J. L. ACKRILL, Aristotle’s Categories and De Interpretatione. Translated with Notes (Clarendon Aristotle Series). Oxford, Clarendon Press, VII, p. Pr. sh. Aristotle’s Categories is a singularly important work of philosophy. It not only .. Ackrill finds Aristotle’s division of quality at best unmotivated. The Categories is a text from Aristotle’s Organon that enumerates all the possible kinds of Aristotle’s own text in Ackrill’s standard English version is: Of things.

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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Each kind is differentiated into species by some set of differentiae. But to know whether our questions are tracking the metaphysical structures of the world requires us to have some way of establishing the correctness of the categorial scheme.

I shall discuss the first four of these kinds in detail in a moment. The lowest species in this taxonomy give way to kinds of increasing generality until the highest kind, substance, is reached.

Aristotle’s Categories

Again, where does being a particular belong in Aristotle’s list of categories. The issue is, of course, complicated by the fact that his list might be justified without some procedure to generate it — perhaps we can use a combination of metaphysical intuition and philosophical argumentation to convince ourselves that Aristotle’s list is complete.

And we can adopt positions ranging from a radical skepticism about our access to categories to a kind of infallibilism about such access. Then one would at least have an explanation as to why Aristotle derived the list he in fact derived, even if one is inclined to reject Aristotle’s list.

But not only does Aristotle not provide these differentiae, it is difficult to see what they might be. In addition, we can ask about our epistemic access to the ultimate categories in the world. Instead, he thinks that there are ten: On Aristotle’s Categories 1—4M. Perhaps, Aristotle has in mind the quantities of vowels and syllables of Greek words.


The interested reader can find a discussion of these issues here:. Instead, Owen ackrilo, a being that is not said-of but present-in primary substances is an accidental universal of the lowest possible generality.

Third, Aristotle explicitly accepts a doctrine of meaning according to which words conventionally signify concepts, and concepts naturally signify objects in the world De Int 16a3. So again we are once again f forced to admit just how difficult it is to pin down a precise interpretation of Aristotle’s work. According to this interpretation the constitutive principle of the list of categories is that they constitute those classes of items to each of which any sensible particular — substantial or otherwise — must be related.

Aristotle’s Categories and De Interpretatione

Nonetheless, sckrill some procedure of generation Aristotle’s categories at least appear in an uneasy light. A brief discussion of each of these classes should suffice to bring out their general character.

Translated with Notes and Glossary. Although Aristotle does not discuss the different kinds of secondary substances in the Categoriesvarious remarks he makes throughout his corpus suggest that he would divide secondary substances into at least the following kinds DA a17, a21, a35, Meta. How to cite this entry.

It is commonplace in contemporary Aristotle scholarship to view the Categories as an early work and to think that Aristotle had not developed his theory of form and matter until later in his career.

Beyond these few remarks, however, it is difficult to categlries exactly, given only what is made explicit in the Pre-predicamenta what a primary substance is. Aristotle’s “Categories” and “On Intepretation” are part of the logica vetus; the logica vetus comprises these two works, Porphyry’s Isagoge, four commentaries of Boethius, and the anonymous “Liber sex principiorum”, and until about aristolte logica vetus was the standard set of texts every scholar was expected to have read.


Although Aristotle does discuss important features of relational predicates, for instance that relational predicates involve a kind of reciprocal reference 6b28his fundamental stance, according to which all properties in the world are non-relational, will appear wrongheaded.

Categories (Aristotle) – Wikipedia

Looking beyond his own works, Aristotle’s categorialism has engaged the attention of such diverse philosophers as Plotinus, Porphyry, Aristottle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Brentano and Heidegger to mention just a fewwho have variously embraced, defended, modified or rejected its central contentions.

Aristotle – – Clarendon Press.

Unless we can be confident that our questions are tracking the metaphysical structures of the world, we should be unimpressed by the fact that they yield any set of categories. And as I have drawn the genus-species structure in the category of substance above, body is one of the two species immediately under substance.

Categories and De Interpretatione – Aristotle – Oxford University Press

Cornell University Press, The debate is of interest in large part because it concerns one of the most fundamental metaphysical topics: What is the relationship between categorialism and hylemorphism, Aristotle’s other major ontological theory? Consider, for instance, body. A number of other questions about Quantity could be asked.