In: Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy
Author: Frank A. Lewis

Abstract

What in Aristotle corresponds, in whole or (more likely) in part, to our contemporary notion of predication? This paper sketches counterparts in Aristotle’s text to our theories of expression and of truth, and on this basis inquires into his treatment of sentences assigning an individual to its kinds. In some recent accounts, the Metaphysics offers a fresh look at such sentences in terms of matter and form, in contrast to the simpler theory on offer in the Categories. I argue that the Metaphysics initiates no change in this regard over the Categories. The point that form is (metaphysically) predicated of matter is a contribution, not to the account of statement predication, but to the analysis of compound material substances. Otherwise put, in our terms Aristotelian form is not - in particular, is not also - a propositional function, but a function from matter to compound material substances.

In: Phronesis
Author: Frank Lewis

Abstract

In his great poem, Parmenides uses an argument by elimination to select the correct "way of inquiry" from a pool of two, the ways of is and of is not, joined later by a third, "mixed" way of is and is not. Parmenides' first two ways are soon given modal upgrades – is becomes cannot not be, and is not becomes necessarily is not (B2, 3-6) – and these are no longer contradictories of one another. And is the common view right, that Parmenides rejects the "mixed" way because it is a contradiction? I argue that the modal upgrades are the product of an illicit modal shift. This same shift, built into two Exclusion Arguments, gives Parmenides a novel argument to show that the "mixed" way fails. Given the independent failure of the way of is not, Parmenides' argument by elimination is complete.

In: Phronesis