Apeiron 54 (3):261-285 (2021)

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Abstract
Simplicius reports that Xenocrates and Andronicus reproached Aristotle for positing an excessive number of categories, which can conveniently be reduced to two: τὰ καθ᾽αὑτά and τὰ πρός τι. Simplicius, followed by several modern commentators, interprets this move as being equivalent to a division into substance and accidents. I aim to show that, as far as Xenocrates is concerned, this interpretation is untenable and that the substance-accidents contrast cannot be equivalent to Xenocrates’ per se-relative one. Rather, Xenocrates aimed to stress the primacy of Plato’s binary distinction of beings, as presented at Sophist 255c13–4, over Aristotle’s list of the categories.
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DOI 10.1515/apeiron-2019-0043
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