Kath' hauto and pros ti

Gail Fine

in On Ideas

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780198235491
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597398 | DOI:
Kath' hauto and pros ti

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Fine sets down some of the groundwork for understanding the first of Aristotle's three objections to the Argument from Relatives, which with the other two objections will be discussed in the following chapter. Aristotle's first objection is that Argument from Relatives produces forms of relatives (pros ti), which are not possible, because forms are substances and hence must exist in themselves (kath’hauto). To assess this objection, it is necessary to first get clear on the key terms kath’hauto (in themselves) and pros ti (relatives); Fine defends Alexander's reading of these terms, according to which Aristotle uses kath’hauto for a feature, special to substances, and pros ti for a category of relatives. She also challenges the cogency of G.E.L. Owen's claim that the distinction is an Academic one centred around completeness and incompleteness of, or in the use of, predicates. Fine argues that this is not the case, and draws on Diogenes Laertius and Sextus Empiricus in defending her claim that kath’hauto and pros ti do not signal any distinction between the complete and incomplete use of predicates, and that there was no such Academic distinction.

Keywords: Alexander; completeness and incompleteness; Diogenes Laertius; kath’hauto; G.E.L. Owen; pros ti; relatives; Sextus Empiricus; substances

Chapter.  5801 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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