ADVANTAGES

So far, then, Aristotle’s appeals to homonymy or multivocity areprimarily destructive, in the sense that they attempt to undermine aPlatonic presumption regarded by Aristotle as unsustainable. Importantly, just as Aristotle sees a positive as well as a negativerole for dialectic in philosophy, so he envisages in addition to itsdestructive applications a philosophically constructive role forhomonymy. To appreciate his basic idea, it serves to reflect upon acontinuum of positions in philosophical analysis ranging from purePlatonic univocity to disaggregated Wittgensteinean familyresemblance. One might in the face of a successful challenge toPlatonic univocity assume that, for instance, the various cases ofgoodness have nothing in common across all cases, so that good thingsform at best a motley kind, of the sort championed by Wittgensteineansenamored of the metaphor of family resemblances: all good things belongto a kind only in the limited sense that they manifest a tapestry ofpartially overlapping properties, as every member of a single family isunmistakably a member of that family even though there is no onephysical attribute shared by all of those family members.

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