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Headword: Ὅπερ
Adler number: omicron,446
Translated headword: what precisely [is]
Vetting Status: high
Properly speaking this [expression] 'what precisely is' is indicative, and if [the expression 'what precisely is'][1] is added to something else, it means 'being that in the strict sense'. For instance, what precisely/essentially [is] a man [means] a man in the strict sense; and 'what precisely is' [means what is in the strict sense] and 'what precisely is good' [means] what is good in the strict sense.[2] And indeed, among the things that are predicated of another thing, if [the expression] 'what precisely [is]' is added to something else, [that] means that it is predicated of that in a strict sense; and [it means] that in a strict sense the substance [?] is in that and is that.
Greek Original:
Ὅπερ: τοῦτο τὸ ὅπερ τοῦ κυρίως ἐστὶ δηλωτικόν, καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν προστεθῇ, τὸ κυρίως ἐκεῖνο εἶναι σημαίνει: οἷον ὅπερ ἄνθρωπος, ὁ κυρίως ἄνθρωπος: καὶ ὅπερ ὂν καὶ ὅπερ ἀγαθὸν τὸ κυρίως, ἀγαθόν. καὶ τῶν κατηγορουμένων δὴ κατ' ἄλλου, ᾧ ἂν τὸ ὅπερ προστεθῇ, κυρίως ἐκείνου κατηγορεῖσθαι σημαίνει. καὶ τὸ εἶναι τὸ ὑποκείμενον κυρίως ἐν τούτῳ τε καὶ τοῦτο.
This entry is taken (with some important variations) from Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topica 227.7-12. Alexander is commenting here on Topica 116a23ff., where it is argued that 'what precisely (or essentially) is' is more desirable than what does not come within the genus; for instance, justice is more desirable than a just man, or a white man is not precisely what color is (Topica 116a26-27).
[1] The expression ὅπερ , which clarifies the text, appears in Alexander 227.7-8, and reappears below in this entry.
[2] The Suda omits some words, obscuring the sense. The reading given by Wallies (the editor of Alexander's treatise: Berlin, 1891) is: ὅπερ ὄν τὸ κυρίως ὄν. ὅπερ ἀγαθὸν τὸ κυρίως ἀγαθόν .
Keywords: definition; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 10 July 2003@11:06:41.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 11 July 2003@03:57:34.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 13 May 2008@21:39:01.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 14 May 2008@11:43:43.
David Whitehead (more adjustments) on 5 July 2013@03:19:44.
David Whitehead (codings) on 20 May 2016@03:20:59.


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