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Headword: Homônuma
Adler number: omicron,299
Translated headword: homonyms, equivocal things
Vetting Status: high
Of the names that are applied in multiple ways, some are applied in one manner, some in another. And some things, which we call 'homonymous', contain the duality in their names, while others, which philosophers call 'ambiguous', in their account. [...] And some things are manifestly homonymous, while others are [sc. merely] ambiguous. For example, science, insofar as [it is proper] of many things, means many things and is ambiguous. For one and the same science is thus [proper] of many things, such as the end and the means to the end. For instance, architecture is the science of a building as the end and of the things through which a building comes to be [built], things that are indeed means to the end. Therefore, the same [science is proper] of many things. Similarly, medicine also [belongs to] things productive of health, such as diet, an incision, a cautery, and many other things.
Greek Original:
Homônuma: tôn pollachôs legomenôn alla kat' allon tropon legetai. kai ta men en onomasi to ditton echei, ha kaloumen homônuma, ta de en logôi, ha kalousin hoi philosophoi amphibola. kai ta men homônuma esti prophanê, ta de amphibola, hoion hê epistêmê, epei pleionôn esti, pleiô sêmainei kai estin amphibolos. ê gar houtôs pleionôn hê autê kai mia epistêmê, hôs tou telous kai tôn pros to telos, hoion oikodomikê kai oikias estin epistêmê hôs telous kai di' hôn oikia ginetai, haper esti pros to telos: pleionôn oun hê autê. homoiôs kai iatrikê hugieias poiêtikôn, hoion diaitês kai tomês kai kauseôs kai heterôn pleionôn.
Taken (with some variations) from Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topica 152.5-17 (cf. Castelli (78)); cf. also 96.28-29 and 97.22-23 (see Van Ophuijsen (104)). The lexicographer has taken a passage mentioning homonymy and inserted it where homonymy would belong in the alphabet; but actually the passage mainly concerns ambiguity, not homonymy.
For Aristotle's definition of 'homonymous' see Categories 1a; cf. Minio-Paluello (3). Note that in the Categories, the terms ‘homonym’ and ‘homonymous’ apply not to the word in question but rather to the things referred to by the word; cf. Ackrill (71-72).
L.M. Castelli, trans., Alexander of Aphrodisias: On Aristotle Topics 2, (London 2020)
J.M. Van Ophuijsen, Alexander of Aphrodisias: On Aristotle’s Topics 1, (Ithaca, NY 2001)
L. Minio-Paluello, ed., Aristotelis Categoriae et Liber de Interpretatione, (Oxford 1949)
J.L. Ackrill, trans., Aristotle: Categories and De Interpretatione, (Oxford 1963)
Keywords: architecture; dialects, grammar, and etymology; medicine; philosophy; science and technology
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 15 January 2004@11:08:56.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 16 January 2004@03:09:05.
David Whitehead on 27 June 2013@09:47:26.
David Whitehead (coding) on 19 May 2016@10:26:33.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 16 January 2021@22:58:53.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 24 January 2021@22:25:36.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 27 November 2023@01:24:35.
Catharine Roth (expanded note after discussion with Ron Allen) on 27 November 2023@01:32:16.
Catharine Roth (modified translation with suggestions from Ron Allen) on 27 November 2023@01:38:51.
Catharine Roth (added note and bibliography supplied by Ron Allen) on 29 November 2023@00:49:33.
Ronald Allen (rearranged bibliography, added to bibliography, augmented note) on 29 November 2023@11:00:01.


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