By Thomas Sheehan
Aristotle’s treatment of logos apophantikos is found within the treatise that bears the title Peri Hermeneias, On Hermeneia. And it was to this treatise — or, more accurately, to the first four sections of it — that the early Heidegger turned again and again in his courses during the 1920s in an effort to retrieve from this phenomenon a hidden meaning.
On Hermeneia is a treatise about the general forms of declarative sentences, sentences that claim, rightly or wrongly, to present things in words just as those things are in reality. The first four of the fourteen sections of On Hermeneia are introductory. They lead into the subject matter by discussing: the relation of thought and language, and the possibility of propositional truth and falsehood (section 1): the definitions of nouns and verbs (section 2) and of sentences in general (section 3); and the definition of declarative sentences (propositions, judgments, assertions) in particular (section 4). The remaining ten sections of the treatise discuss the forms of propositions with regard to their quality (affirmative and negative judgments), their quantity (universal, indefinite, and particular judgments), and their modality (assertions about existence, necessity, and mere possibility).