A note on the ontology of Aristotle’s Categories, chapter 2

Gisela Striker

in Episteme, etc.

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696482
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738036 | DOI:
A note on the ontology of Aristotle’s Categories, chapter 2

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This paper argues that the four-fold classification of entities in chapter 2 of Aristotle’s Categories, with its unusual terminology, contains a criticism of Plato’s metaphysics, showing that the term ‘participation’ covers two distinct relations. This criticism prepares the way for the reversal of priorities in chapter 5, in which Aristotle bestows the rank of primary substance on concrete individuals. However, the ontological status of the species of primary substances—universals that are not attributes—remains ambiguous. A possible solution of these difficulties may be found in Metaphysics Z.13, with the rejection of universals as substances from Aristotle’s ontology.

Keywords: participation; substance; universal; attribute

Chapter.  5296 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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