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The Categories by Aristotle (384-322 BC). Published by planksip
A Critic's Meta Review: 5/5
Categories presents the backbone of Aristotle's philosophical theorizing and has exerted an unparalleled influence on the systems of many of the greatest philosophers in the western tradition as a result. Gaining necessary context for one of the most important scholarly and philosophical debates about the categories, namely the question of whether there is some systematic procedure by which Aristotle generated his famous list, grants readers access to fascinating conversations between a variety of scholars.
Interested in learning more about the foundations of philosophy? Categories by Aristotle is a great place to start and it’s available for FREE download on planksip.
Aristotle’s Categories is a singularly important work of philosophy and is among one of the most heavily discussed by Aristotle. The work is brief enough to be divided, not into books, but into fifteen separate chapters. The Categories places objects associated with human apprehension under one of ten categories, known to medieval writers as the Latin term praedicamenta. The categories were intended to enumerate everything that can be expressed without structure or composition, which would be anything that functions as the subject or the predicate of a proposition.
The text begins with an explanation of what Aristotle means when “synonymous”, or univocal words, are used. This explanation extends to “homonymous”, or equivocal words, as well as “paronymous”, or denominative, sometimes translated as derivative, words.
The text divides different forms of speech as being either “simple”, without composition or structure, or “composite”, with composition or structure. Simple forms of speech include words like “man”, “horse”, or “fights”, whereas composite forms of speech include phrases such as “the man argues” or “the horse runs”. According to the text, only composite forms of speech can be true or false.
Aristotle also explores distinguishing between what is said “of” a subject versus what is “in” a subject.
The categories themselves depend on four forms of predication: substance, quantity, qualification, or a relative. According to Aristotle, substance is what cannot be predicted of anything or said to be in anything, quantity is either a discrete or continuous extension of an object, qualifications determine the nature of an object, and the way an object is related to one or another is it’s relative.
In terms of the categoricalism inaugurated by Aristotle, there is an undeniable, deep philosophical psyche. However, despite its wide-reaching influence, anyone attempting to describe his categoricalism faces significant difficulty, which is why many experts disagree on its most important and fundamental aspects.