On Aristotle's "Prior Analytics 1.32–46"
Translated by Ian Mueller
The last 14 chapters of book 1 of Aristotle's "Prior Analytics" are concerned with the representation in the formal language of syllogistic of propositions and arguments expressed in more or less everyday Greek. In his commentary on those chapters, Alexander of Aphrodisias explains some of Aristotle's more opaque assertions and discusses post-Aristotelian ideas in semantics and the philosophy of language. In doing so he provides an unusual insight into the way in which these disciplines developed in the Hellenistic era. He also shows a more sophisticated understanding of these fields than Aristotle himself, while remaining a staunch defender of Aristotle's emphasis on meaning as opposed to Stoics concern with verbal formulation. In his commentary on the final chapter of book 1 Alexander offers a thorough discussion of Aristotle's distinction between denying that something is, e.g., white and asserting that it is non-white.