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Book Cover
Author Boethius, -524.

Title On Aristotle On interpretation. 4-6 / Boethius ; translated by Andrew Smith
Published London : Bristol Classical Press, 2011
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (viii, 149 pages)
Series Ancient commentators on Aristotle
Ancient commentators on Aristotle.
Summary Andrew Smith is Professor of Classics, University College Dublin
Boethius (c. 480-c. 525) wrote his highly influential second commentary on Aristotle's On Interpretation in Latin, but using the style of Greek commentaries on Aristotle. It was part of his project to bring knowledge of Plato and Aristotle to the Latin-speaking world of his fellow-Christians. The project was cruelly interrupted by his execution at the age of about 45, leaving the Latin world under-informed about Greek Philosophy for 700 years
Boethius discusses individuality and ascribes to Aristotle the view that each individual is distinguished by having a composite quality that is not merely unshared, but unshareable. Boethius also discusses why Aristotle thinks we can still say that the dead Homer is a poet, despite having forbidden us to say that the dead Socrates is either sick or well
Boethius reveals to us how On Interpretation was understood not only by himself, but also by some of the best Greek interpreters, especially Alexander and Porphyry. Alexander had defended the authenticity of Aristotle's book and insisted that its subject was composite thoughts, not composite sentences nor composite things -- it is thoughts that are primarily true or false. Although Aristotle's first six chapters define name, verb, sentence, statement, affirmation and negation, Porphyry had claimed that Aristotelians believe in three types of name and verb, written, spoken and mental, in other words a language of the mind
Boethius: On Aristotle On Interpretation 4-6 Translated by Andrew Smith
But Boethius' most famous contribution is his interpretation of Aristotle's discussion of the threat that tomorrow's events, for example a sea battle, will have been irrevocable 10,000 years ago, if it was true 10,000 years ago that there would be a sea battle on that day
General Editor: Richard Sorabji Research Professor of Philosophy at King's College London
In Boethius' later Consolation of Philosophy, written in prison awaiting execution, he offered a seminal conception of eternity to solve the related problem of future events being irrevocable because of God's foreknowledge of them
The 15,000 pages of the ancient Greek commentators on Aristotle, written mainly between 200 and 600 AD, constitute the largest corpus of extant Greek philosophical writings not translated into English or other European languages. The works in question are not only invaluable as commentaries. They represent the classroom teaching of the Aristotelian and Neoplatonic schools in a crucial period during which pagan and Christian thought were reacting to each other. This series of translations draws attention to their high philosophical interest; but their significance extends far beyond the period in which most of them were written. They incorporate precious fragments of earlier Greek philosophy from the Presocratics onwards, and the subsequent history of Philosophy cannot be understood without them. Aquinas' reading of Aristotle was partly mediated by the commentators, who gradually transmuted Aristotle to make him agree with Plato and ended by turning his God into a Creator and so making him more acceptable to Christianity. In the time of Galileo the commentaries were seen as a repository of ideas alternative to Aristotle's which could be used in the new science of the Renaissance. The projected series, planned in some 100 volumes, fills an important gap in the history of European thought. --Book Jacket
The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle
Notes Series statement from jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (page 145) and indexes
Notes English, translated from Latin
Print version record
Subject Aristotle. De interpretatione. 4-6
Language and logic -- Early works to 1800.
Logic -- Early works to 1800.
Genre/Form Kommentar
Early works.
Form Electronic book
Author Smith, Andrew, 1945-
ISBN 1472501659 (electronic bk.)
9781472501653 (electronic bk.)
Other Titles In Aristotelis De interpretatione commentarius. Kephalaia 4-6. English