Non-Substantial Individuals in the Categories

Phronesis 26 (3):295 - 307 (1981)
There is a dispute as to what sort of entity non-substantial individuals are in Aristotle's Categories. The traditional interpretation holds that non-substantial individuals are individual qualities, quantities, etc. For example, Socrates' white is an individual quality belonging to him alone, numerically distinct from (though possibly specifically identical with) other individual colors. I will refer to these sorts of entities as 'individual instances.' The new interpretation1 suggests instead that non-substantial individuals are atomic species such as a specific shade of white that is indivisible into more specific shades. On this view, non-substantial individuals are what we would call universals2 which can be present in different individual substances, but are labelled 'individuals' by Aristotle because, like individual substances, there is nothing they are said of.3 In this paper I will defend the traditional account by attempting to show that it is supported by the slender textual evidence that is available. I will begin by stating three serious objections to the traditional interpretation. Next I will show that in works later than the Categories Aristotle accepted individual instances of properties of the sort found in the Categories by the traditional interpretation. Finally, I will set out the evidence that supports the traditional interpretation and answer the three objections.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/4182131
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #137,372 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.