Aristotle, Categories

LCL 325: 12-13

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Aristotle

ΑΡΙΣΤΟΤΕΛΟΥΣ ΚΑΤΗΓΟΡΙΑΙ

1 a

I. Ὁμώνυμα λέγεται ὧν ὄνομα μόνον κοινόν, ὁ δὲ κατὰ τοὔνομα λόγος τῆς οὐσίας ἕτερος, οἷον ζῷον ὅ τε ἄνθρωπος καὶ τὸ γεγραμμένον. τούτων γὰρ ὄνομα μόνον κοινόν, ὁ δὲ κατὰ τοὔνομα λόγος τῆς οὐσίας ἕτερος· ἂν γάρ τις ἀποδιδῷ τί ἐστιν 5αὐτῶν ἑκατέρῳ τὸ ζῴῳ εἶναι, ἴδιον ἑκατέρου λόγον ἀποδώσει. συνώνυμα δὲ λέγεται ὧν τό τε ὄνομα κοινὸν καὶ ὁ κατὰ τοὔνομα λόγος τῆς οὐσίας ὁ αὐτός, οἷον ζῷον ὅ τε ἄνθρωπος καὶ ὁ βοῦς. ὁ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος καὶ ὁ βοῦς κοινῷ ὀνόματι προσαγορεύεται ζῷον, καὶ ὁ λόγος δὲ τῆς οὐσίας ὁ 10αὐτός· ἐὰν γὰρ ἀποδιδῷ τις τὸν ἑκατέρου λόγον, τί ἐστιν αὐτῶν ἑκατέρῳ τὸ ζῴῳ εἶναι, τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἀποδώσει. παρώνυμα δὲ λέγεται ὅσα ἀπό τινος διαφέροντα τῇ πτώσει τὴν κατὰ τοὔνομα

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Categories, I

Aristotle’s Categories

I. Things are equivocallya named, when they have the name only in common, the definition (or statement of essence) corresponding with the name being different. For instance, while a man and a portrait can properly both be called ‘animals,’ these are equivocally named.b For they have the name only in common, the definitions (or statements of essence) corresponding with the name being different. For if you are asked to define what the being an animal means in the case of the man and the portrait, you give in either case a definition appropriate to that case alone.

Things are univocally named, when not only they bear the same name but the name means the same in each case—has the same definition corresponding. Thus a man and an ox are called ‘animals.’ The name is the same in both cases; so also the statement of essence. For if you are asked what is meant by their both of them being called ‘animals,’ you give that particular name in both cases the same definition.

Things are ‘derivatively’ named that derive their own name from some other, that is given a new verbal

  • aI retain the traditional renderings, ‘univocal,’ namely, and ‘equivocal.’ The ordinary reader, I suspect, will be little familiar with the former. He may, if he pleases, substitute such terms as ‘ambiguous,’ ‘unambiguous.’ ‘Univocal’ has the advantage of being a positive term.
  • bΖῷον in Greek had two meanings, that is to say, living creature, and, secondly, a figure or image in painting, embroidery, sculpture. We have no ambiguous noun. However, we use the word ‘living’ of portraits to mean ‘true to life.’
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-the_categories.1938