Ideas from 'Categories' by Aristotle [331 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Categories and De Interpretatione' by Aristotle (ed/tr Ackrill,J.R.) [OUP 1963,0-19-872086-6]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 2. Invocation to Philosophy
Without extensive examination firm statements are hard, but studying the difficulties is profitable
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 4. Contraries
The contrary of good is bad, but the contrary of bad is either good or another evil
Both sides of contraries need not exist (as health without sickness, white without black)
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / a. Category mistakes
The differentiae of genera which are different are themselves different in kind
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / b. Objects make truths
A true existence statement has its truth caused by the existence of the thing
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 7. Second-Order Logic
Predications of predicates are predications of their subjects
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / c. Priority of numbers
One is prior to two, because its existence is implied by two
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / g. Real numbers
Parts of a line join at a point, so it is continuous
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 4. Definitions of Number / b. Greek arithmetic
Some quantities are discrete, like number, and others continuous, like lines, time and space
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / f. Primary being
Primary being must be more than mere indeterminate ultimate subject of predication
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
Change goes from possession to loss (as in baldness), but not the other way round
There are six kinds of change: generation, destruction, increase, diminution, alteration, change of place
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 4. Ontological Dependence
A thing is prior to another if it implies its existence
Of interdependent things, the prior one causes the other's existence
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
Substance,Quantity,Quality,Relation,Place,Time,Being-in-a-position,Having,Doing,Being affected
There are ten basic categories for thinking about things
The categories (substance, quality, quantity, relation, action, passion, place, time) peter out inconsequentially
7. Existence / E. Categories / 4. Category Realism
Aristotle derived categories as answers to basic questions about nature, size, quality, location etc.
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 2. Need for Properties
Aristotle promoted the importance of properties and objects (rather than general and particular)
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
We call them secondary 'substances' because they reveal the primary substances
Some things said 'of' a subject are not 'in' the subject
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 9. Qualities
Four species of quality: states, capacities, affects, and forms
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
Colour must be in an individual body, or it is not embodied
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
Aristotle gave up his earlier notion of individuals, because it relied on universals
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Genus and species are substances, because only they reveal the primary substance
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
A single substance can receive contrary properties
Substances have no opposites, and don't come in degrees (including if the substance is a man)
Is primary substance just an ultimate subject, or some aspect of a complex body?
Primary being is 'that which lies under', or 'particular substance'
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / c. Types of substance
Secondary substances do have subjects, so they are not ultimate in the ontology
In earlier Aristotle the substances were particulars, not kinds
A 'primary' substance is in each subject, with species or genera as 'secondary' substances
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
Earlier Aristotle had objects as primary substances, but later he switched to substantial form
Things are called 'substances' because they are subjects for everything else
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
A primary substance reveals a 'this', which is an individual unit
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
Primary substances are ontological in 'Categories', and explanatory in 'Metaphysics'
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
Aristotle denigrates the category of relation, but for modern absolutists self-relation is basic
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
Only what can be said of many things is a predicable
Some predicates signify qualification of a substance, others the substance itself
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
It is not possible for fire to be cold or snow black