Nonsubstantial Individuals

Michael V. Wedin

in Aristotle's Theory of Substance

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253081
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598647 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies

Nonsubstantial Individuals

Show Summary Details


Wedin addresses the debate over whether nonsubstantial individuals, that inhere in a subject but are not said of a subject, i.e. accidents, such as the pallor of Socrates, are nonrecurring particulars or a kind of determinate universal. Wedin examines the secondary literature on this topic and divides it into two schools of thought, determined by the contributions of J.L. Ackrill and G.E.L. Owen. According to Ackrill, individuals in non‐substance categories are particular to the substance they are in; Owen critiques Ackrill's view, and proposes that these items can recur in more than one subject and hence are a sort of universal. Wedin finds Owen's thesis unsatisfactory, even after supplementing it with an improved version due to Michael Frede; instead, Wedin argues for a revised version of Ackrill's interpretation of nonsubstantial individuals as nonrecurrent particulars. According to Wedin, Aristotle is committed to individuals only—e.g. to Socrates and to the particular bit of pallor in him: this conclusion has an important bearing on the ontological status of individuals and on the primacy of substance to nonsubstantial items.

Keywords: accidents; J.L. Ackrill; Michael Frede; inhere; nonrecurrent particulars; nonsubstantial individuals; ontological status of individuals; G.E.L. Owen; said of; universal

Chapter.  14058 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.