By Lia Formigari
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Extra resources for A History of Language Philosophies (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences)
The noemata pertain to an apprehension that precedes judgment. The fact that meaning is based on the immediate apprehension of a deﬁnite representation does not imply an underestimation of the intrinsic polysemy of natural languages. On the contrary, Aristotle indicates various uses of language that derive from the various uses of reason: practical, technical, theoretical. To Aristotle we owe a treatise on Rhetoric, where the strategies typical of the various forms of discourse are analyzed in detail.
For polemical purposes, philosophers would often represent the opposing positions in an extreme or even paradoxical form (we have seen some good examples of this tactic in Socrates’s arguments). But language is never treated as an acquired mechanism completely independent of any natural predisposition. Nor, on the other hand, is it treated as something biologically innate to the point that the actual learning of this or that language has little or no bearing on its functioning. Even the radical opposition between an empiricist approach (the mind is originally a tabula rasa, speech is learned by experience) and the rationalist one (speech develops spontaneously as a natural endowment of man) is largely a stereotype.
De Interpretatione is one of the works on logic collected in the Organon, and deals with declarative sentences (judgments, whether aﬃrmative or negative, therefore liable to be either true or false). Other types of speech (prayer, for example, which is a form of discourse that is neither true nor false) pertain to rhetoric and poetics. , Chap. 2) and the verb (“a sound which not only conveys a particular meaning but has a time-reference also”) are the minimum necessary verbal categories required for a judgment.