The Structure and Substance of Substance

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

The Structure and Substance of Substance

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In the Metaphysics, Aristotle often says that ‘form is substance’: in this chapter, Wedin argues that ‘substance’ in this context means the ‘substance‐of’ c‐substances. Wedin begins by examining Aristotle's use, and retention, of the framework of the Categories in Metaphysics Zeta (Z.1), before turning to discuss Z.3, which is crucial to understanding the relation between the Categories and Metaphysics theories of substance, because it is usually thought that here Aristotle departs from the substance of the Categories. Wedin denies that Z.3 involves a rejection of the Categories subjecthood criterion for primary substance: Aristotle rejects only the claim that one thing is the substance of another simply if it is the primary underlying subject of the other. Wedin argues that in Z.3 Aristotle introduces the idea of the ‘substance‐of’ a thing, and identifies as candidates for the substance of c‐substances the internal structural components form, matter, and the compound of form and matter.

Keywords: form; matter; Metaphysics Zeta 3; primary substance; subjecthood criterion; the compound of form and matter; the substance‐of c‐substances; underlying subject

Chapter.  19790 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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