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Logoi and Pathêmata

Aristotle and the modal/amodal distinction in modern theories of concepts


Lars Inderelst

«Concept» is a central notion in modern philosophy that also influences other disciplines like psychology and linguistics. The author compares modern theories to the work of Aristotle as the first philosopher with an extensive corpus and one of the predecessors both of classical theory and of modal theories of «concepts». It is surprising that there is no equivalent term for «concept» in his work. Both pathêma and logos are central to his theory of language and thought. Therefore, this book describes which notion in Aristotle’s writing comes closest to «concept» and whether or not it generates a precise theory.

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For a very long time, I have been fascinated by being able to read the thoughts and know about the lives of people who lived more than two thousand years ago. This was part of the reason why I developed an interest in ancient philosophy: Western Philosophy and some of the biggest philosophical questions have their origin in the Pre-socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. One question of particular interest to me has always been what has changed since then, and equally important what stayed the same, both in regards to philosophy and humanity in general.

This fascination served as the basis for my research and I hope I was able to provide some answers for a very specific problem in this context.

There are a lot of people that have contributed to my work in one way or another.

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