Dancy, Russell. 1975. "On Some of Aristotle's First Thoughts about Substances." The Philosophical Review no.
"But here I shall be concerned only indirectly with Aristotle's criticism of Platonism; my primary object is getting clear on
Aristotle's way of answering the question "What are the substances?" (p. 338)
"V. Conclusion. There is a cloud on Aristotle's horizon; we have glanced at it before. It is worth another, very brief, look.
Nothing in the Categories tells us how to describe such drastic changes as the death and cremation of Socrates, or Jago's becoming a baboon. We need
the notion of matter for that, and if we introduce that as a subject for predicates on a level lower than that of Socrates and Jago, we are in trouble: we
shall no longer be able to pick out the primary substances by looking for rock-bottom subjects. And that same trouble may threaten from another direction, only
I have been suppressing it. Aristotle talks as if the real subject that underlies white and black (2. 1a27-28, 5. 2a31-34, b1-3, 4a3-4, 8. 4a34-35) and disease
and health (10. 12a5-6, 11. 14a1I6) were the body of the man or animal, and as if the real subject that underlies literacy (2. 1a25-26), knowledge
(1b1-2), insanity, irascibility (8. 9b33 ff.), justice and injustice (11. 14a17-I8) were the soul of the man or animal. Only once (that I know of) does he make
the man himself the underlying subject (compare 10. 12a13-14). But then, which are the primary substances ? What are the interrelationships between matter,
form, and the compound? Aristotle owes us something here; elsewhere he tries to pay the debt. I shall leave the question whether his balance is enough to cover
his check for another occasion." (pp. 372-373)
———. 1978. "On Some of Aristotle's Second Thoughts About Substances: Matter " The Philosophical Review no. 87:372-413
"In Metaphysics Z 3, Aristotle tells us (1029a3-4) that by "matter" he means, "for example, the bronze" of
which a statue is made, and a few lines later, at a20-2 1, that by "matter" he means "what is not in its own right called either something or so
big or any of the other things by which being is determined." But the bronze of which a statue is made is something in its own right, and in the
Meteorologica (Γ 6 and elsewhere), Aristotle is prepared to tell us something about what it is in its own right.
The explanation I shall try to provide for this apparent contradiction makes it a reflection of a larger apparent contradiction.
Most of Metaphysics Z 3 is an examination of the claim of "subjects" ("things that underly," [ὑποκείμενα) to be
substances (realities, οὐσίαι). It turns out that this claim at best demands clarification and at worst rejection, since people who take subjects to be
substances might be forced into saying that matter is the ultimate subject, and so the chief substance - but matter isn't anything in its own right, and isn't
knowable in its own right. So such people would be making substances, the ultimate realities, things about which there is no saying what they are. And that is
no good. So the claim of subjects to be substances must either be clarified or rejected. But that claim was one Aristotle himself advanced, in the
Categories especially, and it was fundamental in his rejection of Platonism. So Aristotle is attacking a view of his own.
What is needed is a sorting out of the various concepts: matter, subject, substance. That is what Z 3 is about, and that is what this paper
is about. The job is not done at the end of Z 3: the notion of form remains foggy. So it does in this paper. And the problem does not arise only at the
beginning of Z 3: the Organon and the physical works had set it up. So let us first go back to the Categories and the rest of the
Organon." (P. 373)
De Rijk, Lambertus Marie. 1951. "The Authenticity of Aristotle's Categories." Mnemosyne no. 4:129-159
"Most scholars either deny Aristotle's authorship of the first treatise of the Organon, or else consider the problem of authorship to be
insoluble. I maintain, however, that such judgements are wrong and that the treatise is of genuine Aristotelian authorship, and of considerable importance for
our knowledge both of Aristotle's own development, and also that of later Platonism. I shall try to show the authenticity of the treatise in the following
study, and shall divide my investigation into the following main divisions:
A. The view of the ancient commentators concerning the authenticity of Categories Chs. 1-9;
B. Modern criticism of the authenticity of Categories Chs. 1-9;
C. The authenticity of Categories Chs. 10-15." (p. 129)
[See also the following note to Ancient and mediaeval semantics and metaphysics (Second part), Vivarium, November, 1978, p.
85: "Unlike some 30 years ago (see my papers published in Mnemosyne 1951), the present author has his serious doubts, now, on the authenticity of
the first treatise of the Organon" and the review by Kurt von Fritz (1954)].
———. 1952. The Place of the Categories of Being in Aristotle's Philosophy. Assen: Van Gorcum
Contents: Bibliography I-III; Introduction 1-7; Chapter I. Aristotle's doctrine of truth 8-35; Chapter II. The distinction of essential and
accidental being pp. 31-43; Chapter III. Logical and ontological accident 44-52; Chapter IV. The nature of the categories in the Metaphysics 53-66;
Chapter V. The doctrine of the categories in the first treatise of the Organon 67-75; Chapter VI. The use of the categories in the work of Aristotle
76-88; Appendix. The names of the categories 89-92; Index locorum 93-96.
"It seems to be the fatal mistake of philology that it always failed to get rid of Kantian influences as to the question of the relation
of logic and ontology. Many modern mathematical logicians have shown that the logical and the ontological aspect not only are inseparable but also that in many
cases it either lacks good sense or is even impossible to distinguish them. Accordingly, the distinction of logical and ontological truth (especially of
propositional truth and term-truth), that of logical and ontological accident and that of logical and ontological categories, has not the same meaning for
modem logic as it seems to have for 'traditional' logic (for instance the logic of most Schoolmen).
I hope to show in this study that the distinction of a logical and an ontological aspect (especially that of logical and ontological
categories) can be applied to the Aristotelian doctrine only with the greatest reserve. A sharp distinction carried through rigorously turns out to be
unsuitable when being applied to Aristotelian logic. For both aspects are, for Aristotle, not only mutually connected but even interwoven, and this in such a
way that the ontological aspect seems to prevail, the logical being only an aspect emerging more or less in Aristotle's generally ontological way of
thinking." (pp. 6-7)
———. 1978. "On Ancient and Mediaeval Semantics and Metaphysics. Part II. The Multiplication of Being in Aristotle's
Categories." Vivarium no. 16:81-117
"3. The Multiplication of Being in Aristotle's Categories
3.1. Introduction. One of the results of the preceding section may be that Lloyd (1956, p. 59) seems to be wrong in
asserting that in Plato's view the rôle of the universal is played by the Idea exclusively, and that only by the time of the Middle Academy, that is, for the
Platonists of the first two centuries A.D., the performers of this rôle have been multiplied. As a matter of fact the distinction between Plato and his
followers of the Middle Academy on this score would seem to be a different one. The ontological problems of participation were felt as early as in the Platonic
dialogues (see our section 2), as well as the logical ones concerning predication (which will be discussed in a later section). Well, the Platonists of the
first two centuries A.D., introduced explicitly a threefold distinction of the Platonic Form or rather of its status which was (only) implied with Plato. I
think, Lloyd is hardly more fortunate in ascribing (ibid.) this introduction chiefly to the influence of Aristotelian logic on Platonic interpretation. It is
true, in stating the basic distinction between en hypokeimenôi and kath' hypokeimenou Aristotle tried to face the same cluster of fundamental
problems which induced later Platonists to the distinction of the Forms as taken before or after the methexis (cf. Simplicius, In Arist. Categ. 79,
12ff.). However, Plato's disciple, Aristotle (the most unfaithful one, in a sense, as must be acknowledged) was as deeply engaged on the same problems as were
his condisciples and the Master himself in his most mature period. It is certainly not Aristotle who played the rôle of a catalyst and was the first to provoke
the multiplication of the Platonic Form in order to solve problems which were not recognized before in the Platonic circle. On the contrary, Plato himself had
saddled his pupils with a basic and most intricate problem, that of the nature of participation and logical predication. It was certainly not left quite
unsolved in the later dialogues, but did still not have a perspicuous solution which could be accepted in the School as a scholastic one. So any of his serious
followers, (who were teachers in the School, at the same time) was bound to contrive, at least, a scholastic device to answer the intricate question. To my
view, Aristotle's solution should be discussed in this framework. For that matter, Aristotle stands wholly on ground prepared by his master to the extent that
his works on physic and cosmology, too, are essentially discussions held within the Academy (Cp. Werner Jaeger, Aristotle. Fundamentals of the history of his
development, Oxford 1949, 308)." (pp. 81-82)
3.2. Aristotle's classification of being as given in the Categories; 3.2.1. The common view: categories = predicates; 3.2.2. The things
said 'aneu symplokés'; 3.2.3. The doctrine of substance given in the Categories; 3.2.4. The ontological character of the classification; 3.2.5. Some
obscurities of the classification; 3.2.6. The different status of the 'things' meant; 126.96.36.199 The first item of the classification; 188.8.131.52. The second item of
the classification; 184.108.40.206. The third item of the classification; 220.127.116.11. The ontological status of the 'things' meant in the items (2) and (3); 18.104.22.168. The
fourth item of classification; 3.2.7. The relation between the different 'things'; 3.3. Categories and predicables; 3.3.1. The opposition of category and
predicable; 3.3.2. The impact of the opposition; 3.3.3. The obscure position of the differentia; 3.3.4. Conclusion.
———. 1980. "On Ancient and Mediaeval Semantics and Metaphysics. Part III. The Categories as Classes of Names." Vivarium
"4. The Categories as Classes of Names; 4.1. Status quaestionis. The previous sections contain several hints to the
close interrelation between three major issues in Plato's doctrine, viz. the question about the true nature of the Forms and those about participation and
predication. Indeed, for the founder of the theory of the Forms, predication was bound to become a problem. Forms are immutable and indivisible; yet other
Ideas have to participate in them; they are unique, by themselves and subsistent; yet, when saying `John is man' (or white), `Peter is
man' (or white), should there be one perfect, eternal, immutable etc. Form of MAN (or WHITE) in the one and another in the
other? Or, as I have put it above [1977: 85]: if John, Peter, and William are wise, does this mere fact mean that there must be something which they are all
related to in exactly the same manner, namely WISDOM itself? And if `John is wise', 'Peter is wise', and `William is wise' are all true
statements, what exactly is the meaning of the predicate name 'wise'? The former question is concerned with participation, the latter with
predication. Well, that the crux of the latter problem is not the separate existence of the Forms (chôrismos) clearly appears from the fact that also
the author of the Categories, who had entirely abandoned all kind of chôrismos, could apparently not get rid of a similar problem: if the
categories really are classes of 'things there are' (1 a 20) (i.e. 'real' substances, 'real' natures, and 'real' properties), rather than concepts (i.e.
logical attributes), what kind of 'thing' is meant by a term qua 'category'? So for Aristotle the semantic problem still remained. His
distinction between en hypokeimenôi and kath' hypokeimenou could only hide the original problem. It is often said that these phrases refer to
different domains, the metaphysical and the logical one, respectively. We have already found some good reasons to qualify this opposition (see , 84; 88).
It seems to be useful now to collect all kind of information from Aristotle's writings, not only the Categories, about the proper meaning of the
categories. This will be the aim of our sections 4.2-4.7." (pp. 1-2)
4.2. On some modern interpretations of 'kata symplokên'; 4.3. Aristotle's use of the categories; "For this section see also my
Utrecht dissertation, The place of the Categories of Being in Aristotle's philosophy, Assen 1952 pp. 76-88. I have to correct or to adjust my former
views on several points."; 4.31. The categories as a classification of reality; 4. 32. The categories as a classification of sentence predicates;
4.33. The categories as a classification of 'copulative being'; 4.4. How did Aristotle arrive at his list of categories?; 4.5. Are the categories the 'highest
predicates'?; 4.6. The categories taken as names in Metaph. Z 1-6 and Anal. Post. I 4; 4.7. An attempt at a reinterpretation of Categories, chs. 1-5;
4.8. Aristotle's view on relatives; 4.9. Conclusion.
———. 1988. "'Categorization' as a Key Notion in Ancient and Medieval Semantics." Vivarium no. 26:1-18
"The aim of this paper is to argue for a twofold thesis: (a) for Aristotle the verb 'katêgorein' does not as such stand for
statemental predication, let alone of the well-known 'S is P' type, and (b) 'non-statemental predication' or 'categorization' plays an important role in
Ancient and Medieval philosophical procedure.
1. Katêgorein and katêgoria in Aristotle
Aristotle was the first to use the word 'category' (katêgoria) as a technical term in logic and philosophy. It is commonly
taken to mean 'highest predicate' and explained in terms of statement-making. From the logical point of view categories are thus considered 'potential
1.3 Name giving ('categorization') as the key tool in the search for 'true substance'
What Aristotle actually intends in his metaphysical discussions in the central books of his Metaphysics (Z-Th) is to discover the
proper candidate for the name 'ousia'. According to Aristotle, the primary kind of 'being' or 'being as such' (to on hêi on) can only be found in
'being-ness' (ousia; see esp. Metaph. 1028b2). Unlike Plato, however, Aristotle is sure to find 'being as such' in the domain of things
belonging to the everyday world. Aristotle's most pressing problem is to grasp the things' proper nature qua beings. In the search for an answer
name-giving plays a decisive role: the solution to the problem consists in finding the most appropriate ('essential') name so as to bring everyday being into
the discourse in such a way that precisely its 'beingness' is focussed upon.
2. The use of 'praedicare' in Boethius
The Greek phrase katêgorein ti kata tinos is usually rendered in Latin as praedicare aliquid de aliquo. The Latin
formula primarily means 'to say something of something else' (more precisely 'of somebody'). Of course, the most common meaning of the Latin phrase is 'to
predicate something of something else in making a statement of the form S = P'. However, the verb praedicare, just as its Greek counterpart
katêgorein, is used more than once merely in the sense of 'naming' or 'designating by means of a certain name', regardless of the syntactic role that
name performs in a statement. In such cases praedicare stands for the act of calling up something under a certain name (designation), a procedure that
we have labelled 'categorization'. (...)
Boethius' use of praedicare is quite in line with what is found in other authors. Along with the familiar use of the verb for
statemental predication, Boethius also frequently uses praedicare in the sense of 'naming' or 'designating something under a certain name' whereby the
use of the designating word in predicate position is, sometimes even explicitly, ruled out." (pp. 1, 4, 9-10)
(*) See L. M. de Rijk, The Categories as Classes of Names (= On Ancient and Medieval Semantics 3), in: Vivarium, 18 (1980),
1-62, esp. 4-7
———. 2002. Aristotle: Semantics and Ontology. Volume I: General Introduction. The Works on Logic. Leiden: Brill
"In this book I intend to show that the ascription of many shortcomings or obscurities to Aristotle resulted from persistent
misinterpretation of key notions in his work. The idea underlying this study is that commentators have wrongfully attributed anachronistic perceptions of
'predication', and statement-making in general to Aristotle. In Volume I, what I consider to be the genuine semantics underlying Aristotle's expositions of his
philosophy are culled from the Organon. Determining what the basic components of Aristotle's semantics are is extremely important for our
understanding of his view of the task of logic -- his strategy of argument in particular.
In chapter 1, after some preliminary considerations I argue that when analyzed at deep structure level, Aristotelian statement-making does
not allow for the dyadic 'S is P' formula. An examination of the basic function of `be' and its cognates in Aristotle's philosophical investigations shows that
in his analysis statement-making is copula-less. Following traditional linguistics I take the 'existential' or hyparctic use of `be' to be the central one in
Greek (pace Kahn), on the understanding that in Aristotle hyparxis is found not only in the stronger form of 'actual occurrence' but also in
a weaker form of what I term 'connotative (or intensional) be' (1.3-1.6). Since Aristotle's 'semantic behaviour', in spite of his skilful manipulation of the
diverse semantic levels of expressions, is in fact not explicitly organized in a well-thought-out system of formal semantics, I have, in order to fill this
void, formulated some semantic rules of thumb (1.7).
In chapter 2 I provide ample evidence for my exegesis of Aristotle's statement-making, in which the opposition between 'assertible' and
`assertion' is predominant and in which 'is' functions as an assertoric operator rather than as a copula (2.1-2.2). Next, I demonstrate that Aristotle's
doctrine of the categories fits in well with his view of copula-less statement-making, arguing that the ten categories are 'appellations' ('nominations')
rather than sentence predicates featuring in an 'S is P' formation (2.3-2.4). Finally, categorization is assessed in the wider context of Aristotle's general
strategy of argument (2.5-2.7).
In the remaining chapters of the first volume (3-6) I present more evidence for my previous findings concerning Aristotle's 'semantic
behaviour' by enquiring into the role of his semantic views as we find them in the several tracts of the Organon, in particular the Categories, De
interpretatione and Posterior Analytics. These tracts are dealt with in extenso, in order to avoid the temptation to quote selectively
to suit my purposes." (pp. XV-XVI)
Derrida, Jacques. 1982. "The Supplement of Copula: Philosophy Before Linguistics." In Margins of Philosophy,
175-205. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Translation, with Additional Notes, by Alan Bass of Le supplément de copule. La philosophie devant la linguistique
Also translated by James S. Creech and Josué Harrani in Georgia Review, 30, 1976, pp. 527-564.
"We know that Benveniste, in "Categories of Thought and Language,"(6) analyzed the limiting constraints which the Greek
language imposed upon the system of Aristotelian categories.
Benveniste's propositions are part of a stratified ensemble; nor does he restrict himself to the text which directly states the thesis of the
ensemble. We will have to take this into account when the time comes. Moreover, this thesis already has encountered objections of the philosophical type;(7)
together the thesis and the objections form a debate which in its development will be invaluable for us.
First, the thesis: "Now it seems to us—and we shall try to show—that these distinctions are primarily categories of language and that,
in fact, Aristotle, reasoning in the absolute, is simply identifying certain fundamental categories of the language m which he thought" (p. 57)."
"The concept or category of the category systematically comes into play in the history of philosophy and of science (in Aristotle's
Organon and Categories) at the point where the opposition of language to thought is impossible, or has only a very derivative sense. Although
Aristotle certainly did not reduce thought to language in the sense intended here by Benveniste, he did attempt to take the analysis back to the site of the
emergence, that is to the common root, of the language/thought couple. This site is the site of "Being." Aristotle's categories are simultaneously of
language and of thought: of language in that they are determined as answers to the question of knowing how Being is said (legetai); but also, how
Being is said, how is said what is, in that it is, such as it is: a question of thought, thought itself, the word "thought" which Benveniste uses as
if its signification and its history went without saying, in any case never having meant anything outside its relation to Being, its relation to the truth of
Being such as it is and in that it is (said)." (p. 182)
(6) In Benveniste, Problems in General Linguistics, trans. Mary E. Meek (Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1971). All further
references are to this edition.
(7) See Pierre Aubenque, "Aristote et le langage, note annexe sur les catégories d'Aristote. A propos d'un article de M.
Benveniste," Annales de Ia faculté des Lettres d'Aix 43 (1965); and J. Vuillemin, De la logique a Ia théologie. Cinq études sur Aristote
(Paris: Flammarion, 1967), pp. 75ff.
Devereux, Daniel. 1992. "Inherence and Primary Substance in Aristotle's Categories." Ancient Philosophy no.
"In chapter 2 of the Categories, Aristotle makes use of two predication relations, being said of a subject and being
in a subject, to distinguish four classes of entities. (i) Some things are neither said of nor in a subject: (ii) some are said
of but not in any subject; (iii) some are both said of and in a subject; and (iv) some are in but not. said
of any subject. There is general agreement about the kinds of entities belonging to in the first class: in the first class are particular substances,
e.g., a particular human being or a particular tree; in the second are the species and genera of these particular substances, e.g., Man, Animal, Tree; in the
third class are the general kinds or types falling under non-substance categories, e.g. Color as a kind of quality, or Larger Than as a kind of relation. As
one successively divides these non-substance kinds into species and sub-species, one arrives at entities such as 'this particular white' or 'this particular
knowledge of grammar' which cannot be further subdivided. There has been a spirited debate in recent years over the exact nature of these entities belonging to
the fourth class. Is the 'particular white' a specific shade of white that can be shared by a number of things? Or is it a particular instance of such a shade,
belonging uniquely to one individual?
Entities in the fourth class have traditionally been regarded as instances or tokens of types, and it has been thought that this view is
required by Aristotle's special notion of what it is to be in a subject. Recent opponents of the traditional view have argued that a correct
understanding of 'being in a subject' does not support the claim that entities of the fourth class are particular instances of qualities, quantities, etc., and
that the weight of the textual evidence in the Categories. supports the view that they can be shared by a number of subjects.
In the following discussion I shall try to show that there are passages in the Categories that clearly imply that type (iv) entities
cannot be shared by a number of subjects - passages that have not been exploited by defenders of the traditional view. I will then turn to the question of what
Aristotle means by 'being in a subject', and will argue for an interpretation that seems lo make better sense of the relevant texts than other views in the
current literature." (p. 113)
———. 1998. "Aristotle's Categories 3B10-21: A Reply to Sharma." Ancient Philosophy no. 18:341-352
"In an article published several years ago in this journal (Devereux 1992). I argued for a new way of understanding Aristotle's
explanation of what he means by the expression 'in a subject' at Categories 1 a24-25. One of my contentions was that although this explanation does
not imply that things that are in but not said of a subject are particulars, there are other passages in the Categories that do have this
implication: i.e., there are passages besides1 a24-25 that clearly imply that 'first-order accidents' (things in but not said of a subject)
are not universals but what are called 'tropes' in the contemporary literature. This latter claim is challenged by Ravi Sharma in a recent note in this journal
Though his arguments have not persuaded me to give up my view, I have learned from Sharma's acute discussion." (p. 341)
Devereux, Daniel: "Inherence and Primary Substance in Aristotle's Categories", Ancient Philosophy, 12, 1992, pp.
Sharma, Ravi K.: "A New Defense of Tropes? On Categories 3b10-18", Ancient Philosophy, 17, 1997, pp. 309-315.
Driscoll, John A. 1979. "The Platonic Ancestry of Primary Substance." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no.
"Chapter Five of the Categories contains the earliest version of Aristotle's theory of substance. In spirit, the chapter is
While attempts have been made to find Academic antecedents for the doctrine of categories as a whole,(4) the properties shared by primary
substances and the Receptacle have, as far as I can determine, passed unnoticed in the literature.
In this paper I will not examine the three-sided relationship between the Receptacle, primary substance, and primary matter. Such an
examination would afford an interesting perspective from which to study the development of Aristotle's theory of substance from the Categories to the
Metaphysics, but it would raise many difficult issues not easily resolved in a short paper. I will instead simply list the properties shared by the
Receptacle and primary substance and discuss one important consequence of the link thereby established between Timaeus 49-52 and Categories
V: that the well-known controversy between G. E. L. Owen and Harold Cherniss over the dating of the Timaeus must be decided in favor of Owen, at least
with respect to the relative dating of the Timaeus and the Sophist. I propose to show, in other words, that Categories V owes a much
greater debt to Plato than is usually thought and that an examination of this debt increases our understanding not only of Anstotle's theory of substance but
also of the development of Plato's later philosophy." (pp. 253-254, notes omitted)
———. 1981. "EIΔH in Aristotle's Earlier and Later Theories of Substance." In Studies in Aristotle, edited by O'Meara,
Dominic, 129-159. Washington: Catholic University Press
"My object in this paper is to cast doubt on the view of M. J. Woods (1) and G. E. L. Owen(2) that the species which is a secondary
substance in the Categories is elevated to the status of primary substance in Metaphysics Z. Woods and Owen(3) commit themselves to this view
in the course of very interesting discussions of the differences separating Aristotle's early Categories theory and his later Metaphysics ΖΗΘ
theory of sensible substance.(4) However, serious objections have been raised against both writers on the basis of Aristotle's remarks in chapter 13 of Ζ. My
strategy will be to show that these objections can be met and the most important of Woods' and Owen's insights on Aristotle's two theories of sensible
substance maintained provided only that their view on the upgrading of Categories species is abandoned.
The εἶδος which is primary substance in Z, I will suggest, is neither the species of the Categories, as Woods and Owen hold, nor the
particular form of a particular substance, as Wilfrid Sellars(5) Edward Harter,(6) and Edwin Hartman(7) insist, but a third entity to be described
below.(8)" (p. 129, notes abbreviated)
(1) M. J. Woods, "Problems in Metaphysics Z, Chapter 13,'' in Aristotle: A Colleclion of Critical Essays, ed. J. M. E.
Moravcsik (Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1967), pp. 215-38.
(2) E. L. Owen, "The Platonism of Aristotle," Proceedings of the British Academy, 51 (1965): 125- 50, esp. p. 137;
reprinted in Studies in the Philosophy of Thought and Action, ed. P. F. Strawson (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 147-74. References below
are to the British Academy pagination.
(3) My reasons for believing that Owen is committed to the thesis as stated will be given in section 2 below.
(4) I will follow Woods and Owen in assuming that the Categories is an early authentic work of Aristotle and that Books ΖΗΘ of the
Metaphysics date from much later in his career.
(5) Wilfrid Sellars, "Substance and Form in Aristotle," Journal of Philosophy, 54 (1957): 688- 99, and "Aristotle's
Metaphysics: An Interpretation," in Wilfrid Sellars, Philosophical Perspectives (Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publishers, 1959), pp.
(6) Edward D. Harter, "Aristotle on Primary Ousia," Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie, 57 (1975): 1- 20.
(7) Edwin Hartman, "Aristotle on the Identity of Substance and Essence," Philosophical Review, 85 (1976): 545-61;
reprinted with revisions as chapter two of Edwin Hartman, Substance, Body, and Soul: Aristotelian lnvestigations (Princeton University Press, 1977),
(8) See section 3 below, especially note 58. My aim here will not be to disprove the Sellars-Harter-Hartman position (a major undertaking
which would require extended discussion of their complex arguments) but only to isolate a defensible alternative to it.
Duerlinger, James. 1970. "Predication and Inherence in Aristotle's Categories." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient
Philosophy no. 15:179-203
"In Categories and De Interpretatione (Oxford, 1963), J. L. Ackrill has performed the notable task of clearly
delineating a number of questions and alternative answers to these questions involved in the interpretation of Aristotle's discussions about predication and
inherence in the Categories. As a result of Ackrill's excellent translation and penetrating analysis of the text of the Categories, we have
arrived at a point at which Aristotle's early distinction between predication and inherence may be discussed with some degree of exactness and clarity.
Although I do not agree with everything that Ackrill has said about predication and inherence, my disagreement is grounded in an account of the text which his
translation and analysis have helped to make possible. In recent papers G. E. L. Owen ("Inherence," Phronesis, 1965) and J. M. E. Moravcsik
("Predication in Aristotle," Philosophical Review, 1967) have attempted to improve upon Ackrill's account of Aristotle's distinction between
predication and inherence.
I shall use Ackrill's commentary and translation as a base from which to launch an investigation of predication and inherence in the
Categories, but I shall find it convenient at times to refer to the comments of Owen and Moravcsik. I shall begin with a very rough summary of what I
have to say about predication and inherence, and then discuss them in more exact terms." (p. 179)
Duncombe, Matthew. 2015. "Aristotle’s Two Accounts of Relatives in Categories 7." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient
Philosophy no. 60:436-461
Abstract: "At Categories 7, 6a36-7 Aristotle defines relatives (R1), but at 8a13-28 worries that the definition may include
some substances. Aristotle introduces a second account of relatives (R2, at 8a31-2) to solve the problem. Recent commentators have held that Aristotle intends
to solve the extensional adequacy worry by restricting the extension of relatives. That is, R2 counts fewer items as relative than R1. However, this cannot
explain Aristotle’s attitude to relatives, since he immediately returns to using R1. I propose a non-extensional reading. R1 and R2 do not specify different
sets of relatives, but rather different ways to understand each relative."
———. 2018. "Aristotle’s Categories 7 Adopts Plato’s View of Relativity." In Authors and Authorities in Ancient
Philosophy, edited by Bryan, Jenny, Wardy, Robert and Warren, James, 120-138. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
"Since the 1960s, scholars have thought that the Categories is an anti- authoritarian work. Aristotle engages with Platonism,
rather than straightforwardly rejecting or blindly adopting any element of it. In particular, Owen argued that the Categories evinces an anti-
Platonic linguistic theory."
"On the micro-level of Categories 7, scholars take a similar anti-authoritarian attitude. After defining relatives at 6a36,
Aristotle draws out some formal features of them: some relatives have a contrary (6b15– 19); some come in degrees (6b19– 27); all reciprocate with their
correlatives (6b28– 7b14); some are simultaneous with their correlative (7b15– 8a12).
Aristotle then raises a worry: some substances are relatives (8a13– 28). A hand is a substance, since a hand is part of a secondary
substance, but a hand is also a relative, since a hand is said of something. To address this worry Aristotle introduces a second account of relatives (8a31–
2). He then describes a test for whether a relative falls under the second account (8a35– b21).
"In part I, I argue Plato and Aristotle share a view of relativity.
First, I give textual evidence that both share the ‘intensional’ view of relatives. Second, Aristotle’s formal features have antecedents in
Plato. In the second part of the paper, I argue that Aristotle draws directly on Plato’s view. For relativity, there is neither a shared source nor an
intermediate source. In the third part, I show that Aristotle retains the first account of relatives." (pp. 120-122, notes omitted)
———. 2020. Ancient Relativity: Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, and Sceptics. New York: Oxford University Press
Chapter 5: Relativity in Categories 7, Topics, and Sophistical Refutations, pp. 90-117; Chapter 6: Aristotle on
the distinction between substances and relatives, pp. 188-139.
"Chapter 2 begins to argue that Plato has a constitutive view of relativity, with an inference to the best explanation: key formal
features of constitutive relativity are exclusivity, reciprocity, aliorelativity, and existential symmetry; Plato’s texts rely on such formal features; so,
Plato at least tacitly endorses constitutive relativity. Chapter 3 begins to apply these results to look at constitutive relativity in the context of the
separation of Forms and participants in the Parmenides’ critique of the Forms. Chapter 4 continues to examine how constitutive relativity works, this
time in the context of Plato’s tripartite psychology. Chapter 5 shows that, although Aristotle is not the earliest thinker to have deep things to say about
relativity, he gives a clear statement of constitutive relativity, and works out some of the language and formal features that constitutive relatives have.
Chapter 6 shows why Aristotle introduces a nuance into his constitutive view of relativity, although he does not abandon the view. Chapter 7 continues to look
at Aristotle’s view of relativity, this time his account in the Metaphysics. Chapter 8, again, concerns relativity and the Forms, but this time looks
at relativity and independence, driven by Aristotle’s critique of the Forms, as recorded by Alexander of Aphrodisias. Chapters 9 and 10 argue for the presence
of constitutive views of relativity in the Stoics. Chapter 11 looks at Sextus’ brand of Pyrrhonian scepticism, again showing that he assumes a version of the
constitutive view of relativity." (pp. 21-22)
Edel, Abraham. 1975. "Aristotle's Categories and the Nature of Categorial Theory." The Review of Metaphysics no.
Abstract: "The aim of this paper is twofold. First, I want to propose a fresh approach to Aristotle's Categories. Second, I
want to reflect, in the light of the outcome, on the expectations we can have for categories in metaphysics. No apology is needed for starting with Aristotle.
Ever since the Categories was placed at the head of the Corpus, the foundational character of categorial theory has been explicit. That is
why a fresh way of looking at the Categories is at the same time a fresh way of looking at Aristotle's metaphysics, and suggests a mode of reckoning
with categorial theory generally."
Edelhoff, Ana Laura. 2020. Aristotle on Ontological Priority in the Categories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Abstract: "The main objective of this Element is to reconstruct Aristotle's view on the nature of ontological priority in the
Categories. Over the last three decades, investigations into ontological dependence and priority have become a major concern in contemporary
metaphysics. Many see Aristotle as the originator of these discussions and, as a consequence, there is considerable interest in his own account of ontological
dependence. In light of the renewed interest in Aristotelian metaphysics, it will be worthwhile - both historically and systematically - to return to Aristotle
himself and to see how he conceived of ontological priority (what he calls "priority in substance" (proteron kata ousian) or "priority
in nature" (proteron tei phusei), which is to be understood as a form of asymmetric ontological dependence."
Erginel, Mehmet. 2004. "Non-Substantial Individuals in Aristotle's Categories." Oxford Studies in Ancient
Philosophy no. 26:185-212
"Aristotle's Categories (1) classifies entities by using two predication relations, being ‘said of’ a subject and being ‘in’ a
The traditionally accepted view, which I shall call the ‘traditional view’, is that a non-substantial individual is a property that cannot be
shared by (be ‘in’) more than one individual substance; thus, on this view, the individualwhite ‘in’ Socrates cannot also be ‘in’ Plato (or anyone else). This
interpretation of the Categories as challenged by Owen, setting of the modern debate.(4)
Owen and Frede(5) have argued that non-substantial individuals are maximally determinate properties, which can be shared by more than one
individual substance; on this view, an individual white would be a particular shade of white, which could be ‘in’ both Socrates and Plato. One way of putting
the difference is that the latter view does, whereas the former view does not, allow the recurrence of non-substantial individuals.
In this paper I shall defend a version of the latter view, arguing that the non-substantial individuals of the Categories may be ‘in’ several
individual substances. I shall proceed by first discussing, and o·ering an interpretation of, 1A24–5, the critical passage that the traditional view originates
from. After defending an interpretation of 1A24–5 that allows recurrence, I shall argue, in Section 2, that the interpretation commonly held by proponents of
the traditional view is inconsistent with various passages in the Categories. In my third section I shall challenge attempts to find other passages
that support the traditional view, and I shall show that the traditional view does not enjoy the purported textual support." (pp. 185-186)
(1) In this paper I mostly rely on, but occasionally differ from, J. L. Ackrill’s translation in Aristotle: Categories and De
interpretatione [Categories], translation and notes (Oxford, 1963).
(2) I shall use the terms ‘said of’ and ‘in’ in quotation marks when they are meant in Aristotle’s technical sense. Likewise, it is the
technical sense of ‘in’ that is meant when I refer to the ‘x is in y’ relation.
(4) G. E. L. Owen, ‘Inherence’, Phronesis, 10 (1965), 97–105, repr. in id., Logic, Science and Dialectic: Collected Papers in
Greek Philosophy, ed. M. Nussbaum (Ithaca, NY, 1986), 252–8.
5 M. Frede, ‘Individuals in Aristotle’ [‘Individuals’], in id., Essays in Ancient Philosophy (Minneapolis, 1987), 49–71.
Findlay, John N. 2007. "Aristotle and Eideticism II." Philosophical Forum no. 37:333-386
"This article continues our publication of lectures given by J. N. Findlay (1903–87) at Boston University in 1978. The present article
concludes Findlay’s discussion of Aristotle, the first part of which was published in The Philosophical Forum, XXXVI, No. 4 (Winter 2005)." (The
"The Categories, probably an early treatise of Aristotle’s and very individualistic in doctrine, deals with the basic types of
predication, substantial and definitory, quantitative, relational, qualitative etc., which leads up, though this is not so clearly stated as elsewhere, to
various different genera of entities each of which can be said to have being in a different sense, some primary some derivative in various manners. The issue
is complicated by the fact that secondary and derivative entities can have their own series of divergent predications, some substantial and definitory, others
quantitative, relational, qualitative etc. There are not only entities parasitic on primary entities in various manners, but entities parasitic on the
parasites in a corresponding variety of manners. All this renders the ontology very complex. Though Aristotle approaches many issues through language, what he
is dealing with is always conceived of as ontic, not linguistic." (p. 334)
[Follows a description of Categories 1-9, pp. 334-339.]
Fine, Gail. 1983. "Relational Entities." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 65:225-249
"Aristotle's theory of universals is sometimes thought to differ from Plato's in being nonrelational; it does not hold that Socrates'
being a man, or being rational, consists in or involves his standing in some relation to the universal man, or to the universal rationality." (p. 225)
"Why should a nonrelational account be preferred? Matthews and Cohen suggest that Plato's relational theory is vulnerable to an awkward
dilemma: either particulars are "bare particulars", or else they are "mere relational entities" that owe their identity and continued
existence to the relations they bear to other things. Aristotle's allegedly nonrelational theory is thought to go between the horns of this dilemma.(5)"
"I am sympathetic to some features of this general view. I agree that, on some accounts of relationality, Plato has a relational theory
of universals. I also agree that Plato, but not Aristotle, separates universals.
I agree too that relational accounts are vulnerable to Matthews and Cohen's dilemma. But I do not agree that Aristotle's theory of universals
is nonrelational. Or, at least, the arguments used to commit Plato to a relational account seem to me to commit Aristotle to one as well. Nor do I conclude
that Plato's and Aristotle's theories are therefore both hopelessly misguided; for I do not find both horns of the dilemma unattractive. Although I reject bare
particulars, I accept relational entities.(6) If it is a consequence of Plato's or Aristotle's theory that particulars are relational entities, that is a
I ask first what a relational analysis is (I). I then turn to Matthews and Cohen's dilemma (II). In subsequent sections I ask whether Plato
and Aristotle are vulnerable to their dilemma and, if so, whether that is an undesirable consequence of their views." (pp. 226-227)
"It is important to note, first of all, however, that nowhere in the Categories, at least, does Aristotle say that primary
substances could exist if nothing else did; perhaps their privileged status does not consist in existential independence from everything else. Certainly that
is not the only sort of priority Aristotle recognizes.(48)" (p. 247)
(5) See, e.g., pp. 634f., 643f. Matthews and Cohen also suggest another difficulty with relational accounts or, at least, with Plato's
holding one; see p. 633f. It is also often objected that relational accounts are vulnerable to a regress. See, for example, Armstrong I, Part 2, passim; P.P.
Strawson; Individuals (London, 1959), esp. pp. 168-181; F.H. Bradley, Appearance and Reality, 2nd. ed. (Oxford, 1897), chapter 3.
Plato considers a regress argument, The Third Man Argument, at Parm. 132 ab. I do not discuss the TMA or regress arguments here ;
but see my "Aristotle and the More Accurate Arguments, in Language and Logos, edd. M. Nussbaum and M. Schofield (Cambridge, 1982), and my
"Owen, Aristotle, and the Third Man", Phronesis 27 (1982), pp. 13-33.
(6) As I shall use the phrase, a relational entity is an entity that possesses at least one essential property relationally. This is to be
distinguished from Bradley's doctrine of internal relations, according to which all of a thing's relational properties are essential to it; I do not discuss
Bradley's views in this paper. For Bradley, see esp. pp. 16-25.
(48) For some discussions of priority, see Cat., chapter 12; Met. Δ, chapter 11; Ζ 1.
D.M. Armstrong, Universals and Scientific Realism, 2 volumes (Cambridge, 1978),
G.B. Matthews and S. Marc Cohen, "The One and the Many", Review of Metaphysics 21 (1968), pp. 630-655.
Finn, Collin. 1974. "The Concept of Substance in the Categories and the Physics." Danish Yearbook of
Philosophy no. 11:72-119.
Franklin, James. 2014. "Quantity and Number." In Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics, edited by Novotný, Daniel
D. and Novák, Lukáš, 221-244. New York: Routledge
"Quantity is the first category that Aristotle lists after substance. More than any other category, it has an extraordinary
epistemological clarity. “2 + 2 = 4” is the paradigm of objective and irrefutable knowledge, and “2 million + 2 million = 4 million” is not far behind in
certainty, despite its distance from immediate perception. Indeed, certainties about quantity extend to the infinite—for example, we know that the counting
numbers do not run out. Nor does this certainty come at the expense of application to reality. If we put two rabbits and two rabbits in a box and later find
five rabbits in there, it is our absolute certainty that 2 + 2 = 4 that allows us to infer that the rabbits must have bred.
Continuous quantities are no less open to perfection of knowledge: The quantity π, the ratio of the circumference of any circle to its
diameter, is calculable to any degree of precision that computers can cope with (currently claimed to be ten trillion decimal places). The mathematics of
quantity delivers certainty about reality, to the envy of other disciplines, including philosophy.
Despite its clarity, quantity is subject to some philosophical subtleties and unresolved puzzles. Let us start with two crucial distinctions
that organize the types of quantity: extensive (or divisible) versus intensive quantity and continuous versus discrete quantity." (p. 221)
Fraser, Kyle. 2003. "Seriality and Demonstration in Aristotle's Ontology." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no.
"It is commonly thought that Aristotle distinguishes just two ways of classifying things: genus-species hierarchies; and pros hen or
'focally related' analogues. Fraser considers whether we might take Aristotle's mention, at Met. IV.2.1005a11, of classification "with reference
to a serial ordering" (tôi ephechês), to be indicating a third. Aristotle's famous remarks in De Anima, about how types of soul form a
sequence (414b20-415a3), presumably refer to just that sort of ordering. But the bulk of Fraser's paper is an examination of whether Aristotle regarded the
categories, too, as displaying that sort of ordering -- especially, that some categories are related to substance through the mediation of other categories. It
turns out that the evidence that Aristotle thought this is surprisingly good. Fraser's program in examining this evidence is to develop, ultimately, an account
of the method of the Aristotelian metaphysics as being systematic and scientific; Fraser rejects the 'dialectical' interpretations of the last several decades
as over-influenced by ordinary language philosophy." (From the review by Michael Pakaluk in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 06.18.2006)
Frede, Michael. 1981. "Categories in Aristotle." In Studies in Aristotle, edited by O'Meara, Dominic, 1-25. Washington:
Catholic University Press
Reprinted in: M. Frede, Essays in Ancient Philosophy, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987, pp. 29-48.
"There is a theory called the theory of categories which in a more or less developed form, with minor or major modifications, made its
appearance first in a large number of Aristotelian writings and then, under the influence of these writings, came to be a standard part of traditional logic, a
place it maintained with more or less success into the early part of this century, when it met the same fate as certain other parts of traditional logic.
There are many questions one may ask about this theory." (p. 28)
"I will leave aside the fact that the present order of the writings of the Organon was only established in the second century
A.D., that there is no good reason to think that Aristotle himself had meant these writings to be read in this order, that it is even far from clear whether
Aristotle himself would have classified the Categories as a logical treatise, and that hence the position of the treatise in the Organon and the view
of logic which goes with it should not have had any influence on what we take categories in Aristotle to be. More important, it seems to me, is that it is far
from clear whether the treatise Categories in whole or even in part was meant to be a treatise on categories.
We cannot rely for this on the title Categories. For this is just one of a good number of titles the work had in antiquity and
possibly not even the most common one. There is no good reason to think that the title is Aristotle's own. As to the content, it may have seemed obvious that
the treatise is a treatise on categories.
But if it did seem obvious, this—apart from the title—was due to the fact that the second part of the treatise, the so-called
Postpraedicamenta, was not taken seriously. Hence, one focused on the first part, and this part, of course, would seem to constitute a treatise on
categories, if one made the additional assumption that the genera of entities distinguished in this part are just the categories or that the categories amount
to a classification of expressions depending on the classification of entities given in this part of the treatise. It is revealing that ancient supporters of
the title Categories claimed that the Postpraedicamenta were material alien to the purpose of the treatise, added by somebody who wanted to
turn the treatise into an introduction to the Topics and who gave it a corresponding title, namely, Introduction to the Topics, becoming thus
responsible for the other title of the treatise common in antiquity(1) and for another ordering of the treatises in the collection." (pp. 30-31)
(1) Cf. Ammon. In cat. 14, 18ff.: Simpl. In cat. 379, 8ff.
———. 1987. "The Title, Unity, and Authenticity of the Aristotelian Categories." In Essays in Ancient Philosophy,
11-28. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
English translation of: Titel, Einheit und Echtheit der aristotelischen Kategorienschrift, (1983).
"The Categories, ascribed to Aristotle, has played a unique role in our tradition.
Already in late antiquity, however, doubts were raised about its authenticity,(1) though we know of no ancient scholar who, on the basis of
such doubts, declared the treatise to be spurious."
"The question of authenticity, however, turns out to be crucially linked to the question of unity. Given that it seems highly
questionable whether the Postpraedicamenta were originally part of the treatise or were appended by a later editor,(12) it might seem as if the
question regarding the authenticity of the treatise needs to be asked as two questions, viz., questions regarding the authenticity of the first and second part
individually. Many authors have indeed taken this for granted and have thus assumed that the first part was authentic, the second either probably or certainly
"Therefore, in what follows, I will pay particular attention to the question of unity. The dangerous tendency to consider this treatise
almost exclusively with reference to the first part and thus to jeopardize the status of the second part is, of course, reinforced considerably by the title.
Hence, I will also discuss the title in connection with the question of unity." (pp. 11-12)
"Thus, it is by no means the case that the incompatibility of the two theories of substance forces us to reject the Categories
as spurious. On the contrary, it seems as if the theory of the Categories ought, rather, to be seen as a stage in a long development that proceeds
from the forms of Plato's middle dialogues to the substantial forms of Aristotle's Metaphysics.
Thus, we have met the objection against the authenticity of the Categories that has survived the longest; and so we can, indeed,
follow the tradition and attribute the treatise to Aristotle. However, we have also seen that we have reason not to follow the tradition blindly in its
understanding of the treatise. Unlike the tradition, which sought to gloss over the differences between the Categories and the Metaphysics,
we ought to take care not to project the universals of the Categories into the ontology of the Metaphysics." (p. 28)
(1) Olymp., Prol. 22, 38ff.; Schol. 33a 28ff.; Brandis.
(12) 12. See J. G. Buhle, Aristotelis Opera, vol. I, 1791, 436; Ch. A. Brandis in: Abh. Berlin 1833, 268ff.; E. Zeller,
Philos. d. Gr., II 24, 1921, 67 n. 1; Th. Gomperz, Greek Thinkers, IV, 514; Uberweg-Praechter, 379; D. Ross, Aristotle, 10; L. M. De
Rijk, The Authenticity, in: Mnemos. 4 (1951), 159; I. During, R E Suppl. XI, s.v. Aristoteles, 205, 61; J. L. Ackrill, 70;
V. Sainati, Storia, 151ff. Some ancient authors took this line (Olymp., In cat. 133, 14), especially Andronicus (Simpl., In cat.
(13) E.g., J. G. Buhle, 436; E. Zeller, II 24, 1921, 67; H. Maier, Die Syllogistik, II 2, 292 n.
We hear of this view being taken by some in antiquity (Ammon., In cat. 14, 18ff.; Olymp., In cat. 133, 14ff.). Whether
Andronicus was among these, as is often claimed, is doubtful; at any rate, we never hear that he argued against the authenticity of the
Postpraedicamenta; we would assume, if this had been the case, that he would be referred to by name when their authenticity was being discussed.
———. 1987. "Individuals in Aristotle." In Essays in Ancient Philosophy, 49-71. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
English translation of: "Individuen bei Aristoteles", Antike und Abendland, 24, 1978, pp. 16-39.
"By way of introduction, I offer a few remarks to give an overview of the subject of this paper. Aristotle assumes that, in addition to
objects, there are properties of objects. This assumption is rather stronger than one might think, since it turns out that statements about properties are not
just reducible to statements about objects; on the contrary, the truth of at least some statements about objects is to be explained by assuming that there are
"Besides this division of things into objects and properties, Aristotle, in the Categories, makes use of the distinction between general
and particular, between individuals and universals. Although Aristotle does not, in this treatise, use any term like 'universal' (katholou), he does
speak of 'individuals', and he contrasts these with their kinds. These two divisions, into objects and properties, on the one hand, and into particular and
general, on the other, do not turn out to be the same. For Aristotle counts as general not only properties but also the kinds, into which objects fall, i.e.,
the genera, species, and differentiae of substances; and these are to be differentiated strictly from properties."
"At this point, three difficulties arise. First of all, how is it possible to speak of individuals in the case of properties; second,
how can there be a single notion of being an individual that can be applied to objects as well as properties; and third, what sorts of objects are these
general objects, the genera and species, supposed to be? These difficulties, especially the first two, will be our concern in the first part of this paper,
which deal with the Categories." (pp. 49-50)
Furth, Montgomery. 1988. Substance, Form and Psyche: An Aristotelean Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Contents: Preface XI; §0. A short discourse on method 1; I. Cross- and Intra-Categorial Predication in the Categories 9; II.
Substance in the Metaphysics: A First Approximation 49; III. The Zoological Universe 67; Bibliography 285; Index 291-300.
"My aim in what follows is to explain and to motivate a theory of essence, existence and individuation that I think is to be found in
the later and more advanced of the extant writings of Aristotle. The view to be explored has several features that are noteworthy from a scientific as well as
a philosophical standpoint: it centers especially, though not exclusively, on a concept of what an individual material object is - a concept that has both
intrinsic interest and (if some suggestions I shall advance as to its provenance and motivation are accepted) a historical significance that has not always
been accurately appreciated." (p. 1)
"largely dispense with questions like what differentiates the various nonsubstantial categories from one another, the rationale (if
there be one) for comprehending into a single category the monstrous motley horde yclept Quality, the justification (which seems to me quite hopeless) for a
category, co-ordinate with the others, of Time, and other such. It will be seen that numerous particular points will emerge along the way in the course of the
general discussion of Inherence. But enough has even now been fixed to allow statement of three general truths about the relationship between the tetrachotomy
of "things that are" and the total categorial scheme. None of them is explicitly stated in the work, but all of them are in practice observed with
great fidelity, and their controlling place in the theory will become more evident in what follows (were one to essay the project, conceivably worthwhile, of
axiomatizing the theory, they would be plausible candidates for axioms):
(i) said-of is always intra-categorial, and conversely,
(ii) inherence is always cross-categorial, and conversely,
(iii) substances and only substances can be subjects of inherence." (p. 14)
Garver, Newton. 1974. "Notes for a Linguistic Reading of the Categories." In Ancient Logic and its Modern
Interpretations, edited by Corcoran, John, 27-32. Dordrecht: Reidel
"1. If AristotIe's Categories provide a classification of things and not of sayings, as is traditionally insisted, the things
classified are at any rate 'things that can be said'. It is interesting, therefore, to inquire whether the Categories may be regarded as containing,
in rudimentary form, results that might be more appropriately and more completely presented in terms of current methods of linguistic analysis, applied to a
level of language or discourse that linguists usually ignore.
2. Both the name 'categories', which signifies predications or sayings, and the position of the work at the beginning of the
Organon, which deals with matters of logic and language, reinforce the temptation to interpret the Categories linguistically. Although
neither the title nor the position of the work in the corpus is directly due to Aristotle, they do show that the inclination to treat the Categories
as at least partially linguistic goes back to the very earliest tradition of Aristotelian scholarship.
3. The determination that the categories can be given a linguistic interpretation - even the conclusion that they are linguistic, AckriIl (1)
and Benveniste (2) notwithstanding - would not suffice to show that they are not also (in some sense) metaphysical, nor that they are not universal.
4. The most useful linguistic method to employ in this inquiry is distinctive feature analysis, (3) which has been used in several kinds of
linguistic analysis. Passages in the Categories can be interpreted as employing a related method, if not an early version of the method itself."
(1) J. L. Ackrill, Aristotle' s 'Categories' and 'De Interpretatione', Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1963, p. 71. I have used Ackrill's
translation. His notes, to which I refer here, are both helpful and stimulating.
(2) E. Benveniste, Problems in General Linguistics, Univ. of Miami Press, Coral Gabies; 1971, Chapter 6.
(3) This method of analysis is due to Roman Jakobson more than to anyone else. See R. Jakobson, C. G. M. Fant, and M. HalIe,
Preliminaries to Speech Analysis, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1952; N. Chomsky and M. HalIe, Sound Pattern of English, Harper and Row, New
York, 1968; and Fred W. Householder, Linguistic Speculations Cambridge Univ. Press, London, 1971. Most recent linguistic textbooks have a discussion
Georgiadis, Costantine. 1973. "Two Conceptions of Substance in Aristotle." The New scholasticism no. 47:157-167
"In Aristotle we find the view that an individual thing is a substance but we also find the view that form is substance. Is the meaning
of substance ( οὐσία) the same in the two cases? As the title of my paper suggests, I hold that it is not. I shall argue that there are two distinct, though
related, conceptions of substance in Aristotle. These are what I call, on the one hand, the reistic conception of substance, according to which substance is an
individual thing (res) (2) and, on the other hand, the archological (3) conception of substance, according to which substance is a principle (ἀρχή) of the
individual thing." (p. 157)
(2) The use of the term 'reistic' here does not imply the narrowing of reality to individual objects alone as in T. Kotarbinski's philosophy
of reism but only underlines the central position of the individual within reality.
(3) Giovanni Reale, in his book Il Concetto di Filosofia Prima e l'unità della Metafisica di Aristotele, wrongly uses the term
archeologia in the sense of aitiologia. He should have used the term archologia.
Gill, Mary Louise. 1984. "Aristotle on the Individuation of Changes." Ancient Philosophy no. 4:9-22
Abstract: "In Physics V 4 Aristotle lists a set of conditions that must be met for a change to be an individual. This account
should be viewed against the background of the Categories, where the problem of individuals is first addressed. In the Categories changes apparently
fall into the two nonsubstance categories of doing and suffering. So one might expect that the characterization of individual changes in Physics V 4
will fit the account of individual nonsubstances proposed in the Categories. I do not think it does.
This paper aims to show how the two treatments differ and why individual changes require a different analysis from other
———. 1995. "Aristotle on Substance and Predication." Ancient Philosophy no. 15:511-520
"Michael Loux and Frank Lewis share a perspective about Aristotle's Metaphysics, though they defend their positions in quite
different ways. They agree that Aristotle revised his view from the Categories, where he treats individual physical objects as primary οὐσίαι, or
substances, and that he defends instead the primacy of substantial forms. They also agree that he adapts his theory of predication from the Categories
to the project of the Metaphysics. On their view Aristotelian forms are universals, and the ultimate subject of predication is prime matter, a stuff
that has no character in its own right but is a subject for other things. Since Loux and Lewis defend a similar position, I shall treat their views
In this discussion I shall focus on Aristotle's treatment of predication (a relation between entities, not between liguistic items), which
Loux and Lewis takeAristotle to adapt from the Categories. I shall argue that he replaces that account with a more flexible scheme, but one that still
yields the result that Loux and Lewis want: form predicated accidentally of matter. It also yields some results that they do not want: form predicated of the
composite, and the composite predicated of matter. Some of these results are also unacceptable to Aristotle, and to avoid them he introduces a new relation
between form and matter: form as actuality, and matter as potentiality." (p. 511)
Gillespie, Charles Melville. 1925. "The Aristotelian Categories." Classical Quarterly no. 19:79-84
Reprinted in: J. Barnes, M. Schofield, R. Sorabji (eds.), Articles on Aristotle, 3. Metaphysics, London: Duckworth, 1979,
"The precise position to be assigned to the Categories in the Aristotelian system has always been somewhat of a puzzle. On the
one hand, they seem to be worked into the warp of its texture, as in the classification of change, and Aristotle can argue from the premiss that they
constitute an exhaustive division of the kinds of Being (An. Post. I. 22, p. 83 b 15). On the other hand, both in the completed scheme of his logic
and in his constructive metaphysic they retire into the background, giving place to other notions, such as causation, change, actuality and potentiality."
"I shall accordingly assume in what follows that the scheme of the Categories was evolved in the course of efforts to establish
a doctrine of judgment which should settle the difficulties raised by Megarian and other critics; that the application to the solution of the larger
metaphysical problems was a later development ;(3) that the foundations of the scheme were laid in the Socratic tradition of the Academy; that the completed
scheme is probably Aristotle's own; and that the original working out of the scheme did not contemplate extension beyond the metaphysics implied in predication
to the more fundamental metaphysics of the First Philosophy. Hence we must look to the analysis of empirical propositions for the origin of the scheme."
(3) a Here I follow Maier [Die Syllogistik des Aristoteles, (3 voll., Leipzig: K. F. Koehler, 1896–1900)].
Grafton-Cardwell, Patrick. 2021. "Understanding Mediated Predication in Aristotle’s Categories." Ancient Philosophy no.
Abstract: "I argue there are two ways predication relations can hold according to the Categories: they can hold directly or they can
hold mediately. The distinction between direct and mediated predication is a distinction between whether or not a given prediction fact holds in virtue of
another predication fact’s holding. We can tell Aristotle endorses this distinction from multiple places in the text where he licenses an inference from one
predication fact’s holding to another predication fact’s holding. The best explanation for each such inference is that he takes some predication facts to be
mediated by others. Once the distinction between direct and mediated predication has been explained and argued for, I show how it can help solve a persistent
problem for the traditional view of non-substantial particulars in the Categories—that is, the view that non-substantial particulars are particular in the
sense of being non-recurrent. Along with vindicating the traditional view, the direct/mediated predication distinction gives us a distinctive way of
understanding what it is for something to be recurrent (or non-recurrent) as well as a better understanding of Aristotle’s broader commitments in the
Categories as a whole."
Graham, Daniel W. 1987. Aristotle's Two Systems. Oxford: Clarendon Press
Contents: "Preface VII; List of figures XIV; Abbreviations XV; 1. The Two Systems Hypothesis 1; 2. S1: Atomic Substantialism 20; 3. S2:
Hylomorphic Substantialism 57; 4. The Incommensurability of the Systems 84; 5. The Hylomorphic Turn 119; 6. The Growth of S2: The Four Causes 156; 7. The
Growth of S2: Potentiality and Actuality183; 8. The Paradoxes of Substance: Matter 207; 9. The Paradoxes of Substance: Form 233; 10. S2 Without S1: What
Aristotle Should Have Said 263; 11. The Two Systems Theory as an Interpretation of Aristotle 290; References 333; Index Locorum 347; Subject Index 354-359.
"The idea for this study emerged while I was still working on my dissertation, which I wrote on a topic in Aristotle's philosophy of
action. As I was researching the history of the potentiality- actuality distinction, I discovered that Aristotle did not use his word 'matter' anywhere in the
logical works. The discovery was a discovery only to me; it had long been known. Yet it seemed amazing to me that a principle as important as that of matter
should not appear in so large a body of work. Did this omission have important consequences for the interpretation of Aristotle? I found that interpreters saw
the omission as at most a curiosity; after all, the subject-matter of the logical works was unique. Yet the same interpreters had long ago abandoned the
assumption that the logical works were purely devoted to logic. In particular, the Categories is commonly taken to be a prime source of information
about Aristotle's early metaphysical theory. But how could Aristotle have formulated anything like this mature metaphysical theory without the matter-form
distinction? Was the unity of Aristotle's thought not really an illusion? Were there not really two sets of theories, two metaphysical conceptions, two
philosophical systems?" (p. VII)
"In what follows I have tried to give my vision of Aristotle's two systems concrete expression in an argument with historical,
philological, but above all philosophical dimensions. If the argument is right, a fact about Aristotle's development that has been relegated to asides and
footnotes should have a central place in interpretations of Aristotle--should be a point of departure for many studies and provide a limit of inquiry for
others. At present few scholars would agree with such claims. To be sure, many would grant that the metaphysical assumptions of the Categories are
different from those of the Metaphysics; but this fact does not seem to have any far-reaching implications for their interpretations of Aristotle, and
so I infer that they do not subscribe to a dualistic interpretative theory. A mere handful of scholars have advocated a two-systems theory in some form or
other, and I believe that there is only one person who holds the Two Systems Theory with all its ramifications. However, as Socrates has taught us, it does not
matter what the many think, but what the expert in truth has to say--that is, what the outcome of the argument is." (p. IX)
Granger, Edgar Herbert. 1980. "A Defense of the Traditional Position Concerning Aristotle's Non-Substantial Particulars."
Journal of Philosophy no. 10:593-606
"In this paper I shall defend the traditional claim that Aristotle's nonsubstantial particulars discussed in the second chapter of the
Categories are unsharable particulars against G. E. L. Owen's claim that they are sharable universals. I shall proceed by presenting first a sketch of
the traditional position that makes explicit why it holds that non-substantial particulars are unsharable particulars. (1) Secondly, I shall sketch Owen's
position and recount how it differs in certain important respects from the traditional position. (2) Thirdly, I shall present some of my own considerations
that I believe support the traditional position at the expense of Owen's position. Finally, I shall offer what I take to be the primary reason Aristotle was
committed to the existence of such odd items as non-substantial particulars." (pp. 593-594)
(1) My reconstruction of the traditional position is based on the following sources: W. D. Ross, Aristotle, 5th ed. (London:
Methuen, 1949): 23-24, 24, n. 1 (hereafter cited as Arist.); J. R. Jones, "Are the Qualities of Particular Things Universal or Particular?"
Philosophical Review 58 (1949): 152-156, 162-163; G. E. M. Anscombe and P. T. Geach, Three Philosophers: Aristotle, Aquinas and Frege
(Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1961): 8-10; R. E. Allen, "Individual Properties in Aristotle's Categories," Phronesis 14 (1969):
31-32; Ignacio Angelelli, Studies on Gottlob Frege and Traditional Philosophy (New York: Humanities Press, 1967): 12-15. Angelelli's account is
especially important because it reflects the opinion of scholars from late antiquity to the present.
(2) G. E. L. Owen, "lnherence," Phronesis 10 (1965): 97-105.
———. 1984. "Aristotle on Genus and Differentia." Journal of the History of Philosophy no. 22:1-23
Abstract: "In Aristotle's writings there are at least three accounts of the nature of genus and differentia. These accounts may be
briefly described in these terms: (I) genus and differentia are radically distinct in character, and the genus is the more important element in the definition;
(II) genus and differentia are very similar in character and importance; (III) genus and differentia are similar in character, but the differentia is the more
important element in the definition. These accounts represent, I believe, three stages in the development of Aristotle's thought. In this paper I shall
examine each account and explain, at least in part, why Aristotle adopts them."
Gregoric, Pavel. 2006. "Quantities and Contraries: Aristotle's Categories 6, 5b11-6a18." Apeiron no.
"The immediate purpose of this paper is fairly modest. I would like to provide an analysis of Aristotle's three counterexamples to his
claim that no quantity has a contrary in Categories 6. I will have something to say about Aristotle's discussion of the first two counterexamples,
although the bulk of my paper will be devoted to his discussion of the third counterexample at 6a11-18,a passage which has not received due attention by modem
commentators. My analysis will then provide a basis for some suggestions of wider significance.
In Categories 6, 5b11 Aristotle introduces one salient characteristic of quantities, namely that none of them has a contrary
(enantion). Immediately following the statement of this characteristic, Aristotle takes on an anticipated objection. The objection consists of two
counterexamples: to the many the contrary is the few, to something large the contrary is something small. Each pair of terms is supposed to present a
counterexample to Aristotle's characteristic for one type of quantity: the former pair for discrete quantities, the latter for continuous quantities. Aristotle
takes each pair of terms in turn,and shows that what they introduce are (a) neither quantities (b) nor contraries." (p. 341)
Hacking, Ian. 2001. "Aristotelian Categories and Cognitive Domains." Synthese no. 126:473-515
Abstract: "This paper puts together an ancient and a recent approach to classificatory language, thought, and ontology.It includes on
the one hand an interpretation of Aristotle's ten categories, with remarks on his first category, called (or translated as) substance in the
Categories or What a thing is in the Topics. On the other hand is the idea of domain-specific cognitive abilities urged in contemporary
developmental psychology. Each family of ideas can be used to understand the other. Neither the metaphysical nor the psychological approach is intrinsically
more fundamental; they complement each other. The paper incidentally clarifies distinct uses of the word 'category' in different disciplines, and also attempts
to make explicit several notions of 'domain'. It also examines Aristotle's most exotic and least discussed categories, being-in-a-position (e.g.,
sitting) and having-(on) (e.g., armour). Finally the paper suggests a tentative connection between Fred Sommers' theory of types and Aristotle's first
Hadgopoulos D. J. 1976. "The Definition of the Predicables in Aristotle." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no.
"It is a common belief among Aristotelian scholars that, according to Aristotle, per se accidents are properties in the
following sense of the word:
Top. 102: a Property that which, while not showing the essence of its subject, belongs counterpredicated of thing.
But in 1970, Jonathan Barnes published a paper(1), where he defended the view that per se accidents are not properties. A
consequence of this was that the 'predicables' were not well defined by Aristotle.
In this paper, I will try to show that Barnes is mistaken. The argument he offers in support of his view seems to be a very good one, but it
involves a faulty move." (p. 110)
(1) Barnes, Jonathan, "Property in Aristotle's Topics", Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie 52 (1970) 136-155.
Hamlyn, David W. 1961. "Aristotle on Predication." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no. 6:110-126
"In dealing with the Greek Philosophers we tend to take the notion of predication for granted: we tend to assume that we have the right
to use the term 'predicate' without question, in discussing the theories put forward by e.g. Plato and Aristotle. An example of this tendency is the common
assertion that Plato held that the Forms were self-predicable. While this assertion may be in some sense true, it does assume that the notion of predication
may be taken for granted. This assumption is, perhaps, partly due to a further assumption that the notion of predication is a logical or even grammatical
notion, and that Plato and Aristotle must therefore have seen its importance and employed it accordingly. I wish to question that assumption in Aristotle's
I have already questioned it in connection with Plato,(1) saying that Plato was continually trying to account for what we should call
predication in terms of notions akin to that of identity. It is tempting to assume that because Aristotle had the term 'predicate' at his disposal, he must
have known all about the notion. It is moreover, a feasible suggestion that in Aristotle 'κατηγορέιν' is a technical term the origins of which are obvious. The
use of the phrase 'κατηγορέιν τι κατά τινος' stems from legal contexts; it thus comes to mean 'to maintain or assert something of something' and it perhaps
retains something of an accusatorial aura.
But while the use of the phrase implies that Aristotle knew in some sense something about what it is to assert something of another thing, it
does not imply that he could ipso facto provide the correct theory about it. What is true is that the trend of Aristotle's metaphysical
thought led him towards a view of predication which involved treating it as something much more than a mere grammatical notion." (p. 110)
(1) See my "The Communion of Forms and the Development of Plato's Logic" Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 5. No. 21, I9S5,
pp. 289 ff.
———. 1978. "Focal Meaning." Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society no. 78:1-18
"In recent years much philosophical scholarship has been devoted to the place in Aristotle's thinking of what G. E. L. Owen has called
'focal meaning'; and much is due to Professor Owen in particular in this connexion. Less attention has perhaps been given to the question whether Aristotle
should be complimented on that idea - whether, that is, the concept is one that we should welcome and accept into our inherited philosophical treasury. It is
this question with which I am mainly concerned in this paper; a full answer would no doubt
demand a broader conspectus of Aristotle's thought than I can take in the space available." (p. 1)
"I have pointed out that the explanation of the uses of 'healthy' by reference to health provides no true instances of primary and
secondary uses or senses of a word, let alone cases. But when Aristotle says the substance is said to be in the primary way while things in the other
categories are said to be in a secondary way we may be provided with an instance of primary and secondary senses, or so it might appear. In fact we are not
provided with this in a technical sense, since Aristotle does not operate with a sense and reference distinction. That is why I, as in effect Aristotle
normally does, put the point in terms of something's being said to be in a primary or secondary way.
That homonymy is for Aristotle something that belongs to things in relation to words rather than to words simpliciter is notorious;
hence he approaches the relation between words and things from the side of things, rather than from the side of words as we are perhaps inclined to do."
Harari, Orna. 2011. "The Unity of Aristotle's Category of Relatives." Classical Quarterly no. 61:521-537
"In Categories 7 Aristotle discusses relative terms, which he defines in the opening paragraph of this chapter as ‘things as
are said to be just what they are, of or than other things, or in some other way in relation to something else’ (6a36–7).(1) In clarifying this definition, he
presents two lists of examples; the first contains ‘greater’ and ‘double’ and the second contains ‘states’, ‘conditions’, ‘perception’, ‘knowledge’ and
‘position’ (6a38–b3). The terms of the second list seem to be foreign to this discussion. The definition of relatives and the terms presented in the first list
suggest that relatives are incomplete predicates or relational attributes,(2) but states, conditions, perception, knowledge and position are complete
Linguistic usage does not require these terms to be followed by a preposition.
The difficulty involved in understanding the place of conditions and states in the category of relatives extends beyond linguistic
considerations. Other linguistically complete predicates are included in Aristotle’s category of relatives, but their categorial status seems pretty obvious.
‘Slave’, for instance, is a linguistically complete term, but it can easily be construed as implicitly referring to the correlative ‘master’: that is, the
proposition ‘x is a slave’ may be construed as implying the proposition ‘x is a slave of y (when y stands for x’s master). Similarly, the term ‘large’, though
linguistically complete, implies (as Aristotle says in Categories 6) that its subject is larger than other things of its kind (5b15–20). By contrast,
the categorial status of conditions and states remains uncertain, even if their correlatives are supplied, because they seem to be internal dispositions of
their subjects rather than relational attributes." (p. 521)
(1) Ackrill’s translation.
(2) For this interpretation see J.L. Ackrill, Aristotle’s Categories and De Interpretatione (Oxford, 1962), 98; M. Mignucci,
‘Aristotle’s definition of relatives in Categories 7’, Phronesis 31 (1986), 101–29, at 103–4.
Harter, Edward D. 1975. "Aristotle on Primary ΟΥΣΙΑ." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 57:1-20
"In Categories 1-5 Aristotle argues that the primary ουσία (the most fundamental sort of being there is) is the concrete
individual and that the secondary ουσία (the second-most fundamental sort of being there is) is the είδος (species) or γένος (genus) of a concrete individual.
In Metaphysics Z-H he argues that the primary ουσία is the είδος of a concrete individual, that the secondary ουσία is the concrete individual, and
that the γένος is not ουσία at all.
This raises some serious questions concerning the Categories, the Metaphysics, and primary ουσία.
Some scholars have maintained that this difference between the two treatises is merely apparent (e. g., terminological) and that the
doctrine in the Metaphysics does not conflict with the one in the Categories; others that it is real and that the doctrine in the Metaphysics is
the precise contrary of the one in the Categories.
l believe that neither of these views is correct, and I shall argue that the difference is indeed real but that it does not consist in this
simple volte-face. The difference consists in the fact that in the Metaphysics εϊδος is conceived as the particular form, and not merely the
universal species, of a concrete individual, whereas it is not so conceived in the Categories; this marks a radical development in Aristotle's
metaphysical reasoning. I shall begin by developing briefly each of the two doctrines of ουσία (Section I); I shall then examine the relations between them
(Sections II—IV); and I shall conclude by making some general observations on the Categories and the Metaphysics (Section -V)." (p.
Hegarty, Seamus. 1969. "Aristotle’s Notion of Quantity and Modern Mathematics." Philosophical Studies (Dublin) no.
Heinaman, Robert. 1981. "Non-Substantial Individuals in the Categories." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient
Philosophy no. 26 (295):307
Abstract: "There is a dispute as to what sort of entity non-substantial individuals are in Aristotle's Categories. The
traditional interpretation holds that non-substantial individuals are individual qualities, quantities, etc. For example, Socrates' white is an individual
quality belonging to him alone, numerically distinct from (though possibly specifically identical with) other individual colors. I will refer to these sorts of
entities as 'individual instances.'
The new interpretation (1) suggests instead that non-substantial individuals are atomic species such as a specific shade of white that is
indivisible into more specific shades. On this view, non-substantial individuals are what we would call universals (2) which can be present in different
individual substances, but are labelled 'individuals' by Aristotle because, like individual substances, there is nothing they are said of. (3)
In this paper I will defend the traditional account by attempting to show that it is supported by the slender textual evidence that is
available. I will begin by stating three serious objections to the traditional interpretation. Next I will show that in works later than the
Categories Aristotle accepted individual instances of properties of the sort found in the Categories by the traditional interpretation.
Finally, I will set out the evidence that supports the traditional interpretation and answer the three objections."
(1) G. E. L. Owen, "Inherence," Phronesis (1965), pp. 97-105; Michael Frede, "Individuen bei Aristoteles,"
Antike and Abendland (1978), pp. 16-31. In fact, it is not clear to me what Professor Frede considers non-substantial individuals to be. While he
refers approvingly to Owen, Owen's account collapses the distinction between είδει εν and ἀριθμό εν in the case of non-substances whereas it appears that Frede
wishes to retain this distinction (pp. 23-24). Since he does not explain what individual non-substances which are numerically different but specifically
identical are supposed to be or in virtue of what they are numerically different, by the "new interpretation" I will mean solely that explained in
(2) This is not, as Allen, Matthews and Cohen think, an objection to the new interpretation (R. E. Allen, "Individual Properties in
Aristotle's Categories," Phronesis (1969), p. 37; Gary Matthews and S. Marc Cohen, "The One and the Many," Review of
Metaphysics (1968), pp. 640-41). There is no justification for the presupposition that Aristotle must have used the terms 'individual' and 'universal' in
the Categories in the same way as in later works or as they are used today. (Of course, the word καθόλου' does not appear in the
(3) That is, for any individual x there is no y such that the name and definition of x are predicable of y (2a19-27).
Hetherington, Stephen. 1984. "A Note on Inherence." Ancient Philosophy:218-223
"In Aristotle's Categories (2a34-b6: see also Meta. VII. 1), the category of substance is claimed to be prior in
existence to the various categories of nonsubstance.
This priority is articulated in the Categories largely via Aristotle's relation of inherence. The latter is one of two
relations whereby Aristotle purports to quarter the furniture of the world, the members of the categories. The other is that of 'being said of'. The quartering
is effected thus (Cat. 1 a20-b9): some things are said of others but are not in anything: other things are said of a subject as well as being in a
subject: still others are not said of anything, but are in a subject: the rest are neither said of nor in something; and these four combinations are mutually
exclusive and jointly exhaustive.
Now, while the said-of relation is fairly straightforward, the inherence relation is not. According to Cat. 2a1 9-26, y is said of x
if and only if y's name and y's definition, or account, are both predicated of x. And y is in x if and only if... what?
There are several competing interpretations of Aristotle's inherence relation, but it is not my aim in this paper to choose among them. I do
want, however, to sharpen the terms of the debate by formulating a particularly important one of those interpretations, G .E.L. Owen's, much more clearly than
it has hitherto been formulated.
We will then be in a better position to evaluate the various merits of Owen's interpretation, some of which, up to now, have not been clearly
perceived. Aristotle's notion of inherence is a technical one, but it is one that relies on a comparatively nontechnical notion of inherence. We shall
see that understanding the latter is the key to the former, and hence that once the technical notion is precisely understood, Owen's interpretation can itself
be properly assessed." (p. 218, notes omitted)