Friday, August 08, 2008

Logic I, Lesson 10: The Category of Substance, Pt. 3

From Aristotle's Categories, 5:

[Substance is not present in a subject.] It is a common characteristic of all substance that it is never present in a subject. For primary substance is neither present in a subject nor predicated of a subject; while, with regard to secondary substances, it is clear from the following arguments (apart from others) that they are not present in a subject. For 'man' is predicated of the individual man, but is not present in any subject: for manhood is not present in the individual man. In the same way, 'animal' is also predicated of the individual man, but is not present in him. Again, when a thing is present in a subject, though the name may quite well be applied to that in which it is present, the definition cannot be applied. Yet of secondary substances, not only the name, but also the definition, applies to the subject: we should use both the definition of the species and that of the genus with reference to the individual man. Thus substance cannot be present in a subject.

[Difference is not present in a subject.] Yet this is not peculiar to substance, for it is also the case that differentiae cannot be present in subjects. The characteristics 'terrestrial' and 'two-footed' are predicated of the species 'man', but not present in it. For they are not in man. Moreover, the definition of the differentia may be predicated of that of which the differentia itself is predicated. For instance, if the characteristic 'terrestrial' is predicated of the species 'man', the definition also of that characteristic may be used to form the predicate of the species 'man': for 'man' is terrestrial.

[Substances and Parts of Substances.] The fact that the parts of substances appear to be present in the whole, as in a subject, should not make us apprehensive lest we should have to admit that such parts are not substances: for in explaining the phrase 'being present in a subject', we stated that we meant 'otherwise than as parts in a whole' [cf. Lesson 7].

[Substances and Parts of Substances.] "This something" (Lat., hoc aliquid; Gr., tode ti) [i.e., primary substance] can be taken in two senses. Firstly, for anything subsistent; secondly, for that which subsists, and is complete in a specific nature. The former sense excludes the inherence of an accident or of a material form; the latter excludes also the imperfection of the part, so that a hand can be called "this something" in the first sense, but not in the second.


Don Paco said...

So, Aquinas says a hand is a "thing" only in the sense of being a part of a substance. Is "Thing" (pictured) really a "thing," then?

Hilaire said...

It must be that "thing" isn't a hand at all but a kind of animal, a substance yet to be properly defined.