Predication in Aristotle's Categories: A Response to Plato's Theory of Forms

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2021-10-4
Duran, Zeynep
This study aims to provide a textual evidence to the idea of reading the Categories of Aristotle as a criticism of the Platonic Theory of Forms, by means of Metaphysics, A, 9, 990b22-991a8 and Alexander’s commentary on it (88,5-95,2). According to the main examples of this reading from the contemporary literature, the predication theory of the Categories, conceiving being as “being something” and holding the idea that “being is said in many ways,” denies the Platonic predication theory that is expounded by the participation relation between a particular and a separate Form. The passage in the Metaphysics, where Aristotle argues against the Theory of Forms, gives the impression that Aristotle’s critique is based on his understanding of being as articulated in the Categories. Alexander’s explanatory comments support this impression by expanding these critiques considerably, in the same line with Aristotle. Holding the aforesaid two ideas of the Categories, Alexander criticizes the Theory of Forms for not explaining essential features of things and different sorts of being. As the Categories makes no reference to Plato or the Theory of Forms, I claim that this passage can serve as a direct support for this philosophical exegesis of the Categories.

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Citation Formats
Z. Duran, “Predication in Aristotle’s Categories: A Response to Plato’s Theory of Forms,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2021.