Aristotle's Criticism of Plato and the Academy by Harold Cherniss

By Harold Cherniss

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The extent of the possible application of this topic to Platonic definitions is obvious; the implications of the topic arc indicated by Aristotle himself in a later reference to it. This topic was introduced with the words: ~%itw*iv $1 nai hrl T V tbeav eJ tyappocrti b A«x&« Spos. <£apjK$TT«. A Atfyo*), for the species is univocal. This topic, he says with a backward reference, is useful against those who posit the existence of ideas. In other words, the method rests upon an identification of the idea with the notion of species or class (the precise technical meaning of «W

1129 A 11-17; cf Burnet, ad he), lm

There the definition of line as " length without breadth " was impugned by showing that absolute length must either have breadth or lack it and that in either case some lengths would not be subsumed under the genus. That topic was said to be useful only against those who posit ideas and proceeded by treating the idea as a numerically single genus. Now if the pscudo-Aristotelian treatise on indivisible lines represents in its first pages the arguments of Xenocrates (cf Apclt, Deitriige zur Geschichte der grtech.

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