Pythagoras, the philosopher and grammar teacher (Br. Lib. Add. MS 37516 recto)

TitlePythagoras, the philosopher and grammar teacher (Br. Lib. Add. MS 37516 recto)
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsBodnár, I.
EditorsHochschild, Joshua P., Turner C. Nevitt, Adam Wood, and Gábor Borbély
Book TitleMetaphysics Through Semantics: The Philosophical Recovery of the Medieval Mind : Essays in Honor of Gyula Klima
PublisherSpringer Science
SeriesInternational Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées
Series Number242
ISBN Number978-3-031-15025-8
Publisher link

The paper is about a chreia—a one-liner used as a grammatical exercise sentence—that presents Pythagoras as proscribing an expression from admissible linguistic usage. This injunction is funny, because it can be construed as Pythagoras railing against the use of a particular variant form of an adjective—and also as against the use of items denoted by that adjective. In the paper I add to this line of interpretation the further point that the chreia also claims that in this latter construal the injunction was Pythagoras’s signature insight, making him the philosopher that he was

Department of Philosophy