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Aristotle's Categories and Propositions (De Interpretatione) (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS 243 Hippocrates G. Apostle, ed. and trans. Aristotle's Categories and Propositions (De Inter- pretatione). Grinnell, Iowa: The Peripatetic Press, 198o. Pp. vi + 157. Ever since the first appearance of Apostle's translations of and commentaries upon the Metaphysics (1966), the Physics (1969), and the Nicomachean Ethics (1975), "this reviewer has admired them for their literalness of rendering and fi)r the rigor of the almost line-by-line comments that try simply to reconstruct and explain the argu- ments in Aristotle's own terms. Apostle lets those arguments speak fi)r themselves, so that the Stagyrite does not emerge as a forerunner of Thomas, or Hegel, or Dewey or the recent Oxford analysts, nor does he become an insensitive follower of Plato. This addition to Apostle's series uses the format and style of the three earlier books: careful translations, followed by commentaries that lead the reader through the most obviously relevant discussions in other Aristotelian texts or other parts of the same text, but never invite the reader to step outside the corpus. Apostle does not explic- itly reject developmental and cultural hypotheses so much as sidestep them in order to lay bare the internal rationale of the formulations laid down by Aristotle. Some aids consist of the supplying of suppressed premises for the innumerable syllogisms; alternative readings of the Greek; alternative (and usually less law)red) translations of the words, phrases, or sentences; glossaries; and summaries of Aristotle's positions when the complexities seem to warrant. One of the most useful and impressive of these last is the account of much that Aristotle has to say about the universal and its relation to individuals (see the notes on "present in" and "said of," pp. 54-6o); in light of many subtleties of the treatment, the three questions of Porphyry fade away as being impertinent to the logical theory of categories and propositions -- certainly they are not necessary for introducing that theory, as so many medieval authors until Ockham assumed. The unspoken aim of Apostle's version seems to be not to ask the reader to think about Aristotle but to think as he believes the Stagyrite to have thought, and to raise, so far as possible, the same questions that Aristotle did. One should try to answer them, until all resources are exhausted and the line of inquiry becomes fruitless, in a distinctively Aristotelian way. This entails making use of the vast number of distinc- tions that Aristotle invoked. After this preliminary discipline, the biographical and socio-historicai approaches are entirely proper, but they are, if carried out responsi- bly, far too complicated to be pursued befi)re a thorough mastery has been attained of what Aristotle said and what he probably meant. GEORGE KIMBALL PLOCHMANN Southern Illinois University at Carbondale ...



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