By Robert M. Johnson
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22. 4 The English rendering of όμώνυμα as "homonymous things" is preferable to u homonyms" in this context. Aristotle is concerned here not with mere words but with real things (where the word 'things' is used, "as a blanket-term for items in any category," Ackrill, , p. 71). Professor Apostle , pp. " But he explains that " . . the word όμώνυμα as used here appears to be an attribute of things rather than of the corresponding names," strange as it may sound linguistically in English. 3 PORPHYRY'S COMMENTS ON CATEGORIES, I 37 those which constitute the post-praedicamenta.
2. Ambiguity and Its Kinds It seems that at Aristotle's time there was a growing interest among philosophers in the difficulties involved in the use of linguistic devices to express critical thinking unambiguously. The teaching and the skeptical tendencies of the Sophists had added urgency to this problem. 8 For him, it is exactly the ambiguity of many words which makes sophistic tricj^^ossible^9 His awareness of this problem and his determination to be precise led Aristotle to treat what he calls πολλαχώς λεγόμενα with caution.
57, 34-58, 12) Admittedly, this is not an easy passage to translate or interpret. Since it summarizes Porphyry's interpretive theory of the Categories, it calls for special attention and additional comments. First of all, it should be kept in mind that Porphyry's objective here is to argue against the proposals that the suitable title of the Aristotelian treatise should be either On the Genera of Being or On the Ten Genera. As will be seen later, behind this hotly debated issue about the correct title of the treatise are to be found the alternative interpretations of the categorial doctrine advanced by dif ferent philosophers and commentators.