This paper deals with the first lines of Aristotle’s De interpretatione.Starting from Lo Piparo’s (2003) authoritative reading, I try to show that symbolondoes not mean either ‘symbol’ or ‘sign’ in the sense commonly ascribedto these words. On etimological grounds (see symballo), I suggest that symbolonmeans something as ‘mark’, ‘countresign’, i.e., a double-faced unity. In anycase, symbolon establishes a symmetric relation between its relata: if A is symbolonof B, B is symbolon of A. On the contrary, semeion (i.e. ‘sign’, for examplea tombstone on a grave) establishes an asymmetric relation between its relata: ifA is semeion of B, B cannot be semeion of A. Lo Piparo thinks that Aristotle’suse of the word homoioma looks like Euclides’s (and Wittgentein’s) use of ‘likeness’.But ‘likeness’ in our languages establishes a symmetric relation betweenits relata (if A is like B, B is like A) while Greek homoioma does not acts so (if Ais homoioma of B, B cannot be homoioma of A). Therefore, I see a strict analogybetween Aristotle’s use of homoioma in De interpretatione and Plato’s use ofcognate words in Republic VI, 510 a 9-10. What about pragma? With De Rijk(2002 I, 106), and differently from most of scholars, I think that «pragma muststand not for actual thing, but for the content of an expression». So we wouldhave a four-terms ratio in De interpretatione, as well as in Plato’s Republic VI.So: 1. written types (graphomena, grammata) behave to voices as pictures totheir pattern; 2. the whole phonetic level of a language behave to the semanticlevel as a picture to its pattern; 3. on the phonetic level of a language, the pathematates psyches stand for words, names (onomata); 4. on the semantic level,pragmata (i.e. ‘facts’, ‘states of affairs’) stand for logoi (‘proposition’). Hence,pragmata are contents of (complete) expressions, i.e. propositions (logoi).
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|