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An

Introduction

to the Aristotle's

First

Five

Chapters

of

Categories

BARRINGTON JONES 1. Introduction: account of paperl I have argued that a satisfactory both and nonof substantial individuals, postulation I Aristotle's achieved can be in the substantial, Categories by taking seriously of these individuals as things that are 'one in his characterization as 'a unit in a posthis characterization number' and by interpreting This approach to the Categories ha.s important sible act of enumeration'. of the work. of the remainder for the interpretation consequences In this essay I wish to present an account of the first five chapters based on the (bar chapter 4 which lays out the categories themselves) former paper. I wish to examine the four-fold division of 'the things In particular, that are' in chapter 2 and the two relations of 'being said of' and this 'being in' (or, rather, 'existing in') that are used to construct four-fold division, and the nature of 'primary substance' (or, rather, from 'secondary being') and the basis for its distinction 'primary substance' being'). The account that will be (or, rather, 'secondary different from any here is and substantially importantly developed other that I am aware of, and, even if it does not secure conviction, will hopefully make the dogma that the Categories is a its publication of work less readily tenable and force a re-thinking 'common-sensical' the usual account of the work. I wish to suggest that 'the things that are' are 'things that exist that the two relations ('being said of' and in existing are something', ouonx are that and 'being in') existential, 'primary substance' and that is the existentially primary mode of existence of individuals is due partly to a hypofrom 'secondary substances' their separation in language, partly to a recognition of count-nouns statization that, to the extent that counting forms a basis of the work, to that extent of 'the in the classification an ability to use language is presupposed cannot simply view things that are', and, finally, that Aristotle substances' as items of language because he recognizes 'secondary n an earlier

146

that being

we can have any one

a man as a unit of enumeration particular man that is that unit. and Synonymy :

without

there

2. Homonymy, As these

Paronymy

are introduced in the first chapter of the work would be all the individual men that there examples of synonyms a man and a man in a picture, of paionyms might be, of homonyms all the brave. All these are, so to speak, of the same ontological type. from this However, certain writers have wanted to exempt paronymy On their account paronyms are not, for example, type ot interpretation. all the brave, one to another, but a brave man and bravery. Thus, Hintikka writes: with synonymy " ... paronymy appears as a notion incomparable are defined to be and homonymy: Things synonyms and homonyms in so far as they share the same name, whereas two things are paronyms when they are called by different 'names' (terms) of which one is nevertheless derived (grammatically) from the other,"2 and, in more linguistic frame of mind, Owen claims that: " ... the definition of paronyms is merely grammatical. It shows... how adjectives can be manufactured from abstract nouns by the modifying word-ending."3 of paroNow, though there is no need to read the characterization in 1 in this way, whereby the paronyms chapter nymy as it is given are the item called by an adjective which is an inflected form of a and the property and hence as pro`name' for a property 'named', with an the characterizations of homonymy ducing asymmetry and synonymy in the first chapter, these writers have a point. For, is actually employed in the work, the relata are indeed as 'paronymy' what they claim (v. 6 b 11-14, 10 a 27-b 11, 2 a 27-29; v. too Phys. 245 b 11-12). This 'twist', however, is not restricted to paronymy. As homonymy and synonymy are employed in the work the relata are not items of the same ontological status. Thus, examples of synman and what he is, his eidos : onymy are a particular

notions

147

the members of each of the three classes are of the same type. Similarly. "the direction of derivativeness not from to noun. ferentiae are so called synonymously" 33-b 9.. as they are used in the body of the work they are all given this 'twisted' application. is from noun to adjective. As they are So there is no asymmetry introduced in the first chapter. and difa trans.of substances and differentiae that all things "It is a characteristic called from them are so called synonymously.. I suggested that "the point of paronymy. is to license the inference from a certain number of literate individuals to that number of literacies. "6 Now. Probably. is employed in such a way that the colour white Equally. Annas has suggested that "any would seem to go the other way.. and more generally perate by the presence of temperance why a person is good by reference to his virtue. calling paronymy an "inference-licence" adjective is not meant to explain his use of the word "from" in his characterizais not presented as a thesis about tion. 109 b 4-7).. why Charmides is temin him. the literate man is so called from literacy. the 'derivativeness' of that type of explanation of the possession of to be a generalization individuals so common in the ethical properties by writings of Aristotle and the early dialogues of Plato. and clearly the characterization expressed by "from" is meant counting. and the species admits that of the genus. According inference-licence to Aristotle .. admit the definition of the species and of the genera.. too 3 a 15-17)... homonymy and a thing that is white are homonyms (2 a 29-32. Charmides because of the presence tempeiate of temperance in him. On this model.. we explain why a person is brave by reference to his bravery. Ackrill. But synonymous things were precisely those with both the name in common and the same Hence all the things called from substances definition.4 Miss J. Since the aim of the analysis of the Categories 148 . (3 v. In the earlier paper. For all the predicates from them are predicated either of the individuals or of And the primary substances the species. between the three notions. v. Such a model clearly the inference-licence in question: the good man is such presupposes because of his virtue. too Top."5 Thus. both the species and the individuals admit the definition of the differentiae.

Why just these classes? To treat paronymy The interpretation as an exception is. of counting enable us to mine the extent to which considerations the work. and it is this that rationale most needs explanation. unsatisfactory. of the basis of the work. work from the standpoint of to resolve or to illuminate difficulties. basis in the text as interpretations and the like. and so this enterprise is justified. does an and it has of in terms adequate explanation counting present in as much. of the three-fold division in chapter 1. what the appeal to counting does explain is the More importantly.and the present paper is not to claim that Aristotle out to construct an ontology on the explicit set self-consciously of but rather to endeavour to detera consideration basis of counting. it looks as though it will be profitable to approach the The measure of the profit of enumeration. the is the ability approach So let us see how able it is. indeed rather more. as we have seen.' 7 or 'universals' teims of 'grammar' Accordingly. all that is required is the presupposition of understand It is clear that counting does form part theses ielevant to counting. in "Individuals" 149 .

is. 'Being in' and 'being said of' are clearly distinct relations. are items which terminate We Substances count individual whites by counting white things and we count these simply by counting the things (men. stances. are each men and have the appropriate and thus they are synonyms of one another. the relation between each discriminated referent of the sortal is that of 'being said of' (2 a 19-27. `Being In' and `Being Said Of' : distinct substances this is done on the basis When we discriminate of the appropriate and equally of the applicability sortal-expression. Now it seems to be distinctive of Aristotle's "Plato's literacy". yield only a typical differentiation. of the thing that 'is in' something in the earlier paper I repeatedly and naturally used expressions of the form 'the o of a' . This may In talking be satisfactorily brought out by the following consideration. Some philosto disguise this disparity by coining the ophers have attempted one can talk manhood of the manhood of of. 3 a 17-20. it is always possible for such a discriminadistinct instances of the sortal in question. two colours will equally one to another. In the case of subin these cases. Now all the items.". on the other hand. discriminated They synonyms in the introduced and in which that term is illustrated in chapter 1: sense Socrates and Plato..3. and similarly inition applicable item and the Since this is so. as an instance of the sortal in question. we can count and discriminate on in the case of non-substances sortal: two different colours are different the basis of the appropriate since no non-substantial colours and each is a colour. chairs. with substance words but not in such a way as to suggest that the existence of that substance is somehow dependent on that of the thing of which it is. tion to yield numerically claims of enumeration. 3 a 33-b 9). More importantly. anything yet further. However. definition applicable to them. stand in the relation of synonymy of what referred to by the sortal in question: are each is synonyms they Socrates is a man and can be called "a man" and will have the deffor white and a colour. individual since such. expression "the 150 . be they substances are in this way are synonyms. such a discrimination Socrates' can. One can use "of" "The way. that they cannot be said to be 'of' anything in a similar substances man of Socrates" does not make sense.. One can speak of the man of La Mancha."Socrates' white". but Don Quixote would be who and what he is wherever he lived. white is not a distinct colour. discriminated by means of the sortal "a man". tables) and not by counting or not. to him.

White is a colour. whenever we count we have to count under some description or other.and manhood is not what Socrates is. it is clear that "the things that are" which are grouped by means of them cannot be such as to be incompatible with those conditions that have to obtain if an act of enumeration is to be possible. This lack of an 'of' is not absolutely unique to substances. I can count under the disparities concept "man" ard achieve items such as Socrates and Plato. conditions Firstly. readily to his virility and not to the fact that he is a human being. and the description must be such as to delimit precisely for any object whether or not it is an instance of the concept expressed That is. We can count using the sortal "white". Accordingly. If we consider the relation between white and colour. then. were used to refer to that in virtue of which Further. allows us to understand Aristotle's of to his two non-substantial individuals and postulation approach in relations of 'being present in' and 'being said of' such a way that Since a considerthey too are intelligible and readily distinguishable."the manhood of Socrates" refers most Unfortunately. Yet there is the need to recognize the without reference to someexistence of items which can be individuated thing other than what they themselves are .. Indeed. if "manhood" a human being is that. (It should be noted that there is the same logical disparity between "white" and "whiteness" as that noted between "man" and "manhood". 109 a 34-b 12). we must distinguish that in virtue of which Socrates is white from that in virtue of which he is a man and his white is a colour. Top. we find the same Whereas we can refer to that in virtue of which Socrates impossibility. we cannot refer to that in virtue of which white is a colour as "the colour of white". There are two that are especially germane to our present inquiry. it must be objected that there are fundamental between "man" and "manhood". it seems wrong to assert that whiteness is a colour. ation of counting allows us to explain these two relations." Socrates. Equally the knowledge of literacy is different from the knowledge that is literacy. and that this relation is to from that between Socrates and his colour. 151 . but the is to isolate Socrates' best I could do under the concept "manhood" manhood and Plato's and so on. it is not coloured (v. but not using "whiteness". be distinguished A consideration of counting. of each instance enumerable under the by the description.) Thus we can see that there is the same relation between Socrates and a man as between white and a colour. is white as "the white of Socrates".

tentially can be supported the characterization of 'in a subject' (1 a 24-25) is patently existential. 92 b 13-14).g. if it is to exist in such a way that it is countable or has countable instances. then. s. whenever I count under the concept 0. As we have seen. we can see that 'being in a subject' must be 'exisú7toxd[1. is to miscount. That is. and that is not a way of counting. for me to be able to count a number of o's. Socrates' colour. if a property 0 in that substantial exists.Each man must be a man and concept 'o' it must be true that it is a if we attempt to count. and. it cannot be that what is 'in' the substantial and the non-substantial individual is both the general property the it is because individual. if this is so. There are no such things as things which are simply what there are that exists must be something other than such things as. Now.. to count no O's is not to count at all. must be things that exist. Everything merely existent. there must exist 0's for me to count. As Aristotle remarks elsewhere "existence the existent is not a genus" (Apo. Frege puts this tersely and well: "Affirmation of existence is in fact nothing but denial of the number nought". general property is 'in' the sub'the property stantial individual that the non-substantial individual individual' exists. Secondly. the white of Socrates) exists. The only alternative. What is 'in' a subject it is 'in' (or 'of') was something property and it is only because what such as individual that there was a non-substantial individual. "is in" be taken existhat "is" in the expression This contention on the following textual grounds. The 'things that are'. and any instances that there are must a non-existent be existent: instance is self-contradictory.is a general ting in a subject'. Now. stance of anything. exists and 0 is 'in' s. whenever we have a case of counting it must be possible to frame the statement of the form result of the enumeration in an existential "There are n 0's". If a subject. where the 'something' can be referred to by means of a sortal. 152 . Therefore.e:vov . there exists some subject and 0 exists in that it is 'in' at least one such subject. it must exist by being something. other than simply they must be something is not part of the subexistent. each colour a colour. Firstly.9 Sortal concepts are concepts which can have a number of distinct instances. then 'the 0 in s' (e. In that they exist and are countable. rather.

the four modes of being formed by the two relations 'existing in' and 'being said of' are modes of existing and we may present the divisions of 'the being something. Secondly. they do not themselves exist in having instances e. These instances too must be in some member of (b). too 3 a 7-15). it is preferable to regard 2 a 27 as speaking of "those things that exist in a subject". and colour also has instances.£v explains what it is that he is saying is 'in' a subject it as "what is in something not 8s Xlym 6. It is worth pausing at this stage in our investigation to consider whether or not this is so. there is nothing instance of them. Aristotle e. For to the extent that the activity of counting 153 . . as a part and cannot exist separately "for every colour exists in a 1 a 28 seems best taken existentially is of the claim that "the an elucidation and this example body" in a white subject". colour exists in that there are coloured bodies. and these. The 'things that are'. and. and this supposed has been most in analysis frequently presented terms of the sentence and the distinction between 'subject' and 'predicate'.g. e.. This description is clearly meant to embrace all the non-substantial types of existent given in chapter 2. we have seen. Socrates' literacy. Counting and Language : It has been maintained very. Therefore. Certain items exist in that they are 'in' some member of (b). each of which only exists. therefore. are things that exist and in existing are something. a man . unlike these. things that are' in chapter 2 in the following form : and they are not (a) Certain items exist solely in having instances. very often that the Categories have an intimate connection with the analysis and explication of language.g. as types of existent that are given there.. the specifically different colours.g. 4. 2 a 27 speaks of "the is/exists particular things that are/exist in a subject". like the items in (a) they are not which is an 'in' anything. a particular man.?vcp explains from what it is in". (d) Certain items exist 'in' some member of (b) but do not themselves have instances. but. Accordingly. a particular literacy. and hence can be an instance. (b) The instances of (a) must exist. Thus. Finally. and (c) they also have instances. then. if there are green and red and so forth bodies. such as to exist by being 'in' (or 'of') anything else (v.and Ú7toxe:?[1.

ipso facto. these in their turn. between at least two different types of configuration distinguished that underlie predication. exists this must. and the heterogeneous way in which the examples are specified.. bring us closer to underwill. whether in subject or predthe same entity. That is." 'something'. Discovering things what all notion of a 'primary substance' the is. to that extent our ability to is use language presupposed. namely predication.1° He claims to be by of one the nest of that Aristotle discusses in "selecting problems key these works"."11 'being in' and 'being said of'. we shall be able to see why Aristotle between and distinguished 'primary' and to see there are not substance'. and hence that the 'seconis one of the exists."12 Here "a general term" icate position. After all. which Moravscik refers to as "inherence and predication" He respectively. this 'secondary substance' dary substance' and if the appropriate things that exist in being said of something.. and that Aristotle "discusses in the several interesting features of predication. exist. 'secondary why similarly 'primary' and 'secondary' and quantities and the like. Finally. "Given this fact. one must conclude that for Aristotle general terms 154 . Showing this will also enable us to make a start in seeing what 'secondary sbustances' are. standing important As an example of the construal of the Categories as offering a consider the following quotations from a paper theory of predication.13 This claim is supported predicate by the following two we shall see that neither is independent of arguments (and argument the other) : in chapter four are "what 'expressions (i) The categories enumerated in no way combined' designate". we qualities shall be able to understand how Aristotle came to claim that "if the did not exist it would be impossible for any of primary substances the other things to exist" (2 b 5-6). and then Categories. introduce is used as the equivalent of "the predicate in a sentence of subjectform". the particular man. Moravscik called on "Aristotle Predication". and and the claim that terms begins by consideiing endorsing "general the correlated abstract singular terms.is presupposed by what is said there. This latter is problEmatic because we want to expostulate "But for a particular man to immediately: exist it must be the case that a man exists.

expressions We shall argue these matters on independent grounds and then show how considerations of counting the possibility that the preclude be taken as expressing in the Categories can legitimately observations or expounding a theory of predication.. if we are to attempt in the Categories. "15 duced by either 'patient' it seems as though Moravscik understands However. by "the related/ correlated abstract singular term" a word that can occupy the subject form. general predmakes sense only if one assumes that icated. while the name of what inheres cannot be predicated of the to what term correlated inheres the can be so subject. At the beginning of chapter two Aristotle says: 155 . " . Aristotle says that: predication". (i) and (ii) are inadequate. we have to show that tion expounded or presupposed we shall try to show that it Specifically. Indeed. he that unless an expression introduces an might have thought also by a subject expression. This characterization a sentence like 'Socrates is patient' is a configuration underlying of patience inherent in Socrates. For he goes on to position in a sentence of subject-predicate remark: "It seems that Aristotle was strongly impressed by the fact that in one context is that what we use to describe and characterize which we specify as the subject in another context. is senseless to claim that the members of the categories are both items designated in no combined" and what are way by "expressions and correlated both by designated predicateby subject-expressions and that these two ways of referring to the members expressions. observation that while the bears a different sense in the Aristotelian of the the term can be name cannot be general subject predicated from the sense appropriate to "predication" and "predicate" as these are used by Moravscik in expressing his own claims. 16 to deny that there is a theory of predicaNow. and what inheres can be introor 'patience'. and further show that "predicate" of the categories are equivalent.. it entity that can be designated cannot be a genuine predicate". is "one of the configurations (ii) 'Inherence'. "14 abstract singular terms introduce the same en- that underlie 'being in'.and the related tities.

"in the Lyceum.. e. it would seem."Of things that are said. a third use is found when it is rendered in reference to what or that-which-is-artistic is accidental. 'man wins'.. and of those without combination 'man'. Examples of those involving combination are 'man runs'. and this context also speaks in favour of adopting (b) above. Both of these examples answers to questions are given a predominant of place in the context of the enumeration the categories in the Topics. 'wins"' (1 a 16-19 trans. equates Rather. That is. that-which-is-sitting 156 . uttered in such a way as to form part of a sentence ('in combination') . they are uttered or spoken of in combination. depending on whether one "of things that are said". once more. However. Examples and calling someone. they are uttered or spoken of witlaout combination. sometimes words (and phrases: cf. as we have seen. if they are part of a sentence or what is referred Yet to by part of one. as takes the expression involving a reference to things that are spoken of or as involving a reference only to words that are spoken. the two. Ackrill). Moravscik.g. or else: (b) When things are spoken of. whichever way we take this. of" "the words used to speak of things when the things are spoken of". it cannot be the case that the in chapter four are introitems in the various categories enumerated as the of duced by Aristotle referents subject expressions in subjectas the referents of words predicate sentences. they are spoken of sometimes by means of single words and sometimes by means of sentences. Aristotle must have in mind the fact that we do not always use senwe use single tences in speaking of or to signify things. Aristotle could be saying : some are uttered alone and some are (a) When words are uttered. of this that come to mind are giving 'elliptical' 2 a 1-2). Let us take the case of calling someone first since this is clear-cut. Adoption of (b) here entails claiming that. 'runs'." "in the market-place". they must be introduced uttered without being part of a sentence . this could mean a number of things. There comes a point in the Topics when Aristotle wishes to maintain that "the same" can be used in such a way as to suggest that an accident is the same as a substance: " . Now. some involve combination while others are said without combination. there is a conthat Aristotle means by "things spoken fusion of 'use' and 'mention'. 'ox'.

at the least. author's translation). "the artistic one") to call someone and to refer to someone. to giving an answer to the question "What is that?" or "What is it?" (v. It seems clear that this type of situation is conceived by Aristotle as the uttering of a 157 . or and this is considered equivalent ex-posed. too 102 a 31-35). the calling) when the man to whom we gave the order happens not to underbetter from what is understand stand .). This speaks for itself and it shows that Aristotle was. author's translation). and we bid him call to us 'the one who is sitting' or accidental.EVO\lis . in this type of case. 9 Aristotle enumerates the categories and then turns to make some observations about the use of the label "what it is" . Clearly we suppose that we signify the same one according to the name and according to what is accidental" (103 a 29-39.a man or an animal. Here one says of some object that has already been picked out. I. In Topics. and one says what it is and signifies 'of what quality' Equally too if a six-foot length has been exposed is a six-foot length. is spoken of) concerning this" (103 b 35-37.Tt £um . exposed one says that what-has-beenone says what it is and signifies 'how much' -noa6v. one of the people who are sitting down. author's translation). when we give an order to call by name (7tpocr-r¡yop£occ. we change (sc. That what has just been said is true one would learn especially from cases where people change the calling for often.which can be used with reference to the members of each of the categories. aware of the activity of using an isolated expression ("the one sitting". is the same as) Socrates. to call it (or speak of it as) the thing itself. we suppose. that it is such-and-such. 'the one who is talking' Tdv 81«Xcy6ycvov. what-has-been-exposed when and one says what it is and signifies the substance a white colour has been exposed one says that what-has-beenexposed is white or a colour. he will.(sc. In answer one says "It is a as follows: This type of case is then characterized "Each of these signifies what it is if it is itself spoken of concerning itself and if the genus (sc. "the one talking". for all these mean to signify what is one in number. To say of a o that it is a 0 is to say what it is and this is. He supports this by means of the following examples: "For when a man has been exposed one says that To ÈXXd[1." (103 b 29-35.

What is spoken must be the expression. We have seen that it is a mistake to construe the items given as examples of the categories in chapter four as introduced as what the of subject-predicate sentences refer to. This seems sufficient to offer some support to the claim that "things spoken of without combination" (or "things uttered without combiare viewed as words or phrases used to refer to a isolated nation") object. However. Rather. it should now be obvious that when Aristotle speaks of 'predication' here he need only have in mind the use of an isolated expression to refer to something and not any kind of linguistic performance that we would describe philosophically as "predication" that it need not involve the utterand. or picked out. particularly. the argument denial that built on Aristotle's the name of what is present in something can be 'predicated' of what it is present in and assertion that "the general term correlated to what inheres" can be predicated. This particular conflation of 'use' and 'mention' seems to support the suggestion that in the Categories Aristotle is not concerned of words but with the use of simply with the utterance words uttered to refer to things. to speak of things. He concentrates on the word "man" and not on the sentence "It is a man". Let us turn to (ii). 158 .word or phrase which refers to the thing itself. and not to a species or the like. or. since this is also what signifies. better. subject-expressions are the sorts of that can be to referred they thing by words that are in of not used the form sentences. a second on the last quotation given from It is worth concentrating the Topics. This seems reasonable enough in itself. But it is spoken "concerning itself" and this cannot be the expression but the thing referred to. This equation of "spoken without combination" and "subject-expression" was essential to the attempt to represent the Categories as dealing with predication. the one who has been exposed. Otherwise particular we would (as Moravscik does) have to view Aristotle as considering words and phrases uttered as part of a sentence with disregard of the fact that they are part of a sentence. and this enterprise seems to me somewhat incoherent. An expression signifies what a thing there before one is "if it itself is spoken concerning itself". it seems best to adopt something like (b) above. This claim and this assertion is explained in terms of 'predication'. Accordingly. one would think. rather than the utterance of a sentence which makes an assertion about the thing. The use of the word that he has in mind is to refer to a particular man.

If he does do he is but this does not that he is mistaken. or to investigate. This is well put by Frege: "If I give someone a stone with the words: Find the weight of this. He takes what he considers obvious facts about lan(v. We can only count if we possess a language that is richer than the mere seiies of numerals. or. 2 a 19-34). on the that are not the utterance of subjectlinguistic plane. however. But if I place a pile of playing cards in his hands with the words: Find the number of these. suggest equally mistaken in the Categories. is not necessarily does attempt to offer an account of what we would call "predication" in other works and that he uses our ability to use words in isolation in order to explain the nature of a sentential utterance. or of complete packs of cards. I have given him precisely the object he is to investigate. the Categories cannot be itself treated as a contribution of it takes its an account since predication.form. to it. reverse of this. starting point. to be able to point to something "That is one" entails having the ability to apply some countnoun. gether with the sentence-form Since what is one is specified with reference to its being something and say other than merely one. more facts about As it his language. where "n" is any numeral. this does not tell him whether I wish to know the number of cards. then it is one something. This. from utterances it sentences.cards. equate predicate with the concept of predication translated "predicate" that is employed in connection with the analysis of subject-predicate to deny that Aristotle sentences. is tendentious to the word Equally. If it is one. He would only be mistaken there if he meant his account to explain facts about sentential utterances. Aristotle does not ance of a sentence of subject-predicate illustrate his claim and denial by saying that "we utter the sentence 'A body is white"' or "we say 'A body is white"' but by remarking that "a body is called white" (2 a 32). this. Thus. or even than the series of numerals to"That is n". To have given him the pile in his hands is not yet to have given him completely the object he is I must add some further word . or packs. generally. "1' 159 . one man or horse or geranium. or even say of honour cards at skat. procedure is the happens. guage and uses them to support his ontological theses If counting forms one of the bases for the work this is only to be expected. honours. or sortal. to Thus.

tables. Since 'secondary 160 . as such.g. this cannot be the basis for the distinction between and substance'.l8 Since a distinction between subjects and predicates is not. As Aristotle supposes in the passage about the categories in the Topics. is not the nature of anything. Finally. to the point in considering the doctrines of the Categories. but just as among colours one colour must be sought as what is actually what is one. 'secondary 'primary' Aristotle 5. we must be able to distinguish from objects other than men. The Priority of Primary Substances and the Ambiguity of Eidos : of the preceding section we formulated In the first paragraph a over Aristotle's claim that "if the substances did not primary problem for any of the other things to exist" exist it would be impossible substances' exist in that they are said of (2 b 5-6). recognize any object as either being or not being a case in point. that "what is one in every genus is clearly some nature and this itself.g. so too one substance must be sought as what is among substance what is one" a (1054 9-13). neither of them.. specifically. If we men are counting men in the room. 26-27). We with use sentences demonstratives as the subject-predicate grammatical subject (e. the one. argues Metaphysics. actually for us to be able to count we must already be able to Furthermore. "A unit is one such-and-such qua such" 1001 More he a in B. This means that we must already be able to apply the word "man" to the men in the room correctly. packs of cards and pairs of shoes.too is aware of this. like chairs. it is worth observing that the two types of sentence most with counting of are. It has been suggested that the distinction between and 'secondary substance' 'primary' (2 a 11-19) is based on the supposed fact that a proper name cannot form a predicate expression whereas other expressions applicable to a substantial individual nameable by such a proper name (e. the objects in question are already 'exposed'. probably readily associated form. "a man") can be either the subjector the predicate-expressions. "That is one man") or existential sentences ("There are five of them"). I (Meta. Let us note an immediate consequence of this for the interpretation of the Categories.

It could then be suggested that in the Categories we find both a and that it is through a confusion of property. Traditionally. 121 b 3-4) and that "the genus is said of most of all" a 30-31). For Aristotle clearly holds that each man is in and of ó «lq himself a man he is 'the certain man' (1 a 22.Ti !cr1'L. either a man (the form) or man (the we might say that Aristotle adopts two apspecies).Thus the eidos of a particular man is. The word used for that secondary substance which "is more a substance than the genus" (2 b 7-8) is eidos. given two distinct translations More generally they are as we all know. to be justified. what it is . there can only be one universe in fact. these that Aristotle feels his claim of the priority of primary substance. Now. (some) individuals did not exist the aggregate would not though if the individuals 161 . one of the things that something is. while the aggregate-view These approaches are distinct. if we regard 'a universe' simply as a form. a species. Yet this must surely be the thrust of Aristotle's remark. is an aggregate of individuals.primary substances. this has been "form" and "species".. by the individual. an aggregate must have a plurality of members to exist. However.and an aggregate-view. Therefore. given that this form is that of 'a universe'. in the De Caelo. well. Aristotle argues that even though it is possible for there to be a plurality of universes. property of 'being a man' is pre-empted 'man' is the since existentially posterior to the existence of aggregate it must seem as as members of that aggregate. proaches to what something is. the role of the 2 a 13) and also 'this man' (3 b 10-23). which we may call a 'property'-view of what something is and an 'aggregate'-view. a property-view would concern itself with that in virtue of which each individual is would concern itself with an what it is. For while aggregate of such individuals.. Thus. a property can exist with only one instance.. will enable us to adopt a more satisSeeing how it is unsatisfactory factory approach. Accordingly. how Aristotle could have I shall make one attempt to understand come to make this claim which will prove not altogether satisfactory. Thus. there cannot be a question of any existential priority for primary substances. There could be no instance (277 b 27an additional surplus stuff (matter) to constitute 278 b 8). Accordingly. if a primary substance exists then the appropriate secondary substance must ibso lacto exist. One might support the allegation of an aggregate-view by pointing to the fact that "the genus is always said of more than the eidos" (Top.

though it appears from the form of calling TM a man or an animal . Thus. one thing. it is course of the destruction of man that the existence the was not true species contingent solely upon the existence of Aristotle and his contemporaries. but man The species and the genus and animal are said of many things. It would not. and one thing in number. we thereby burn down the wood. 1tP°<Tl1YOp(lXt. for the thing revealed is an individual signifies 'this something'. for they signify what mark off what like concerning substance b 10-16 and 20-21. (This is suggested by Ackrill's rendering of rrp cx(y«« In this case the worry as "the form of the name"). seems to signify 'this something'.. a collective unity of them. as the primary substance is. would be the same as that voiced by Russell: 162 . If we burn down all the trees of a wood. consists of objects' it is an aggregate. it is not true that the wood in Frege's example must have ceased to exist when all the trees that compose it at any one time have ceased to exist. Something view is to be found there: exist.and genus-terms. Equally.v Tcva (3 trans. we find and the aggregate-treatments traces of the propertylike the propertythat matters are not this straightforward. if so it must vanish when these objects vanish. New trees could have grown during the of the old. secondary signifies true..must be prior to the eidos. author's like a substance 7tO?&. to the existential priority of individuals here show that these individuals are prior to the existence of however. in the sense in which we have so far used the word. for the subject is not."19 This approach would seem to explain how Aristotle could have held over aggregates. As regards "Every substance it is indisputably true that each of them the primary substances. are grammatspecies. when we come to examine the text of the Categories for of eide.. ically singular. and fortunately.when one speaks of 'this this is not really substance something'. It might be suggested that what is of concern here is the fact that such as "man" and "animal". the aggregate. But as regards the secondary substances. after Ackrill).that a yop[ot4 . This and therefore the individuals constituent individual over the aggregate of constituted is priority also maintained by Frege: "A class. However. rather it signifies what like something (poion ti) .

a homo in Greek. what is to be said of the objects denoted by 'some man' and 'any man'." However. This. of men assemblage (which is not to deny that you can make general statethe point ment about all men by saying "A man is. to this view. it cannot be the case that "a man" is "said of many things" because it also refers to the species. But. Rather the point would seem to be that Each particular man is 'this made at the end of the last paragraph. 163 . 'calling' man". not Plato. nor any particular persons is not all that is to However."We may ask... For what Aristotle stresses is something we call each individual man "a Now. the natural objection is. I feel that this grammatical singularity to do with the point here.) Accordingly. however. and can just as well be called "a man. each of which is equally (3 b 33-4 a 9) a man. says Aristotle.' treats them all as one. The human species is not a massive sprawling man. which one? Certainly not Socrates. given that "a man" cannot be applied to the species 'man'. But what we do not do is call the 'collective unity' of all men "a man". of many things" (3 b 15-18). but the man (or "a man") and the animal (or "an animal") are said . this man is himself a man and can be called "a man". Equally. you cannot use anthropos of the whole sapiens. look like statements be more otherwise. 21 of the appropriate aggregate-view at first of an For the remarks that.. For.' 'every man.". is this man there are other man not necessarily man' but a men. one thing. "(sc. and therefore. as though "a man" signifies a 'this'. secondary the subject is not. shows that we cannot find the existence in the text. certainly itpOG'Y)YOPLIX. but that this man here before me is not only 'this man' but also a man. and "One marks off more with the genus than with the species for the one speaking of an animal takes in more than the one speaking of a man" (3 b 21). view can now satisfactorily explained aggregative I mean the following remarks: for substance) signifies what like something. will be not that "a man" is used both of the individual man and of the species 'man'.. as the primary substance is. Grammar 'a man. sight. it might seem.

any two would do. To point to the same man twice is to miscount. aggregate thereby ceasing appropriate must be making a stronger claim than this.a man and a giraffe. "a man is said of many things". For there is no man other than 'these' men. We have seen in connection with aggregative Categories trees that what a of the wood and the such treatment Frege's example would show is the existential priority of individuals in general over the aggregate they compose . and only because they There 164 . 22 reinforces our earlier suggestion about the role This consideration of the eidos-term "a man". But then we could never reach an end to counting any number of men. How many animals are there there? Two . But for this to be the case there do not have to be these men in the room . the ones actually here. and say on the first occasion "That's one man". can point at anything. and so each of them. be that 'the certain man' is any man . to enumerate to to one an individual we have man.of the eide of the is a further reason against a treatment in terms. For no enumeration is possible. But if. However. There is no limit to the number of times I But then 'the certain man' would not be a. man. It possible unit in an enumeration. so long as it is some man. Equally. any man would do. But man for this to be the case there does not have to be this particular there. If 'the certain man' it cannot is 'one in number' and so is a unit in a possible enumeration. Therefore. Aristotle However. point simply each time and correlate what we point to with a different numeral. He is any of them. But 'any man' is not another one beside them. Now it might look as though we have the makings of a defence for Aristotle. We For then we would not be able to enumerate the point to one man and say "That's one man". number. In a room there is a man and a giraffe. however small the number. man. hiding among them like a spy in a crowd.individuals in general and not any particular the individuals since these latter could all cease to exist without to exist. It is 'this as opposed to the man and not that one' rather than 'this individual type of thing it is'. I could point to the same man a number of times. on the second "That's two" and so on. is obviously essential that I point to each man only the once. Any man there is to be found among them. if each man is 'one in number' this entails that he is 'this one and not that one'. Accordingly. there are two men in another room. each 'thing' that it is said of must be this one and not that.is simply an individual a number of men.

Note especially our perplexities over whether "the things said / spoken are words or not. where it seems they are treated as words in that they are said to signify23 but what they signify is presented as something other than what . Aristotle suggests.is. But. indubitable realities along with such homely existents as 'the particular man' (1 a 20-b 9). For we have seen in section (4) above that it is necessary if things that are 'one in number' are to there may be must be already far advanced exist that any enumerators in linguistic competence. if they have any such competence. and "signify as we have seen. are characterized as things Although they present in that are said are said of of what they that exist (1 a 20-22 they et not as 'mere words'. We have had frequently to disentangle 'use' and 'mention' in our interpretations.T£ . In chapter five of the work. that man over there would not be here. So it is just as much because there is a man here that any particular man is here as that it is only because the ones that are here are here that a man is here. one exclaims.the 'this something' roSe TL . then there would not be a man not to be there. if there was not a man there then that man would not be there. And this is surely true. that Aristotle regards the words spoken of things as eide and 'hypostatizes' them. Even if there were only one man there. With this difference: them as words. If we adopt this suggestion. it would seem that these eide are the words we use in speaking of the things Aristotle does not simply we do speak about.are there is any man there. surely. we have in the discussion up to now frequently spoken about "a man". . However. nor would you be and neither would I. Accordingly. then a man would be there: the man that is there is a man. whether they are things of without combination" that are said and uttered or things spoken about. that they "signify what like something" what like a substance" (3 b 10-21). but as they are equally presented. If there is not a man here.24 Further- 165 . we can certainly explain how he could have come to do this.the word. "A man" is said of many things. But if no man were there.

it seems that things would only be. there would not be time unless there were soul. Just as we can compare one thing with another (and they both have to exist to be comparable). whatever it is.. so we can say one thing of another. She writes: by "Locke said that if you take a proper name. supposes that.. unlike hers. 'A'. a man. and these have any linguistic ability they must have exist enumerators sufficient ability to be able to speak of these objects in the appropriate distinct must exist in such a way. Aristotle then conceives this necessary condition of the existence of such items as the existence of a further class of objects which are related to them by the 'relation' of "speaking". . This account is very like that of Miss Anscombe. with the difference observation but is embedded that it is not. trans. things that are enumerably way that they can be spoken of. is a question "Whether that may fairly be asked.. way argues in the Physics that there is such a thing as time only if there is such a thing as a mind. Aristotle's being the same such-and-such. 'second substance' is indicated by the predicate. for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted so that evidently there cannot be number. or a as if there were such a thing as being the same without cassiowary: This is clearly false.. is qualified to count. or in soul reason. an independent into a general pattern This gives the fmther adof interpretation. a man. things can exist and if there are enumerably distinct only if there exist enumerators. Similarly. a Psuchi. 166 ." (Phys. in such a way that they Hardie and Gaye). but only movement in so far as it admits of enumeration. He has argued that : " . for number is either what has been or what can be counted. say.." (223 a 21-26. It is as if he construed the verb "to say" by analogy with "to compare". each one. you can know when to use it again. having grasped the assignment of the proper name 'A'.. you can only discover whether A is. On the basis of this he is able to make the following suggestion: if soul did not exist time would exist or not. 219 b 2-5).one if more. Time then is a kind of number. But if nothing but soul. time is not movement.. enumerably there were enumerators In this Aiistotle presupposed. in her account can be vantage that what seems somewhat arbitrary seen as reflecting an essential truth about the situation presupposed Aristotle. by looking This preto see if A has the properties of man or a cassiowary. or a cassiowary. say. without its being already determined whether 'A' is the proper name of. That is.

For given that Aristotle cannot identify them with words spoken. 9) is worth noting. and as a 'what like something' (poion ti) rather than the same thing that (ti) the thing exposed is. This. Lloyd to. "25 The arbitrary factor in this account is the one that A. where we example containing just to how wanted discover many animals there were there. A man is said of the man over there and the man that is said of him is the man over there. for he recognizes that a man can exist without there being any one particular man that exists. what (ti) it is. In the Categories. why cannot he simply identify them with what a given substantial individual is? A 'secondary substance' then would be not the highly indirect 'what sort of what' (potion ti). is something comes to maintain in the Metaphysics. We have reached the following stage. the account of 'secondary in the substances' However. 167 . while 'primary substances' are things that exist and not words.26 points Why is there this demand for the possibility of 'referring to' ? How is it that the things existing brutishly there are so essentially intertwined with the referrings and identifications2' of human beings. after all. what the thing is. that it is not just a case of confusing the words we use to refer to the things with a special class of objects. Aristotle draws a distinction between 'primary' and 'secondary substances' because. However. In the latter the that what is said of the man that is exposed possibility is entertained is the thing itself.in the of the room the man and the giraffe. what is said of something is presented as always 'something else' (heteron) (1 b 10).say 'X'. A difference between the Categories and the passage in the Topics dealing with the categories (A. this is not yet sufficient. the same one. C. that is so associated with the proper name of an individual that the proper name has the same reference when it is used to refer to the same X. simply. it is not open to Aristotle simply misrepresented to identify 'secondary substances' with words.. For we can construe a man as a possible unit in an enumeration without there being any particular man that he had to be . However. the latter are words as things. that he but. eide. embedding context of enumerably discrete things forces on us considerations of our and activities. though. language linguistic It is worth noting. by contrast.

a discriminable to Aristotle what we could call 'a thesis of costs here is attributing are a thesis to the effect that these individuals pure instantiation'. we might suppose that there is a distinction between the subject of which things are said and in which they are and the primary substance.To discover this we clearly have to look at the concept of a 'primary as that concept is employed in the Categoyies. of What we must beware of at all individual. the purely formal things which simply exist. For we This is peculiar in that the characterization as the subject in which other things might expect it to be introduced are and of which they are said. is purely negative. and enumerably one in the sense that they can be included in any enumeration A unitary colour could be solely on the basis of being themselves. must exist in such a way that it is. and this is what the 'primary for example. and this is already something. 3 b 16-17). the particular trans. Any such object. It is only because Socrates is thing one colour.g. It is introsubstance' is characterized 'Primary duced as follows: and primarily and "O'Usia is what is spoken of most prominently most of all. substance' marks 'the certain man' (2 a 13). A 'primary substance' is. In the general specification Categories gives things 168 . We would then take the characof primary substance as giving what the primary mode of terization existence of such a subject is. out (3 b 10-13). in passing. substance' Substance: (vi) Primary is presented in the Categories not simply The particular individual as a 'this' but as a 'this something' 1'6õe: rt. Since he does not introduce it in this way. characterization and fundamental We already know one important of such subjects. especially since he does refer to it. repudiates concept are what there are such that there are which things simply gestion of what he a as. itself. else 'in' which included only because there always exists something one that his colour is it exists. 'substance'. They are things that are enumerably one. but Socrates is one thing because he is in himself one thing. in a peculiar way. (2 11-14. Such a distinction would be that between the thing itself and its mode of being. viz the one which neither is said of a subject nor exists horse" man or the particular in a subject. as a subject (1 b 12-13. which only instantiate he the sugWe have seen that o2csia. e. a man. then. after a Ackrill).

two indisputable occurrences of the word in this sense in the work. He also argues in favor of each of the marks of 'primary ousia' men5 (2 a 11-12). (2 Meta. the species and genera alone of the other things are spoken of as (secondary) ousiai" (2 b 29-3 a 6). found. Furthermore. 'substance'. enumerably one on the basis of their being what it is that they are: the certain man is one man and that is what he is. it seems to me. and. and the certain horse. Its 'prominence' tioned at the start of chapter (2 b a 19-2 b 37-3 a 1).they must be 'one in number' of the kind of meant a man or horse. these enumerably singular items are in terms of the modes of being 'being said of' and characterized substance' 'existing in'. will not be just particular objects that are of of modes of a certain class but viz. esp. 'primacy' 6. whereas the certain colour is. can thought. he argues. This. after the primary ousiai. and the second one 169 . Having introduced primary ousia by means of the characterization "the one which is neither said of a subject nor exists in a subject" (2 a 12-13). being objects found carried this ones. "to be" or "to exist". v. and its 'most of all' (2 b 7-22). or existence. the certain man the examples of 'primary substance'. Before on line of getting away singular enumerably let us pause to demonstrate that ousia. thing particular examples These things. 1019 a 1-14)28. cannot be pure occurrences.and kind of thing these must be . Accordingly. Aristotle does recognize the common-place "existential" force of the word. Ousia is the verbal it is obvious that noun of einai. in the course of chapter 5. Since it is in terms of these that 'primary is identified. of course. as it were. All this makes it overwhelmingly unlikely that ousia is used without any consideraforce and simply as a pure label for a tion of its common-place certain class of existents. In chapter two. There are. and enumerably singular in virtue of itself. Socrates' colour but that is not what it is. with which cf. of something that is enumerably singular. we have seen. they must be things that exist in such a way that they are enumerably one. we are justified in taking 'primary substance' to be the mode of being. that: "It is reasonable that. 2 b 5-6. mean 'being' in the Categoyies. is what we would expect from a linguistic and grammatical point of view. for instance. then. A.

great use is made of "the definition of being which corresponds to the name" (1 a 1-2. the notions of homonymy When he introduces and synonymy in chapter one. have different ways of being corresponding to the name "an animal". This remark about synonymy is made in connection with primary and secondary ousiai. A particular ways of being something. being 24-32). Such a definition is correlated with "what being a o is for each of them" (1 a 5. Thus.. (cf. and the other secondary modes of being.. we may feel justified of ousia as 'being' or 'existence'. that of providing the 'something' that the thing is to exist by being a particular one of. In chapter remarks that ousia.. It is not simply the definition of being. Now. One exists by being a picture or portrait. The man and the ox have corresponding in identical ways of being. being a man. it hardly seems true that all things that are called the same name as any substance are so called synonymously. on the other hand. the man over there exists by being a certain man. However. is said of him synonymously.shows that this is the sense it bears in the expressions "primary ousia" and "secondary ousia". interpretation purely general Acsomething. but the definition to the name. The relevant ways of existing are man exists by being 'whats'. It is agreed that this. 4. 9-10). Aristotle five. is already pre-empted by the primary mode of being of the thing.g. the role that we might expect the secondary modes of being to perform. and this is true. it will be seen that what Aristotle is saying here is that anything that is called after its own ousia is so called synonymously. Thus. The man and the man in the picture. Therefore. are squeezed into an ontological limbo. if we recall the 'twist' that is given to the notions introduced in chapter one. being impossibly pure and simple. tis ousias. an in retaining the interpretation on This reached hitherto grounds. if what is said of him is his way of being. where the being question is that corresponding to the name "an animal". and his way of being is that of being a man. yet both are men. 7. is indeed the definition of being. Anything that is said of him. 'a man'. a man 73 b 83 a 5-8. 11). primary mode of being is that of being a particular cordingly. the other does not. ho logos. ousiai that all things that are called from them are so called synonymously" (3 a 33-34).. while discussing "it is a characteristic of. The man and the man in the picture are and not homonyms. e. synonyms. and must remain so until either they are abandoned as fictions and figments or else the individual is no longer represented as existing by being 170 .

Firstly. It will readily be seen that without any one particular in producing a distinction between 'primary' the motives operative be operative in producing substances' cannot and 'secondary a between and distinction 'primary' 'secondary qualities'. to with our ability assert that the existence of qualities is concerned to use a certain class of words. 171 . Above all. We have analysed the distinction between 'primary' and 'secondary into three factors. (I speak of "existing by being itself" for the descriptions of the modes of being of these individuals is also a description of the individThe certain man exists by being the certain man. a move which was not readily available in the case of substances. whereas being this man is already being a man. We were in terms of a confusion of language able to explicate this distinction and things spoken of and the way in which what for Aristotle are as existing the fundamental class of 'things that are' are represented by being just exactly themselves.itself. be identified with the colour that it is. hover between being things spoken substances' Secondly. The one area that has proved impossible to untangle in a defensible way is and 'secondary the distinction between 'primary' being'. The secondary a man as opposed to this man. for example man be a man there without there necessarily being this particular there. to repeat. however.) uals themselves. for something's colour that the by being in something is that thing's colour can ly. parallel or the like. a colour. (vii) Conclusion: of the Categories (other than the doctrines By following through on the basis of the characterization of the categories themselves) as what are 'one in number'. being 'the certain colour' is not similarly being a colour is not. mode of being of such a thing is that of being a man. to hold that being a man is something different from being this man. the mode of being represented substance' the by 'secondary substances' is already pre-empted by the individuals. as such. Thirdly. 'secondary is unwilling to assimilate of and things spoken. It seems mistaken. Aristotle substances' either to substances' or else to a 'primary 'secondary he that a man status because can exist recognizes purely linguistic man existing. Consequentcolour. for any man that is there will be one particular man and not another one. we have been able to unite individuals these various doctrines in a coherent and intelligible way. There can. Aristotle does not feel the temptation or 'quantities'.

These are not simply individuals and members of classes. they are. each one. each one.Following this route has produced an interesting picture. and existential fabric of the things themselves. We have seen how the existence of things is approached with a tacit framework which already presupposes the existence of human beings able to how this linguistic ability is worked into the speak a language. In particular: What is so special that this can be assumed as a privileged means of about enumeration access to what there is?2a Princeton University 172 . they are. The other interesting result is that this 'enumerative' approach to things has revealed Aristotle's with what we might call the 'radical' individuality of preoccupation the primary class of things that are. this one and not that. Of course questions now arise. not another one.