Theodoros Prodromos’ logical works: “On the great and the small”

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O. Yu. Goncharko
Ya. A. Slinin
D. A. Chernoglazov

Abstract

This is the second in our series of articles concerning the logical treatises of the twelfth century Byzantine author Theodoros Prodromos. The subject of this paper is his treatise “On the Great and the Small” addressed to Michael Italikos and written in the tradition of neoplatonic commentary. The purpose of the article is to familiarize today’s readers with Theodoros Prodromos’ logical ideas and to analyze some of his commentaries on the “Categories” by Aristotle and the “Commentary on Categories” by Porphyry, assessing their originality.

This treatise is devoted to the problem of classifying the concepts of the “great” and the “small” as related to one of Aristotle’s ten categories. However, the Aristotelian solution does not suit Theodoros Prodromos, because Aristotle does not classify these concepts as related to any particular category, but allows them to be referred to di_erent categories (quantity and relation).

We have listed a number of arguments by Theodoros Prodromos that he uses to demonstrate that the concepts of the “great” and the “small” do not belong to the category of relation. Theodoros Prodromos’ argumentation is rather detailed and sophisticated: he builds counterexamples to Aristotle’s reasoning, criticizes the criteria for classifying the concepts into categories, analyzes the practice of using words and grammar cases in Greek and the list of categories in order to build a completely original argumentation against the Aristotelian solution resorting to Aristotle’s text.

However, as we try to show in this paper, this short text by Theodoros Prodromos is very close to some fragments of the “Commentary on the Categories” by Porphyry, which also touches upon the problem of classifying the concepts of the “great” and the “small”. Although, Theodoros Prodromos comes to conclusions that are somewhat di_erent from Porphyry’s, the use of fragments from his text is clear; it even seems that Theodoros Prodromos argues here against Porphyry, rather than against Aristotle. DOI: 10.21146/2074-1472-2018-24-2-11-35

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References

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