show, the method of analysis Pappus seeks to characterise is in fact largely deductive, so that it would not be wildly irresponsible to suggest that the part of his characterisation that involves an 'upward' movement through ἀϰολουθα somewhat misleading. Cf. Mueller's review of Hintikka and Remes, Journal of Philosophy 73 (1976) 158-62.

  12. Brekle, Herbert E. 1970. "A Note on Aristotle's De Interpretatione 20b-21a." Folia Linguistica no. 4:167-173.

    "This contribution is intended to be a discussion of a few passages of Aristotle's de interpretatione (20b-21a) where the Philosopher deals with the notion of 'simplicity of a proposition' and with certain relations holding between several types of predicates contained in a proposition. It is the aim of these remarks to clarify — as far äs possible — Aristotle's view of the problems just mentioned and, secondly, to venture an explanation of one of the questions raised in terms of modern linguistics." (p. 167)

  13. Burrell, David. 1964. "Aristotle and 'Future Contingencies'." Philosophical Studies no. 13:37-52.

  14. Butler, Ronald J. 1955. "Aristotle's Sea Fight and Three-Valued Logic." Philosophical Review no. 64:264-274.

    "Certainly the most formidable threat to the law of excluded middle in recent times came with the development of many-valued logics, and notably with Lukasiewicz's three-valued system." (p. 264)


    "It becomes diagrammatically apparent that the introduction of "½" has to some extent modified the significance of both "1" and "0".

    The Harvard logician, Professor Donald Williams, supports this conclusion concerning the truth-values in Lukasiewicz's system. "Lukasiewicz," he writes, "seems to have believed at one time that we should abandon the ordinary meanings of 'true,' 'false' and 'not' in favour of something which does fit his three-valued logic, but he did this because he thought he had independent arguments, essentially Aristotle's, against the admission of truth about the future." (4)

    Nevertheless, when Aristotle discussed the application of the principle of excluded middle to contingent propositions about the future, I do not think he was suggesting that the usual meanings of "true," "false," and "not" should be modified in any way (nor, indeed, that the law of excluded middle, when formulated in a certain way, is subject to any exceptions at all). Aristotle's problem is that if "it is an irrefragable law that of every pair of contradictory propositions . . . one must be true and the other false," then "all that is or takes place is

    the outcome of necessity" (18b 26). (5) But determinism he could not accept, because there are real alternatives concerning the future, events which have a "potentiality in either direction" (19a 10). If this were not so, "there would be no need to deliberate or to take trouble,

    on the supposition that if we were to adopt a certain course, a certain result would follow, while, if we did not, the result would not follow" (18b 32). Instead of abandoning the law, however, he attempted so to formulate it that its application to the future is consonant with his view that some future events are not predetermined. Accordingly he concluded that "everything must either be or not be, whether in the present or in the future, but it is not always possible to distinguish and state determinately which of these alternatives must necessarily come about" (19a 27)." (p. 266)

    (4) D. C. Williams, "The Sea Fight Tomorrow," Structure, Method and Meaning, ed. by P. Henle et al. (New York, 1951), p. 285.

    (5) De Interpretatione, ch. IX. All quotations are from the Oxford translation, ed. by Sir David Ross.

  15. Butler, Travis. 1997. "The Homonymy of Signification in Aristotle." In Aristotle and After, edited by Sorabji, Richard, 117-126. London: Institute of Classical Studies, University of London.

  16. Cahn, Steven M. 1967. Fate, Logic and Time. New Haven: Yale University Press.

  17. Carson, Scott. 2000. "Aristotle on Existential Import and Non Referring Subjects." Synthese no. 124:343-360.

    Abstract: "Much contemporary philosophy of language has shown considerable interest in the relation between our linguistic practice and our metaphysical commitments, and this interest has begun to influence work in the history of philosophy as well.(1) In his Categories and De interpretatione, Aristotle presents an analysis of language that can be read as intended to illustrate an isomorphism between the ontology of the real world and how we talk about that world. Our understanding of language is at least in part dependent upon our understanding of the relationships that exist among the enduring πράγματα that we come across in our daily experience. Part of the foundations underlying Aristotle’s doctrine of categories seems to have been a concern, going back to the Academy, about the problem of

    false propositions: language is supposed to be a tool for communicating the way things are, and writers in antiquity were often puzzled by the problem of how we are to understand propositions that claim that reality is other than it is.(2) Aristotle’s analysis of propositions raises a particular problem in this regard: if the subject of a proposition does not refer to anything, how can the proposition be useful for talking about a state of the world?

    The problem falls into two separate but related parts: propositions whose subjects are singular terms and hence make claims about some particular thing, and propositions whose subjects are general terms and hence make claims about classes. In this paper I will explain Aristotle’s treatment of each kind, focusing in particular on what has widely been perceived as a problem in his treatment of singular terms. My discussion of his treatment of general terms will be more brief, but will show that his treatment of them is consistent with his treatment of singular terms."

    (1) An interesting treatment of this topic that illustrates how such concerns intersect with issues in the history of philosophy can be found in Diamond (1996), Introduction II (pp. 13–38). Whittaker (1996) also touches on these themes.

    (2) On the treatment by ancient philosophers of the problem of falsehood see Denyer (1991).


    Denyer, N.: 1991, Language, Thought and Falsehood in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Routledge, London.

    Diamond, C.: 1996, The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

    Whittaker, C.: 1996, Aristotle’s De Interpretatione: Contradiction and Dialectic, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

  18. ———. 2003. "Aristotle on Meaning and Reference." History of Philosophy Quarterly no. 20:319-337.

  19. Charles, David. 1994. "Aristotle on Names and Their Signification." In Language, edited by Everson, Stephen, 37-73. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Revised and reprinted as Chapter 4: The Signification of Names in: D. Charles, Aristotle on Meaning and Essence, New York: Oxford University Press 2000, pp. 78-109.

    "Aristotle's discussion of names (onomata) and their meaning or signification (semainein) is part of his general account of linguistic signification, definition and thought. This is still a somewhat neglected area or study.


    My starting-point will be Aristotle's discussion of the signification of names and 'name-like expressions' in the Posterior Analytics (An. Post.) and de Interpretatione (Int.). While be comments on these issues elsewhere (for example in the Topics, Categories (Cat.). Metaphysics (Met.), Physics (Phys.) and Poetics), de lnterpretatione and the Posterior Analytics suggest the basis for a relatively systematic view, which is clearly connected with his account of definition and thought (noein). It may well be that at other times Aristotle held other views on the same topics. But I shall focus mainly on de Interpretatione and the Analytics, and not attempt an overall survey of all his writings on these issues. The account which he offers there is a striking one which plays a major role in shaping his discussion of other central issues.

    ln this paper, l shall outline Aristotle's discussion of accounts of what names signify in the Analytics (section 2). and of names and similar expressions in de Interpretatione (3). This sketch will bring into sharper perspective his discussion of empty names and existence (4). and of permissible substitutions in knowledge (and belief contexts (5). Prom this vantage-point, I shall seek to articulate some of Aristotle's views on the interconnections between signification, thought and definition (6). In the final sections (7) and (8) I shall make a few remarks about the role his account of signification plays in motivating certain of his other views, and about the philosophical problems which it faces. These final sections do not attempt an exhaustive treatment of the issues they raise, but aim merely to suggest avenues for further Investigation." (pp. 37-38)

  20. Cleveland, Timothy. 2005. "Was Classical Logic Sunk in Aristotle's Sea Battle?" Southwest Philosophical Studies no. 27:28-34.

  21. Craig, William Lane. 1988. The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge and Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez. Leiden: Brill.

    Capter I. Aristotle, pp. 1-58.

    Summary: "In summary, we have seen that in chapter 9 of De interpretatione Aristotle argues that if one grants that the Principle of Bivalence holds for all future singular propositions, then fatalism results. For the semantic relation between propositions and corresponding reality is such that if a proposition is true, then necessarily reality must correspond to it, and if it is faise, then necessarily reality must fail to correspond to it. Hence, if a future singular proposition has a truth value, future reality must eventuate according as the proposition is true or false. Because contradictions cannot exist in reality, the relevant state of affairs and its opposite cannot both be actualized; so when the time of the event arrives, one or the other state of affairs must be realized. Hence, in an antiphasis of future singular propositions, both cannot be true, nor can both be false. But both can be indeterminate, in that they lack a truth value. Hence, not all future singular propositions are true or false.

    The joker in this deck, if we may call it that, would seem to be Aristotle's view of truth as correspondence.(137) It might be thought that a future singular proposition must be true if it corresponds to what will in fact be, and if not, then it is false. Accordingly, future-tense propositions must be as bivalent as past- or present-tense statements. But Aristotle apparently thought that if reality were as yet undetermined, then corresponding propositions were also indeterminate as regards their truth value. Ackrill explains that Aristotle held to "a rather crude realistic correspondence theory of truth, and we might well expect him to think that if the state of affairs now is such that it is not settled whether x will or will not occur, then 'X will occur' is not now either true or false: there is not yet anything in the facts for it to correspond or fail to correspond with." (138) On such a view, the only future singular propositions which could now have a truth value would be ones about things which will happen necessarily as part of an everlasting cyclical process. In their case, although there is no future state of affairs now existent with which a proposition may correspond, nevertheless there are in the present the conditions which make the future realization of the state of affairs a necessity, and hence a future singular proposition may be truly asserted of it. But future contingent singular propositions have as yet no truth value. On the basis of the presently existing conditions all that may be truly said of a contingent future singular is "It is going to be." But in such a case, the truth of the proposition says nothing about the eventual actualization of the event-it may or may not occur. Aristotle does not explicity say that future contingent singular propositions become true or false; but he says they are not already true or false. Technically speaking, they do not become true or false; it is the present-tense version of the statements that comes to possess a truth value. It is not unlikely that this distinction did not concern Aristotle, but he does not in any event commit himself clearly to saying the future-tense versions come to be true or false. (139) When the time of the event arrives, then exactly one of the states of affairs is actualized and in the antiphasis one of the propositions becomes actually true in its present-tense version. Since future contingent singular propositions are not antecedently true or false, the argument for fatalism based on antecedent truth and the necessity of the semantic relation fails." (pp. 57-58)

    (137) See Lukasiewicz, Aristotle's Syllogistic, p. 156; Ross, Aristotle, p. 26; Taylor, "Future Contingencies," 3, 16; Frede, Aristoteles und die "Seeschlacht," p. 66; McKim, "Fatalism and the Future," p. 103; Dickason, "Sea Fight," p. 20-1; White, "Fatalism and Causal determinism," pp. 233-6.

    (138) Ackrill, Aristotle's "De lnterpretatione," pp. 140-1.

    (139) Frede, Aristoteles und die "Seeschlacht," p. 72-3.


    l)ickason, Anne. "Aristotle, the Sea Fight, and the Cloud." Journal of the History of Philosophy 14 (1976): 11-22.

    Lukasiewicz, .Jan. Aristotle's Syllogistic from the Standpoint of Modern Formal Logic. 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957.

    McKim, Vaughn. "Fatalism and the Future: Aristotle's Way Out." Review of Metaphysics 25 ( 1971-72): 80-111.

    Ross, W. D. Aristotle. 5th ed. London: Methuen, 1953.

    Taylor, Richard. "The Problem of Future Contingencies." Philosophical Review 66 (1957): 1-28.

    White, Michael J. "Fatalism and Causal Determinism: an Aristotelian Essay." Philosophical Quarterly 31 (1981): 231-41.

  22. Crivelli, Paolo. 2001. "Empty terms in Aristotle's logic." Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy no. 17:237-269.

  23. ———. 2004. Aristotle on Truth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Contents: Acknowledgments IX; Notes on the text X; List of abbreviations of titles of Aristotle's works XI; Introduction 1; Part I. Bearers of truth or falsehood 45; 1. States of affairs. thoughts. and sentences 45; 2. Truth conditions for predicative assertions 77; 3. Truth conditions for existential assertions 99; Part II. 'Empty' terms 129; 4. Truth as correspondence129; 5. 'Vacuous' terms and 'empty' terms 152; Par III. Truth and time 183; 6. Truth and change 183; 7. Truth and determinism in De Interpretatione 9 198; Appendix I. Metaph. Theta 10 1051b 1: the text 234; Appendix 2. Metaph. Theta 10 1051b 2-3: the text 238; Appendix 3. Int. 7, 17b 16-18: the text 239; Appendix 4. The two place relations in Aristotle's definition of truth 254; Appendix 5. Aristotle's theory of truth for predicative assertions: formal presentation 258; Appendix 6. The failure of Bivalence for future-tense assertions formal presentation 266; References 284; Index of names 313; Index of subjects 319; Index of passages 321.

  24. ———. 2009. "Aristotle on Signification and Truth." In A Companion to Aristotle, edited by Anagnostopoulos, Georgios, 81-100. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

    "Aristotle discusses signification and truth in passages from several works, mainly the Categories, de Interpretatione, Sophistici Elenchi, de Anima, the Metaphysics, and the Poetics. Signification and truth are not the main topic of these works: their discussions of these subjects are asides. This study reconstructs some views on signification and truth to which Aristotle can be plausibly taken to be committed by his scattered remarks." (p. 81)

  25. Dancy, R. M. . 1975. Sense and Contradiction. A Study in Aristotle. Dordrecht: Reidel.

    Appendix I. De interpretatione 14 143-152.

    "Ammonius (in De int. 251.27ff.) suspected that this chapter was either not by Aristotle or a dialectical exercise. The only visible reason for doubting its authenticity is that some of what it says conflicts with things said elsewhere in Aristotle, and that is not much of a reason. So let us take it as genuine (cf. Ackrill, Cat. & De int. p. 153).

    In any case, the chapter contains some astounding confusions. So either Aristotle is genuinely confused, or Ammonius' second alternative is right, and he is just trying out arguments. For present purposes, it does not matter which alternative we take." (p. 143)

    Appendix II. De interpretatione 11. 21a. 25-27 153-155.

    "Among too many other things, Aristotle is concerned in De int. 11 with patterns of inference in which the cancellation of a term yields a conclusion: it follows from 'this is a pale man' that this is pale, and that it's a man (21a18-20), but not from 'this is a dead man' that this is a man (a21-24). He says of the uncancelled term in the conclusion that it is used 'simply' (απλός a5, etc.): an alternative paraphrase might be 'on its own'. Thus if you went (illicitly) from 'Socrates is a good cobbler' to 'Socrates is good', you would be concluding that Socrates is good simply, or that 'good' on its own applies to Socrates (cf. 20b35-36, 21a14-15).

    We can represent this device (which, I think, is almost purely syntactic) with a linguist's boundary marker: your conclusion would be 'Socrates is good#'." (p. 153)

  26. De Cuypere, Ludovic, and Willems, Klaas. 2008. "Meaning and Reference in Aristotle's Concept of the Linguistic Sign." Foundations of Science no. 13:307-324.

    Abstract: "To Aristotle, spoken words are symbols, not of objects in the world, but of our mental experiences related to these objects. Presently there are two major strands of interpretation of Aristotle's concept of the linguistic sign. First, there is the structuralist account offered by Coseriu (Geschichte der Sprachphilosophie. Von den Anfängen bis Rousseau, 2003 [1969], pp. 65-108) whose interpretation is reminiscent of the Saussurean sign concept.

    A second interpretation, offered by Lieb (in: Geckeler (Ed.) Logos Semantikos: Studia Linguistica in Honorem Eugenio Coseriu 1921-1981, 1981) and Weidemann (in: Schmitter (Ed.) Geschichte der Sprachtheorie 2. Sprachtheorien der abendländischen Antike, 1991), says that Aristotle's concept of the linguistic sign is similar to the one presented in Ogden and Richards's (The meaning of meaning: A study of the influence of language upon thought and of the science of symbolism, 1970 [1923]) semiotic triangle. This paper starts off with an introductory outline of the so-called phýsei-thései discussion which started during presocratic times and culminated in Plato's Cratylus. Aristotle's concept of the linguistic sign is to be regarded as a solution to the stalemate position reached in the Cratylus. Next, a discussion is offered of both Coseriu's and Lieb's analysis. We submit that Aristotle's concept of the linguistic sign shows features of both Saussure's and Ogden and Richards's sign concept but that it does not exclusively predict one of the two. We argue that Aristotle's concept of the linguistic sign is based on three different relations which together evince his teleological as well empiricist point of view: one internal (symbolic) relation and two external relations, i.e. a likeness relation and a relation katà synthéken."

  27. De Rijk, Lambertus Marie. 1987. "The Anatomy of the Proposition. Logos and Pragma in Plato and Aristotle." In Logos and Pragma. Essays on the Philosophy of Language in Honour of Professor Gabriel Nuchelmans, edited by de Rijk, Lambertus Marie and Braakhuis, Henk Antonius, 27-61. Nijmegen: Ingenium Publishers.


    This study is written in honour of a scholar who, among many other things, has laid the solid basis for the study of what may be considered the kernel of the semantics of the statement-making utterance, viz. the definition of the bearers of truth and falsity.

    In the first section I present a survey of Plato's semantics of the statement-making expression and a number of key notions involved. Next, I explore Aristotle's views of the matter, starting with a discussion of Aristotle's notion of pragma including that of being qua truth and not-being qua falsehood. In search for the nature of Aristotle's logos, I discuss this notion as it occurs on the onomazein level as well as the way in which it acts on the legein level. Next, I investigate the important notions of synthesis and dihaeresis and the role of einai as a monadic functor and qua syncategorematic container of categorial being. Finally, I attempt to present a characterization of Aristotle's statement-making utterance.

    (...) p. 27


    We may summarize what we have found as follows:

    1 For Plato,

    1.1 a logos is a composite expression consisting of a name (onoma) and an attribute (rhêma) which as such is not yet a statement-making utterance

    1.2 a logos represents a state of affairs (pragma), i.e. an actual combination of some participata (dynameis) in the outside world

    1.3 a logos eirêmenos is a statement-making utterance; it asserts that the pragma represented by the logos is actually the case.

    2 For Aristotle,

    2.1 a logos is a composite expression consisting of an onoma and a rhêma which represents both a notional and an ontological state of affairs. It may be characterized as a 'statable complex'

    2.2 a pragma is a state of affairs either ontologically: state of affairs being part of the outside world or semantically: state of affairs conceived of and expressed by a logos

    2.3 a logos apophantikos ('statement-making utterance') is a logos actually stated (either asserted or denied)

    2.4 a logos may as such be used either on the onomazein level or on the legein level (qua logos apophantikos). Similarly, phasis (kataphasis, apophasis) may be used on either of these levels

    2.5 synthesis is either synthesis1, = the act of uniting an onoma and a rhêma into a logos (on the onomazein level) or synthesis2 = the assertion of such a union accomplished in a logos apophantikos, (on the legein level), while dihairesis is always the denial of such a union (on the legein level)

    2.6 the esti forming part of a logos apophantikos is not a copula, properly speaking. Rather, it is a sign of (it consignifies, to speak with De interp. 3,16b24-5) synthesis2. The onoma and rhêma are already united to make up a logos ('statable complex') by synthesis, and, then, the esti rather than acting as a dyadic copulative functor, is merely a monadic sign of the 'statable complex' being actually stated

    2.7 The propositional structure found in the logos apophantikos may be described as follows:

    linguistically: a logos expressing categorial being (i.e. syncategorematic being implemented by one or more of the ten categories of being) is stated (either affirmatively or negatively) by means of the monadic functor 'be' or 'not be'

    semantically: the pragma represented by the logos is said to be (or not to be, respectively) part of the outside world (or: 'be (not) the case')." pp. 53-54 (notes omitted).

  28. ———. 1996. "On Aristotle's Semantics in De Interpretatione 1-4." In Polyhistor. Studies in the History and Historiography of Ancient Philosophy Presented to Jaap Mansfeld on his Sixtieth Birthday, edited by Algra, Keimpe, Horst, Pieter van der and Runia, David, 115-134. Leiden: Brill.

    "By and large, in De interpretatione Aristotle is concerned with our capability to speak about all that presents itself to our mind. From chapter 4 onwards, he deals with the statement-making expressions (affirmation and negation), which are the main tools for conveying our thoughts about things. This discussion is prepared (chapters 1-3) by some important observations concerning the basic elements of such expressions, viz. onoma and rhema. The present contribution contains some comments on Aristotle's view of the proper nature of statement-making as put forward in De interpretatione. First, I would like to highlight Aristotle's, what Sir David Ross has called `frankly 'representative' view of knowledge' by discussing the terms omoioma and pragma. Next, I will discuss what is meant by a term's 'time-connotation', and finally I will examine the semantics of onoma, rhema and logos." (p. 115)

  29. ———. 2002. Aristotle: Semantics and Ontology. Volume I: General Introduction. The Works on Logic. Leiden: Brill.

    From the Preface: "In this book I intend to show that the ascription of many shortcomings or obscurities to Aristotle resulted from persistent misinterpretation of key notions in his work. The idea underlying this study is that commentators have wrongfully attributed anachronistic perceptions of `predication', and statement-making in general to Aristotle. In Volume I, what I consider to be the genuine semantics underlying Aristotle's expositions of his philosophy are culled from the Organon. Determining what the basic components of Aristotle's semantics are is extremely important for our understanding of his view of the task of logic -- his strategy of argument in particular.

    In chapter 1, after some preliminary considerations I argue that when analyzed at deep structure level, Aristotelian statement-making does not allow for the dyadic 'S is P' formula. An examination of the basic function of `be' and its cognates in Aristotle's philosophical investigations shows that in his analysis statement-making is copula-less. Following traditional linguistics I take the `existential' or hyparctic use of `be' to be the central one in Greek (pace Kahn), on the understanding that in Aristotle hyparxis is found not only in the stronger form of `actual occurrence' but also in a weaker form of what I term `connotative (or intensional) be' (1.3-1.6). Since Aristotle's `semantic behaviour', in spite of his skilful manipulation of the diverse semantic levels of expressions, is in fact not explicitly organized in a well-thought-out system of formal semantics, I have, in order to fill this void, formulated some semantic rules of thumb (1.7).

    In chapter 2 I provide ample evidence for my exegesis of Aristotle's statement-making, in which the opposition between `assertible' and `assertion' is predominant and in which `is' functions as an assertoric operator rather than as a copula (2.1-2.2). Next, I demonstrate that Aristotle's doctrine of the categories fits in well with his view of copula-less statement-making, arguing that the ten categories are `appellations' ('nominations') rather than sentence predicates featuring in an `S is P' formation (2.3-2.4). Finally, categorization is assessed in the wider context of Aristotle's general strategy of argument (2.5-2.7).

    In the remaining chapters of the first volume (3-6) I present more evidence for my previous findings concerning Aristotle's `semantic behaviour' by enquiring into the role of his semantic views as we find them in the several tracts of the Organon, in particular the Categories De interpretatione and Posterior Analytics. These tracts are dealt with in extenso, in order to avoid the temptation to quote selectively to suit my purposes."

  30. Deretic, Irina. 2013. "What do "Affections in the soul" Resemble? Aristotle’s model of the linguistic sign." Arhe no. 10:143-150.

  31. Di Mattei, Steven. 2006. "Rereading Aristotle's De interpretatione 16a3-8: verbal propositions as symbols of the process of reasoning." Ancient Philosophy no. 26:1-21.

  32. Dickason, Anne. 1976. "Aristotle, the Sea Fight, and the Cloud." Journal of the History of Philosophy:11-22.

    "Since nearly the time Aristotle wrote, interest has waxed and waned in his early work, De lnterpretatione ix; (1) recent controversy was sparked in 1951, when D. C. Williams discussed the problem of the sea fight in relation to modem logic, and although the flurry of journal articles has quieted down, the problems are not yet solved. One reason for this is that in this passage there is not only the difficulty of evaluating whether Aristotle is correct, but there is the added intrigue of trying to decipher just what it is that he is saying, or even with what issue he is primarily concerned. Many commentators believe he is supporting a correspondence theory of truth by denying the law of the excluded middle for future tense propositions; others believe he is concerned more with metaphysical contingencies and the threat of fatalism than with logical difficulties. Still others take the main point to be about the relation of tensed sentences to infinite past or future truth; and a few come full circle, interpreting Aristotle as not denying the excluded middle at all, only examining the question of whether the future will be like the past.

    In general, all of these fit into one of two broad areas of interpretation; either they are concerned with the distinction between 'necessarily (p or not p)" and "necessarily p or necessarily not p," or with the distinction between "necessarily (p is true or not p is true)" and "necessarily (p will be true or not p will be true)."(2) Because of these different readings of Aristotle it is not enough for us simply to present the text and then examine different conclusions about it. Instead, we will consider the most important commentaries, tracing

    the development of recent criticism as well as establishing the uniqueness of each position, and then draw our own conclusions based on these interpretations and our own reading of the text. (3) Due to the volume of material on the sea fight, not all commentaries can be discussed here; some, e.g., Albritton (4) and Ryle, (5) are omitted because they do not focus enough on Aristotle, while others, e.g., Strang (6) e and McKim (7), are not covered because their basic arguments are found elsewhere." (pp. 11-12 note 3 omitted. The authors summarized are: D. C. Williams, Linsky, Butler, Anscombe, Ackrill, Hintikka, and Frede.)

    (1) The problem of the universal applicability of the excluded middle was debated by the Stoics and Epicureans, and specific commentaries on De lnterpretatione have come down to us from Ammonius and Stephanus. Both Alexander of Aphrodisias and Simplicius wrote commentaries on other Aristotelian works, and these often include remarks relevant to the problems of the sea fight.

    (2) D. C. Williams, "Professor Linsky on Aristotle," Philosophical Review, 63 (April, 1954), 253.

    (4) R. Albritton, "Present Truth and Future Continguency," Philosophical Review, 66 (January, 1957), 29-46.

    (5) Gilbert Ryle, "It Was to Be," Dilemmas (Cambridge: The University Press, 1954).

    (6) C. Strang, "Aristotle and the Sea Battle," Mind, LXIX (October, 1960), 447-465.

    (7) V. R. McKim, "Fatalism and the Future: Aristotle's Way Out," Review of Metaphysics, 25 (September, 1971), 80-111.


    Leonard Linsky, "Professor Donald Williams on Aristotle," Philosophical Review, 63 (April, 1954), 250.

  33. Du Lac, Henri. 1949. "The 'Peri Hermenias'. Its Place in Logic and Its Order." Laval Théologique et Philosophique no. 5:161-169.

    "Aristotle and St. Thomas commonly divide logic according to the three operations of the human intellect, because logic is the art which directs man in the very act of reasoning that he might proceed in good order, with ease, and without error. (1) The first two acts of the mind are properly called acts of intellect rather than of reason, because they are not acts of discourse. The first act is the understanding of what is indivisible or incomplex, and is therefore called simple apprehension. By this act the intellect grasps the essence of a thing. The Predicaments of Aristotle treats the part of logic pertaining to this operation. The second act of the intellect is that of composition or division, in which truth or falsity is found. Aristotle treated what pertains to this act in the Peri Hermeneias. The third operation of the mind is properly called an act of reason, because in it the mind moves from a knowledge of a known truth to a knowledge of a truth previously unknown. This is the act of discourse, that is, of going from one to another. The remaining books of the Organon treat of what pertains to this act - the Prior Analytics, the Posterior Analytics, the Topics, and the Sophistic Refutations. Just as the first of these acts is ordered to the second, and the second to the third, so the Predicaments is ordered to the Peri Hermeneias and the latter to the Prior Analytics and the books that follow." (p. 161)

    (1) St. Thomas, Expositio in Libros Posteriorum Analytitcorum, I, lect. 1 (ed. Leonina), nn. 1, 4.

  34. Fine, Gail. 1984. "Truth and Necessity in De interpretatione 9." History of Philosophy Quarterly no. 1:23-47.

  35. Fitzgerald, Paul. 1969. "The Truth About Tomorrow's Sea Fight." The Journal of Philosophy no. 66:307-329.

  36. Frede, Dorothea. 1985. "The Sea-Battle Reconsidered: a Defence of the Traditional Interpretation." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 3:31-87.

  37. ———. 1990. "Fatalism and Future Truth." Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy no. 6:195-227.

  38. Gaskin, Richard. 1995. The Sea Battle and the Master Argument. Aristotle and Diodorus Cronus on the Metaphysics of the Future. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

  39. ———. 1996. "Sea Battles, Worn-out Cloaks, and Other Matters of Interpretation: Weidemann on Aristotle's peri Hermeneias." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 78:48-59.

  40. Grant, C. K. 1957. "Certainty, Necessity and Aristotle's Sea Battle." Mind no. 66:522-531.

  41. Gyekye, Kwame. 1974. "Aristotle on Language and Meaning." International Philosophical Quarterly no. 14:71-77.

  42. Gythire, Colin King. 2021. "Word, thought, and object in De int. 14 and Metaphysics Γ 3." Studia Philosophica no. 80:53-73.

    "The discussion of the Principle of Non-Contradiction (PNC) in Aristotle’s Metaphysics Γ is usually taken to include three ‘versions’ of the principle: an ontological, psychological, and logical one. In this article I develop an interpretation of Metaphysics Γ3 and a parallel text, De interpretatione 14, in order to show that these texts are concerned with two related but different principles: a version of the Principle of Identity, and a corollary to this, which concerns the ability to accept two ‘opposite’ items at the same time. I argue that these principles must be considered separately in order to properly understand Aristotle’s remarks about PNC in Metaphysics Γ, and in order to defend his approach in these remarks against certain objections raised against the discussion in Metaphysics Γ by Jan Łukasiewicz in his seminal study Über den Satz des Widerspruchs bei Aristoteles. The main result of my interpretation is to distinguish in the discussion of PNC in Metaphysics Γ three principles: one concerning linguistic items (words and statements), one concerning thoughts (δόξαι), and one concerning objects or states of affairs." (p. 53)

  43. Hankinson, Robert James. 1987. "Improper Names. On intentional Double Ententes in Aristotle's De interpretatione." Apeiron no. 20:219-225.

  44. Hintikka, Jaakko. 1962. "On the Interpretation of De Interpretatione 12-13." Acta Philosophica Fennica no. 14:5-22.

    Reprinted with revisions as chapter III of his Time and Necessity. Studies in Aristotle's Theory o/ Modality, Oxford, 1973, pp. 41-61.

  45. ———. 1964. "The Once and Future Sea Fight: Aristotle's Discussion of Future Contingents in De Interpretatione IX." The Philosophical Review no. 74:461-492.

    Revised and reprinted as Chapter VIII in: J. Hintikka, Time and Necessity. Studies in Aristotle's Theory of Modality, New York: Oxford University Press, 1973, pp. 147-178.

  46. Hintikka, Jaakko, Remes, Unto, and Knuuttila, Simo. 1977. "Aristotle on Modality and Determinism." Acta Philosophica Fennica no. 29.

  47. Hudry, Jean-Louis. 2011. "Aristotle on Meaning." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 93:253-280.

    Abstract: "Abstract: This paper shows that Aristotle’s De Interpretatione does not separate syntax from semantics (contra Boger 2004). Linguistic sentences are not syntactic entities, and non-linguistic meanings are not semantic propositions expressed by linguistic sentences.

    In fact, Aristotle resorts to a mental conception of meaning, distinguishing linguistic meanings in a given language from non-linguistic mental contents in relation to actual things: while the former are not the same for all, the latter are shared by everyone. Aristotle

    is not a modern logician, like Boole, Frege, or Russell, in so far as a mental conception of meaning does not reveal an abstract semantics for a syntactic language."


    Boger, George 2004. “Aristotle’s Underlying Logic”. In Handbook of the History of Logic. Eds. D. Gabbay/J. Woods. Amsterdam, 101–246.

  48. ———. 2013. "Aristotle on Deduction and Inferential Necessity." The Review of Metaphysics no. 67:29-54.

  49. Ihrig, Ann H. 1965. "Remars on Logical Necessity and Future Contingencies." Mind no. 74:215-228.

  50. Irwin, Terence H. 1982. "Aristotle's Concept of Signification." In Language and Logos. Studies in Ancient Greek Philosophy Presented to G. E. L. Owen, edited by Schofield, Malcolm and Nussbaum, Martha, 241-266. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  51. Istvan, M. A. Jr. 2019. "Is Aristotle's Response to the Argument for fatalism in De interpretatione 9 Successful?" Ideas y Valores no. 63:31-58.

  52. Jacobs, William. 1979. "Aristotle and Nonreferring Subjects." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no. 24:282-300.

  53. Jarmużek, Tomasz. 2018. On the Sea Battle Tomorrow That May Not Happen. Berlin: Peter Lang.

    A Logical and Philosophical Analysis of the Master Argument.

  54. Jones, Russell E. 2010. "Truth and Contradiction in Aristotle’s De Interpretatione 6-9." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy:26-67.

    Abstract: "In De Interpretatione 6-9, Aristotle considers three logical principles: the principle of bivalence, the law of excluded middle, and the rule of contradictory pairs (according to which of any contradictory pair of statements, exactly one is true and the other false). Surprisingly, Aristotle accepts none of these without qualifi cation. I off er a coherent interpretation of these chapters as a whole, while focusing special attention on two sorts of statements that are of particular interest to Aristotle: universal statements not made universally and future particular statements. With respect to the former, I argue that Aristotle takes them to be indeterminate and so to violate the rule of contradictory pairs. With respect to the latter, the subject of the much discussed ninth chapter, I argue that the rule of contradictory pairs, and not the principle of bivalence, is the focus of Aristotle’s refutation. Nevertheless, Aristotle rejects bivalence for future particular statements."

  55. Kasabova, Anita, and Marinov, Vladimir. 2016. "Aristotle on Verbal Communication: The First Chapters of De Interpretatione." Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication no. 7:239-253.

    Abstract: "This article deals with the communicational aspects of Aristotle’s theory of signification as laid out in the initial chapters of the De Interpretatione (Int.). We begin by outlining the reception and main interpretations of the chapters under discussion, rather siding with the linguistic strand. We then argue that the first four chapters present an account of verbal communication, in which words signify things via thoughts. We show how Aristotle determines voice as a conventional and hence accidental medium of signification: words as ‘spoken sounds’ are tokens of thoughts, which in turn are signs or natural likenesses of things. We argue that, in this way, linguistic expressions may both signify thoughts and refer to things. This double account of signification also explains the variety of ontological, logical and psychological interpretations of the initial chapters of Int."

  56. King-Farlow, John. 1959. "Sea-Fights Without Tears." Analysis no. 19:36-42.

  57. Kirwan, Christopher. 1986. "Aristotle on the Necessity of the Present." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 4:167-187.

  58. Kretzmann, Norman. 1974. "Aristotle on Spoken Sound Significant by Convention." In Ancient Logic and Its Modern Interpretations, edited by Corcoran, John, 3-21. Dordrecht: Reidel.

    Reprinted in D. Blank- N. Kretzmann (eds.), Ammonius on Aristotle On Interpretation 9 with Boethius on Aristotle On Interpretation 9, London: Duckworth 1998, pp. 24-52.

    "A few sentences near the beginning of De interpretatione (16a3-8) constitute the most influential text in the history of semantics. The text is highly compressed, and many translations, including the Latin translation in which it had its greatest influence, have obscured at least one interesting feature of it. In this paper I develop an interpretation that depends on taking seriously some details that have been neglected in the countless discussions of this text.

    The sentence with which De interpretatione begins, and which immediately precedes the text I want to examine, provides (as Ackrill remarks 1) the program for Chapters 2-6.

    ... we must settle what a name is [Chapter 2] and what a verb is [Chapter 3], and then what a negation [Chapters 5 and 6], an affirmation [Chapters 5 and 6], a statement [Chapters 4 and 5] and a sentence [Chapters 4 and 5] are. (16a1-2) (2)

    But Aristotle says "First we must settle what a name is ...", and that is what he does in Chapter 2. The remainder of Chapter 1, then, may be thought of as preparatory to the main business of those chapters. And since their main business is to establish definitions, it is only natural to preface them with a discussion of the defining terms. At the beginning of Chapter 2, for instance, Aristotle defines 'name' in these terms: 'spoken sound', 'significant by convention', 'time', and 'parts significant in separation'. These terms continue to serve as defining terms beyond Chapter 2, and the remainder of Chapter 1 (16a3-18) is devoted to clarifying them. The special task of the text I am primarily concerned with is the clarification of the proximate genus for the definitions in Chapters 2-6: "spoken sound significant by convention" (3)." (p. 3)

    (1) In the notes to his translation (J. L. Ackrill, Aristotle's Categories and De Interpretatione, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1963; reprinted with corrections, 1966), p. 113.

    (2) I am using Ackrill's translation, the only one in English that shows an understanding of the text.

    (3) Cf. Ackrill, op. cit., Notes, p. 115: "'A spoken sound significant by convention' gives the genus under which fall not only names but also verbs (Chapter 3) and phrases and sentences (Chapter 4)".

  59. Larkin, Miriam Therese. 1971. Language in the Philosophy of Aristotle. The Hague: Mouton.

  60. Lenz, John W. 1957. "Looking back at the "Sea Fight Tomorrow"." The Journal of Philosophy no. 54:773-774.

  61. Linsky, Leonard. 1954. "Professor Donald Williams on Aristotle." The Philosophical Review no. 63:250-252.

  62. Lopes dos Santos, Luiz Henriquea. 2023. "Temporal Truth and Bivalence: an Anachronistic Formal Approach to Aristotle’s De Interpretatione 9." Journal of Ancient Philosophy no. 17:59-79.

    Abstract: "Regarding the famous Sea Battle Argument, which Aristotle presents in De Interpretatione 9, there has never been a general agreement not only about its correctness but also, and mainly, about what the argument really is. According to the most natural reading of the chapter, the argument appeals to a temporal concept of truth and concludes that not every statement is always either true or false. However, many of Aristotle’s followers and commentators have not adopted this reading. I believe that it has faced so much resistance for reasons of hermeneutic charity: denying the law of universal bivalence seems to be overly disruptive to logical orthodoxy – the kind of logical orthodoxy represented by what we now call classical propositional logic, much of which Aristotle clearly supports in many texts. I intend to show that the logical-semantic theses that the traditional reading finds in De Interpretatione 9 are much more conservative than they may seem to be at first glance. First, I will show that they complement, and do not contradict in any way, the orthodox definitions of the concepts of truth and statement that Aristotle advances in other texts. Second, by resorting in an anachronistic vein to concepts and methods peculiar to contemporary logic, I will show that a trivalent modal semantics conforming to those theses can be built for a standard formal language of the classical propositional calculus. It is remarkable that reasonable concepts of logical truth and logical consequence that may be defined on the basis of this trivalent modal semantics are coextensive with their orthodox counterparts, the concepts of tautology and tautological consequence of classical bivalent and extensional semantics."

  63. Lowe, Malcolm F. 1980. "Aristotle on the Sea-Battle: a Clarification." Analysis no. 40:55-59.

  64. Łukasiewicz, Jan. 1957. Aristotle’s Syllogistic from the Standpoint of Modern Formal Logic,. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Second edition enlarged.

  65. ———. 1967. "On Determinism." In Polish Logic 1920-1939, edited by McCall, Storrs, 19-39. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Published als in J. Łukasiewicz, Selected Works, edited by L. Borkowski, Amsterdam: North-Holland 1970, pp. 110-128.

  66. ———. 1970. "Philosophical Remarks on Many-Valued Systems of Propositional Logic." In Jan Łukasiewicz. Selected Works, edited by Borkowski, Ludwik, 153-178. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

    English translation of Philosophische Bemerkungen zu mehrwertigen Systemen des Aussagenkalküls, (1930).

    First English translation in Storrs McCall (ed.), Polish Logic, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1967, pp. 40-66.

  67. Magee, John. 1989. "Aristotle: Peri Hermeneias I, 16a3-9." In Boethius on Signification and Mind, 7-48. Leiden: Brill.

    Chapter One.

  68. Manetti, Giovanni. 1993. Theories of the Sign in Classical Antiquity. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

    Original Italian edition: Le teorie del segno nell'antichità classica, Milano: Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, 1987.

    Translated by Christine Richardson.

    See Chapter Five: Language and signs in Aristotle, pp. 70-91.

  69. Martin, Christopher John. 2011. "De Interpretatione 5-8: Aristotle, Boethius, and Abelard on Propositionality." In Methods and Methodologies. Aristotelian Logic East and West, 500-1500, edited by Cameron, Margaret and Marenbon, John, 207-228. Leiden: Brill.

    "Boethius’ commentaries on de Interpretatione provided the Middle Ages with their introduction to the theory of meaning. Boethian semantics is developed on the basis of the distinction made by Aristotle in De Interpretatione 1, between the signification of terms and that of affirmations and negations – defined, remember, as the species of simple assertions. On this account of them affirmations signify mental states in which the mental items signified by their component significant terms are combined and negations signify mental states in which they are separated. Missing in the theory is an account of compound propositions showing how their meanings are obtained from the meanings of their components. Such an account requires a notion of unasserted propositional content. With it we may also locate what is common to different speech acts and explain how it is that they differ. The relevant differences are the differences in what we now call their force." (p. 211)

  70. McKim, Vaugh, R. 1971. "Fatalism and the Future: Aristotle's Way Out."80-111.

  71. Modrak, Deborah. 2001. Aristotle's Theory of Language and Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  72. Noriega-Olmos, Simon. 2013. Aristotle’s Psychology of Signification: A Commentary on De Interpretatione 16a3–18. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

  73. Øhrstrøm, Peter, and Hasle, Per F. V. 1995. Temporal Logic: From Ancient Ideas to Artificial Intelligence. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Part 1: Time and Logic; 1.1. The Sea-fight Tomorrow, pp. 10-14.

  74. Panayides, Christos Y. 2009. "Aristotle on Causal Determinism and Fatalism." Ancient Philosophy no. 29:107-122.

  75. ———. 2011. "Taking Another Look at Aristotle’s Future Sea Battle." Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter no. 14:125-156.

    Abstract: "There are (at least) two persistent exegetical puzzles in De Interpretatione 9: (1) What exactly is the content of the determinist argument Aristotle deals within this text? and (2) How does Aristotle go about rebutting his determinist opponent’s thesis? This article takes another look at De Interpretatione 9, and it proposes answers for both of these questions. In particular, it argues for two things. First, in this difficult chapter Aristotle considers, among other things, an argument for logical fatalism. According to this argument, if the Rule of Contradictory Pairs applies unrestrictedly to all future singular statements, then every future state of affairs is now necessitated. And second, Aristotle undermines the fatalist’s position by showing that his opponent commits a grave mistake: he fails to acknowledge

    the distinction between the necessity of the present and absolute necessity."

  76. Patzig, Günther. 1968. "Aristotle's Theory of Syllogism. A Logico-Philological Study of Book A of the Prior Analytics." In. Dordrecht: Reidel.

    English translation by Jonathan Barnes of Die aristotelische Syllogistik. Logisch-philologische Untersuchungen über das Buch A der Ersten Analytiken, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1959.

  77. ———. 1971. "Aristotle, Łukasiewicz and the Origins Of Many-Valued Logic." In Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, 921-929.

  78. Perălă, Milka. 2020. "Affirmation and Denial in Aristotle’s De interpretatione." Topoi no. 39:645-656.

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  80. Polansky, Ronald, and Kuczewski, Mark. 1990. "Speech and Thought, Symbol and Likeness: Aristotle's De interpretatione 16a 3-9." Apeiron:51-63.

  81. Prior, Arthur Norman. 1953. "Three-Valued Logic and Future Contingents." The Philosophical Review no. 3:317-326.

  82. Remes, Unto. 1978. "Aristotle's Sea-Fight Discussion Against Its Background in the Topics." Ajatus no. 37:41-47.

  83. Rijen, Jeroen van. 1989. Aspects of Aristotle's Logic of Modalities. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

  84. Saunders, John Turk. 1958. "A Sea Fight Tomorrow?" The Philosophical Review no. 67:367-378.

  85. Sedley, David. 1996. "Aristotle's De interpretatione and Ancient Semantics." In Knowledge through Signs. Ancient Semiotic Theories and Practices, edited by Manetti, Giovanni, 87-108. Turnhout: Brepols.

    French revised version: Aristote et la signification, in: Philosophie Antique, 4, 2004, pp. 5-25.

    "Studies of ancient semantics are inclined to concentrate on the significations of individual words. But most ancient thinkers are likely to be misrepresented by such an approach. In Aristotle's classic treatment of the subject, I shall argue, the primary signifier is the sentence, and individual words are considered only secondarily, in so far as they contribute to the sentence's function. Moreover, this emphasis is to be found elsewhere in the Platonic tradition of which, in this respect, Aristotle is a part - not just in Plato himself, but also in the Stoics. In fact only the Epicureans, among ancient thinkers, can be seen to make individual word-meaning primary.

    This difference, if it can be established, should not cause surprise, since it merely reflects the general metaphysical outlook of the thinkers in question. Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics are teleologists, who regard the whole as ontologically prior to the part: the part can only be fully understood by reference to its function within the whole. (1) Epicurus by contrast is an atomist. He standardly treats parts as discrete items which, in coming together, generate larger complexes - be they atoms forming phenomenal bodies, or humans forming societies - but which in no sense have that as their pre-existing nature or function. Even bodily parts like hands and tongues came into being before any functions - including their communicative functions - were found for them. (2) On this same anti-teleological model, Epicurus regards the central core of language as an original set of naturally uttered "names" (probably nouns, adjectives and verbs), correlated to individual objects or contents of experience, and only at a later stage supplemented and inflected into a full-scale language. (3)

    In developing this contrast, I shall concentrate primarily on Aristotle's De interpretatione, whose opening chapters became in antiquity a locus classicus on signification. This is not because I believe that the De interpretatione must have directly influenced any of the other thinkers in the story. While we cannot positively exclude the possibility of its influence in the fourth and third centuries, perhaps even on Plato himself, I see no clear signs of it. The reason for my choice is that the De interpretatione is, if I am right, the most seriously misunderstood text in ancient semantics. If I can make out my case with regard to it, it will provide a valuable perspective on the other philosophers in question." (pp. 87-88)

    (1) See e.g. Plato, Laws X 903b-d, Aristotle, Pol. 1253a19ff., and, for the Stoics, Plutarch, St. Rep. 1054E-F.

    (2) Lucretius 4.823-57.

    (3) See Long and Sedley (The Hellenistic Philosophers, 1987, section 19).

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    Reprinted in Richard M. Gale, The Philosophy of Time, London: MacMillan 1968, pp. 221-231.

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    Reprinted in In Michael Tooley (ed.), Analytical Metaphysics. A Collection of Essays. Vol. 2: Time and Causation, New York: Garland (1999), and in D. C. Williams, The Elements and Patterns of Being: Essays in Metaphysics, New York: Oxford University Press 2018, pp. 139-158.

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    "In order to understand Aristotle's perception and description of language at its most basic level, i.e. the semantics of the single word, some aspects of the Aristotelian conception of the word as unit of linguistic communication are analyzed. The Poetics and De interpretatione are particularly meaningful in this context."

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