Commitment and Configuration in the Categories

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

Commitment and Configuration in the Categories

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Wedin considers the relation between the ontological commitment in the Categories and the semantical theory of underlying ontological configurations for standard categorical statements. According to Wedin, Aristotle's fourfold division of beings, which divides things according to whether they are, or are not, said of, and/or present in a subject, is a meta‐ontology that is concerned with beings per se, i.e. the fundamental things that are. Wedin explains that the primacy of c‐substance involves an asymmetry in the relation between c‐substance and everything else, or between the substantial and the nonsubstantial. This is because there is an ontological dependence of non‐substances, and also of secondary substances, on substances: everything is either said of, or in, primary substance. The argument of this chapter, then, is that the world of the Categories is a world of individuals: all ontological relations needed for semantics can be accommodated by appeal to individuals only.

Keywords: asymmetry; beings per se; individuals; meta‐ontology; non‐substances; ontological commitment; ontological dependence; secondary substances; semantics

Chapter.  26519 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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