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Headword: *kathgo/rhma
Adler number: kappa,1039
Translated headword: predicate
Vetting Status: high
A predicate is what is asserted of something or a state of affairs associated with some [subject] or some [subjects].[1] For in the topic concerning the states of affairs and significations [2] are placed the explanation regarding the complete sayables, propositions and deductive arguments, and the [explanation] concerning the incomplete [sayables], predicates both active and passive.[3] They say that a sayable[4] is what corresponds to a verbal representation. Of sayables, some are incomplete, such as 'writes', for we ask 'who?' Other [sayables] are complete and contain a finished thought[5], such as 'Socrates writes'. Predicates are placed in the domain of incomplete sayables, but propositions, deductive arguments, questions, and inquiries are placed in the domain of complete [sayables].[6]
Greek Original:
*kathgo/rhma: kathgo/rhma/ e)sti to\ kata/ tinos a)goreuo/menon h)\ pra=gma suntakto\n peri/ tinos h)/ tinwn. e)n ga\r tw=| peri\ pragma/twn kai\ shmainome/nwn to/pw| te/taktai o( peri\ lektw=n au)totelw=n, a)ciwma/twn kai\ sullogismw=n lo/gos: kai\ o( peri\ e)llipw=n, kathgorhma/twn kai\ o)rqw=n kai\ u(pti/wn. lekte/on de/ fasi to\ kata\ fantasi/an logikh\n u(fista/menon. tw=n de\ lektw=n ta\ me/n ei)sin e)lliph=, oi(=on gra/fei, e)pizhtou=men ga\r ti/s; ta\ de\ au)totelh= kai\ a)phrtisme/nhn e)/xonta th\n dia/noian, oi(=on gra/fei o( *swkra/ths. e)n me\n toi=s e)llipe/si lektoi=s te/taktai ta\ kathgorh/mata, e)n de\ toi=s au)totele/si ta\ a)ciw/mata kai\ oi( sullogismoi\ kai\ ta\ e)rwth/mata kai\ ta\ pu/smata.
The whole entry is taken (with some variations) from Diogenes Laertius 7.63-64 (web address 1) and reports part of the Stoics' semantic theory.
[1] This definition belongs to the Stoic Apollodorus (D.L. 7.64). For the translation of pragma by 'state of affairs', see alpha 2827, note 2.
[2] Or 'what is signified'.
[3] That is to say, predicates expressed by active and passive verbs, respectively (again see alpha 2827, note 2).
[4] Reading lekto/n ('sayable', 'what is said') instead of lekte/on ('it must be said'). In fact, what follows is one of the canonical Stoic definitions of lekto/n (D.L. 7.63; see also Sextus Empiricus, PH 2.104), and lekte/on makes no sense in the context.
[5] Or 'expression' (e)kfora/), as the D.L. text reads (7.63), which improves the sense.
[6] On the Stoic doctrine of 'sayables', see Atherton 1993 and Frede 1994.
C. Atherton, The Stoics on Ambiguity (Cambridge 1993).
M. Frede, "The Stoic Notion of a lekton", in S. Everson (ed.), Language. Companions to Ancient Thought 3, (Cambridge 1994) 109-128
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 29 August 2002@01:13:49.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 29 August 2002@01:17:28.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 15 January 2003@08:22:30.
Catharine Roth (added betacode) on 17 August 2006@01:11:30.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 10 February 2013@09:03:27.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, added a link) on 6 July 2019@22:49:06.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation again) on 9 July 2019@20:16:18.


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