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Headword: Θεώρημα διαλεκτικόν
Adler number: theta,213
Translated headword: dialectical theorem
Vetting Status: high
That is,[1] a searching and a problem which extends toward either choice and avoidance or truth and knowledge, either on its own or as something working in collaboration with something else of this kind.[2] For Aristotle used to say that searching is theorizing. But the theorem would be to us an account responsible for a certain knowledge of the things belonging to dialectics, due to the fact that we call it a cause because of theory and knowledge. A theorem can be ethical, physical or logical, but indeed not every theorem ethical, physical or logical is already a dialectical theorem, but what is included in the domain of the proposed theorems contains a certain delimitation. These accounts are those about which people either hold no opinion or the wise hold the opposite opinion to the many, or the many hold the opposite of the wise, or each of them hold opposed opinions between themselves. Now what is being searched refers to choice or avoidance, such things being ethical problems. For the ethical searching, which is concerned with the good and the bad as well as with what is choiceworthy and avoidable, refers to choice and avoidance, and not merely to knowledge. Certainly, the one who is searching for something (whether pleasure is a good or is not a good or, in general, with regard to one of the goods gained in addition) focuses his searching on choice or avoidance. And again, the one who is searching whether the world is spherical or not, whether the soul is immortal or not, or some other thing of those that both are generated and exist by nature, makes his end the knowledge of truth, this end being proper to theoretical knowledge. For knowledge of the form of government among the best people is the end of theory. Those things which are not searched as practical and do not have the knowledge of truth in themselves as their end, either, but are searched as things working in collaboration with something else either both in respect of the knowledge and not the knowledge of the things that are choiceworthy or in respect of the choice both of true and false things, these are logical problems. For logical investigation occupies the place of an instrument in philosophy. Those things which indeed are searched for in accordance with this investigation are searched in respect of that investigation for the sake of the utility they have. For the one who is searching about the conversion of a premise, so to speak, about either the syllogistic or the non-syllogistic conjuction insofar as these things are auxiliary or contributory, is searching in view of the discovery as well as knowledge of the afore-mentioned things. Also [sc. attested is] τεθεωρημένη , [meaning] disposed to search of [= for] true knowledge.[3]
"So Arcesilaus the philosopher was sluggish and listless in his nature, but theoretically proficient in his craft, when saying that geometry flew into his mouth while it was open".[4]
Greek Original:
Θεώρημα διαλεκτικόν: τουτέστι ζήτημα καὶ πρόβλημα, τὸ συντεῖνον ἢ πρὸς αἵρεσιν καὶ φυγὴν ἢ πρὸς ἀλήθειαν καὶ γνῶσιν, ἢ αὐτὸ ἢ ὡς συνεργὸν πρός τι ἕτερον τῶν τοιούτων: ἔθος γὰρ Ἀριστοτέλει τὸ ζητεῖν θεωρεῖν λέγειν. εἴη δ' ἂν τὸ θεώρημα λόγος γνώσεως ἡμῖν τινος τῶν τῆς διαλεκτικῆς αἴτιος, ἀπὸ τοῦ θεωρίας καὶ γνώσεως αἴτιον ἡμῖν εἶναι ὠνομασμένον. θεώρημα ἠθικὸν ἢ φυσικὸν ἢ λογικόν, οὐ μὴν πᾶν θεώρημα ἠθικὸν ἢ φυσικὸν ἢ λογικὸν πρόβλημα ἤδη διαλεκτικόν, ἀλλ' ὅσα τῶν θεωρημάτων ἔχει τῶν προκειμένων τινὰ ἀφορισμόν. οὗτοι δέ εἰσι, περὶ ὧν ἢ μηδετέρως δοξάζουσιν ἢ ἐναντίως οἱ σοφοὶ τοῖς πολλοῖς ἢ οἱ πολλοὶ τοῖς σοφοῖς ἢ ἑκάτεροι αὐτοὶ ἑαυτοῖς. ὅσα μὲν οὖν τῶν ζητουμένων εἰς αἵρεσιν ἢ φυγὴν τὴν ἀναφορὰν ἔχει, ἠθικὰ τὰ τοιαῦτα προβλήματα. ἡ γὰρ περὶ τὸ ἀγαθόν τε καὶ κακὸν αἱρετόν τε καὶ φευκτὸν ζήτησις οὖσα ἠθικὴ εἰς αἵρεσιν καὶ φυγὴν τὴν ἀναφορὰν ἔχει, οὐκ εἰς ψιλὴν γνῶσιν: ὁ γὰρ ζητῶν, πότερον ἡ ἡδονὴ ἀγαθόν ἐστιν ἢ οὔ, ἢ ὅλως περί τινος τῶν ἐπικτήτων ἀγαθῶν, ὑπὲρ τοῦ αἱρεῖσθαι ἢ φεύγειν τὴν ζήτησιν ποιεῖται. πάλιν ὁ ζητῶν, πότερον ὁ κόσμος σφαιροειδής ἐστιν ἢ οὔ, ἢ ἡ ψυχὴ ἀθάνατος ἢ οὔ, ἤ τι ἄλλο τῶν φύσει γινομένων τε καὶ ὄντων, τέλος ποιεῖται τὴν τοῦ ἀληθοῦς γνῶσιν, ὃ τῆς θεωρητικῆς ἐστιν ἴδιον: ἡ γὰρ γνῶσις τῆς ἐν τοῖς ἀρίστοις πολιτείας τῆς θεωρίας τέλος. ὅσα μήτε ὡς πρακτικὰ ζητεῖται μήτε τέλος ἔχει τὴν γνῶσιν τῆς ἐν αὐτοῖς ἀληθείας, ἀλλ' ὡς συνεργὰ ἢ πρὸς τὴν τῶν αἱρετῶν τε καὶ μὴ γνῶσιν ἢ πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀληθῶν τε καὶ ψευδῶν αἵρεσιν ζητεῖται, ταῦτα προβλήματα λογικά: ἡ γὰρ λογικὴ πραγματεία ὀργάνου χώραν ἔχει ἐν φιλοσοφίᾳ. ὅσα δὴ κατὰ ταύτην ζητεῖται, τοῦ πρὸς ἐκείνην χρησίμου ζητεῖται χάριν: ὁ γὰρ ζητῶν περὶ ἀντιστροφῆς, φέρε εἰπεῖν, προτάσεως ἢ περὶ συλλογιστικῆς ἢ ἀσυλλογίστου συζυγίας, ὡς συνεργὰ ταῦτα καὶ ὡς συντελοῦντα πρὸς τὴν τῶν προειρημένων εὕρεσίν τε καὶ γνῶσιν ζητεῖ. καὶ Τεθεωρημένη, ζητητικὴ τῆς ἀληθοῦς γνώσεως. ὁ μὲν οὖν Ἀρκεσίλαος, ὁ φιλόσοφος, νωθρὸς ἦν τὴν φύσιν καὶ χασμώδης, ἐν δὲ τῇ τέχνῃ τεθεωρημένος, εἰπὼν τὴν γεωμετρίαν αὐτοῦ χάσκοντος εἰς τὸ στόμα ἐμπτῆναι.
[1] The headword, the Greek term θεώρημα , is hard to translate. It is used by Aristotle to designate the "theorems of arithmeticians" (Metaphysics 1090a13, cf. 1093b15), but also to indicate what is an "object of contemplation or of a theoretical consideration" (Nicomachean Ethics 1166a26; Topica 104b1) and a "theoretical or speculative proposition" (Movement of Animals, 701a10).
Most of this entry, until the addendum on Arcesilaus, is a quotation (slightly modified) of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topics 74.2-33 (concerning Topica 104b1-17).
[2] Actually this is the definition that Aristotle himself gives of the term "problem" (πρόβλημα ) at Topica 104b1ff.
[3] For this feminine perfect participle cf. under alpha 3830. (The comment on Arcesilaus -- see next note -- has the corresponding masculine.)
[4] For Arcesilaus, sceptical philosopher and head of the so-called "New Academy", see generally alpha 3950 and phi 270; and for this present material (from Diogenes Laertius 4.32) cf. tau 221.
J.D.G. Evans, Aristotle's Concept of Dialectic (Cambridge/London/New York: Cambridge University Press) 1977
M. Mignucci, La teoria aristotelica della scienza (Florence: Sansoni Editore), 1965
Keywords: biography; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; mathematics; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 7 April 2000@19:19:07.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 2 February 2003@08:43:12.
Marcelo Boeri (Corrected the greek in a note.) on 6 July 2003@09:36:38.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 1 October 2005@17:55:31.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 November 2005@10:24:39.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 1 January 2013@06:23:36.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 7 January 2013@00:45:59.


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