Aristotele e la differenza
This paper deals with the origins of componential semantics. Componential semantics has its origins in Plato’s method of division of genera, of which the Aristotelian doctrine of predicables is a substantial revision. Aristotle’s theory of definition, according to which a definition is composed by genus and specific difference, will be taken into account. Further, it will be shown that, in Aristotle’s writings, two alternative methods of definition coexist, and it will be argued that these methods are based upon two conflicting notions of difference. Finally, it will be seen how this contradiction is able to weaken Umberto Eco’s attack on the classical tree-like doctrine of the categories.