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Categories ( ancient Greek Περὶ τῶν κατηγοριῶν Perì tṓn katēgoriṓn , Latin Categoriae ) is a script by the philosopher Aristotle . In the tradition it is counted among Aristotle's logical writings. In the traditional order of his writings - which did not come from Aristotle himself - it forms the beginning of the so-called Organon . Like almost all of the Aristotelian writings, the text of the categories was not originally intended for publication, but belongs to the so-called pragmatics , which presumably originally represented Aristotle's lecture manuscripts and collections of material.

The theme of the script are categories , understood as statements of statements in relation to something existing . With the categories Aristotle introduces a new kind of logical expression , which allows predicates to be distinguished from subjects and to classify the predicates logically. His aim is to fundamentally and completely determine the forms according to which individual words can be meaningfully combined into statements. His classification of the statement schemes is based on simple, non-compound linguistic expressions such as “Socrates”, “Human” or “White”. Since expressions, concepts and what is designated are not always clearly differentiated, a reading is also possible according to which reality is also divided into types of objects and properties (in the sense of an ontology ). The terminology introduced here by Aristotle , but also the connection between language, logic and metaphysics, remained decisive for the lines of tradition of Western and Islamic philosophy up to modern times.

Tradition, title and structure of the categories

The very short font categories is probably not completely passed down. The lack of an introduction and the sometimes abrupt transitions between individual sections speak for the fragmentary character. In the traditional version it consists of fifteen, often very short, chapters. This classification probably does not come from Aristotle himself in all points, but possibly goes back to the later editor of his works, Andronikos of Rhodes . Even the title is probably not from Aristotle, but was probably Andronikos in the 1st century BC. BC before. It may be that the original title of the magazine per tôn Topon ( "the the Topik Preliminary") with which the font is addressed in ancient literature in part.

The writing Categories probably originated at the time of Aristotle's first stay in Athens, when he was a member of the Platonic Academy . It is possible that Aristotle only wrote it according to the topic , which also has a (slightly different) list of all ten categories. The function of the categories in the categories seems to be expanded compared to that in the topic , in that the concept of the first substance (which does not appear in the topic ) is used to propose a thesis about what the ontologically fundamental should be. Since Aristotle in this theory explains the individual individual objects as the basis of all beings, he seems to have implicitly developed a model that competes with Plato's theory. According to some interpreters, this argues for the fact that the general objects (namely the ideas or the highest genres) are ontologically prioritized. It is noticeable that Aristotle never mentions Plato - unlike in presumably later writings - in this critical discussion and does not explicitly criticize any such theory.

The authenticity of the script, or of parts of the script, especially the postal predicaments , has been disputed. The reasons for this were that Aristotle does not refer to the categories anywhere else and that the substance theory of metaphysics is partly incompatible with that of the categories . In some cases, the inauthenticity was already represented in antiquity, but especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today it is generally assumed that the script, apart from a few interpolated lines, came from Aristotle.


Preparatory explanations of terms

Homonymy, Synonymy and Paronymy

Types of expressions:
homonym a painted and a real person
synonym Man and cattle as living beings
paronymous the grammarian and the grammar

At the beginning of the category writing, Aristotle introduces the terms homonymy , synonymy and paronymy in a very short chapter , which have a different meaning for him than in today's linguistic usage. He calls such "beings" ( on a different translation is: things) the same name ( homonym ), which has the same name ( onoma has), but a different concept of essence ( logos teis ousias ). A painted person has the name "living being" ( zoon ), just as a real person has the name "living being". The concept of essence associated with the name “living being” is different, since the real human being, in contrast to the painted one, is a living being. Aristotle, on the other hand, uses a synonym for “being” that has the same name and the same concept of essence. For example, a person has the name "living being" and falls under the term "living being", just as a cow has the name "living being" and falls under exactly the same term "living being". Aristotle uses a paronym for “being” that is named after something else. This is how the "grammarian" is named after the "grammar".

The meaning for the following text lies in the fact that markings of words are always expressed synonymously if they fall under a species or genus. So one can replace the word “Socrates” with “man” or “living being” and refer to the same object. Accordingly, “white” is to be replaced by “colored”. But this relation is not reversible. One cannot describe the general meaning of living beings in terms of the individual Socrates . Homonymous, on the other hand, is a word like “light”, which can refer to weight on the one hand and difficulty on the other. Aristotle has pointed out in many places that words such as being, one, good or justice can be predicated in many ways. The distinction thus serves to clarify the language and as an aid to assign words to a class of words (i.e. a category).

Unconnected and connected words

Aristotle divides the "linguistic expressions" ( legomena , another translation is: words ) first into those that are pronounced in a "connection" ( symploke ), like "man walks". And second, in those that are pronounced without a connection, such as “human”, “bull” or “runs”. (Cat 2, 1a16ff)

Words that are pronounced without connection, such as “human” or “runs”, cannot be true or false. True or false can only be words that are pronounced in combination, such as “the person walks” (the person meant could also be sitting). Words pronounced in combination result in either an affirmation (“man walks”) or a negation (“man does not walk”). (Cat 4, 2a4ff.)

The subject of the category writing is the unconnected words. In doing so, Aristotle ignores the supplementary words of a sentence (syncategoremas such as prepositions , pronouns or conjunctions ). The copula is also not one of them. He is only concerned with words ( singular and general terms ) that take the place of an object or a predicate in a statement (a well-formed subject-predicate sentence) and denote something (have a reference object). Connected words are the subject of the text on the “ doctrine of sentence ” ( Peri Hermeneias ), which follows the categories in the Organon . The question of the possibilities of connecting words was already discussed in the Platonic Academy and can be found in the dialogue Sophistes (262-264), which arose during the time when Aristotle was a member. However, Aristotle does not take a direct position on the ideas developed there.

The hypokeimenon

A hypokeimenon is what constitutes its unchangeable content in an individual object. A street can be wet or dry, overcrowded, remote, easily accessible or brightly lit, it always remains a (certain) street. The term hypokeimenon can be translated as “ subject ”, “substrate” or “underlying”. The underlying includes the characteristics in an individual that can be found regularly in other individuals of the same genus. An example of an underlying is a particular, individual human, such as "Socrates" or a single, particular horse. Something can be said of such an underlying that defines it more precisely, such as “Socrates is a person” or “Socrates goes”. The underlying is the grammatical-logical subject of a statement. Ontologically it is a carrier of properties and characteristics. An underlying is indivisible and numbered as one, an individual object as a whole, with the result that it cannot itself be predicated of another object as a characteristic. A more in-depth analysis of the term, with the distinction between form and matter, can be found in the later text On Originating and Perishing (De generatione et corruptione I 4, 319b 6-320a 7).

The four kinds of beings

Four modes of expression (ontological square)
is not in a hypokeimenon
is in a hypokeimenon
is not predicated of a
hypokeimenon (individual)
1. first substance
(the individual "Socrates")
2. Individual trait
(the "white" perceived by a horse or
the "linguistic" perceived by Socrates)
is predicated of a
hypokeimenon (general)
3. second substance
(the type "human" or
the genus "living being")
4. General characteristic
(the "whiteness" or
the "language proficiency")

Aristotle differentiates between four different types of "being" ( on ). To distinguish between these four types, he uses two classification criteria :

  • To be predicated of an underlying . First, everything being can either be predicated of an underlying (as in the statement "Socrates is a person" the term "human" is predicated of the underlying "Socrates") or not of an underlying (like a certain perceived of an underlying “White” is in this object, but is not predicated of it, one does not say: “Socrates is a white”).
  • To be in an underlying . Second, everything being can either be in an underlying (like a certain “white” perceived in an underlying is in this) or not be in an underlying (like the term “man” is not in the underlying “Socrates”, but only by him can be predicted). Aristotle points out here that, firstly, with this being-in-something, he does not mean a part of something underlying, i.e. not the beard or an arm of Socrates. And secondly, something that cannot be on its own, i.e. without it being in Socrates or another underlying element.

Everything that exists (everything "being") always has two relationships to an underlying one, from which four different types of "being" result:

  1. Something is not in an underlying and is not predicated of an underlying . This is the Ousia , the primary being, the first substance.
    Example : "this person". So a concrete, specific individual thing like "this person" is not in an underlying and cannot be predicated of any underlying (but, one could add, is itself an underlying).
  2. Something is in an underlying and is not predicated of an underlying . This is an individual quality .
    Example : "white". A certain, individual “white” can only be in an underlying one, such as “Socrates” himself or his beard is white. But one cannot say: “Socrates is a white”.
  3. Something is not in an underlying and is predicated of an underlying . These are species and genera, the general terms of an Ousia.
    Example : "Human". “Man” can be predicated of the underlying “Socrates”: “Socrates is a man”. But the term “man” is not in Socrates.
  4. Something is in an underlying and is predicated of an underlying . These are the general properties, the universals .
    Example : "Science". So the term “science” can be predicted from the underlying “language knowledge of Socrates”: “The language knowledge of Socrates is a science” and is at the same time in the soul of the underlying Socrates.

This four-part division contains the core of Aristotle's considerations about beings, which he fundamentally outlines in the categorization and which he pursues with further and more in-depth analyzes in his other work, especially in metaphysics . Something that cannot be predicted as a property of something else is an independent object, a concrete individual thing, a separate individual that forms the basis of all beings. It is a bearer of properties. An individual cannot take the place of a predicate in a predicative sentence. On the other hand there are non-substantial properties such as illness, knowledge or colors. These are not out of themselves, but only dependent. They only exist when they have become real as a property or characteristic in a particular thing. These general terms can be called property universals. They differ from the substance universals in that they are characterized by a "being in" in the individual things. The collective terms for species (eidos, Latin species) and genera (genos), on the other hand, are not in the individual things, but can only be said about them. One can say of a certain human being that he corresponds to the definition of a human being, of the kind of human being that it corresponds to the definition of the species living being. A natural species (species infima) is the species that can no longer be subdivided into other species. It includes at least one individual who has the specific species difference. Species and genera only exist if individual things exist that can be grouped together to form such a collective term due to a specific species difference. Because substance universals can assume the same function in statements as individuals and are also derived from these, Aristotle distinguishes in the fifth chapter (see below) between first and second substance.

The individual properties, i.e. the type of relationship between property universals and individuals, especially with regard to the question of whether these are independent entities cause particular problems of interpretation within the quartering. Aristotle says: “By“ in an underlying ”I mean what is in something, not as a part, and cannot exist separately from what it is in.” (Cat 2, 1a 24-25) The traditional interpretation, for which John Lloyd Ackrill stands for, formulates a “rule of inseparability” according to which the individual characteristic no longer exists if the respective characteristic holder no longer exists. The problem is that properties are something general that normally cannot be limited by an individual one. The answer of the traditional interpretation is that the respective property is individualized in a single wearer. The wisdom of Socrates is not the same as that of Plato, but rather a specific one. The purpose of the rule of inseparability is to ensure (against Plato's ideas) that one cannot accept a separately existing general entity of wisdom in addition to the wisdom individuated in Socrates. The debate was triggered by Gwilym Ellis Lane Owen with the thesis that one speaks of individualization only because the properties considered are not sufficiently specified. However, for each property it is conceivable that it can be repeated in a different subject. The white in Socrates' beard can also be found in another beard. As long as the repetition of the color is not found, it is a different color. The contradiction in principle between (space - time) individuality and repeatability stands against this view. A third interpretation by Michael Frede regards an individual property as an accident , which is an independent entity as long as there are objects in which it can be. As long as there are beards, they can also bear the white from the beard of Socrates. For the demonstration, Frede u. a. a passage from the 5th chapter of the category writing: “Again. Color is on the body, consequently also on an individual body, because if it is not on any individual body, then not on the body at all. ”(Cat 5, 2b 1-3) For Frede, color is something general, something concrete Has individual object as subject. The property that occurs in an individual can also be understood as an infima species (species-forming difference) of a property or a feature. Christof Rapp considers both the traditional and the Swedish interpretation to be possible.

Transivity of individual, species and genus

In the third chapter, Aristotle states that a statement about something that is not an underlying also applies to that which is underlying. If you say z. B., people are living beings, so the individual human being is also a living being. Aristotle describes the relation "is predicated of". It is important to ensure that this conclusion is not correct if the relation does not have the same content in both directions. The statement “is the son of” can only be used on one level, namely from son to father. On the other hand, the relation “is descendant of” can be applied to the father as well as to the grandfather or other ancestors.

Aristotle also points out that species belonging to different genera show different species differences. In this way, living beings can be divided into gang animals, bipeds, flying animals or aquatic animals. The genre of science, on the other hand, requires other distinctions. Characteristics that are applicable to living things, on the other hand, can be applied to the subspecies of the flying and aquatic animals. In the reception it is critically noted that Aristotle did not make a clear explanation of the difference in a predication about the relationship between genus and species (subset) on the one hand and species and individual (set element) on the other. On the other hand, one can object that genera and species should not be viewed as sets and subsets, but as independent structures, as indefinite generalities. Another objection to this criticism is that Aristotle does not speak here about predications, but about the naming ( marking ) of individuals and their implications or connotations (metalepsis).

The relationship shown here is referred to in linguistics using the terms hyperonym and hyponym and is a central semantic relationship in semantic networks , taxonomies and thesauri .

The categories (4th to 9th chapter)

The list of categories

Aristotle lists ten different types of “words” ( legomena ), the so-called ten categories. According to Aristotle, a word spoken without connection denotes either a thing, a quantity, a quality, a relationship, a place, a time, a state, a having, a doing or an suffering. (Cat 4, 1b 25ff)

German ancient greek Latin question example
1. thing, substance ousia substantia What is something the man, the horse
2. Quantity, size poson quantitas How much / big is something? (is) two cubits long, (is) three cubits long
3. Quality, texture poion qualitas What is something like? knows, linguistically taught
4. Relativum, related pros ti relatio What does something refer to? double, half, bigger
5. Where, place pou ubi Where is something? (is) in the market place, in Lykeion
6. When, time pote quando When is something? (was) yesterday, last year
7. Location, condition keisthai situs What position is something in? lies, sits
8. Have echein habitus What has something has shoes on, armed (= carries a weapon)
9. Doing, working poiein actio What is doing cuts, burns
10. Suffering paschein passio What does something suffer? is cut, is burned

The list of 10 categories given here appears for the first time in Aristotle's Topik (Top I 9, 103b 22), where Aristotle deals with the principles of dialectical argumentation, with correct modes of expression, especially with regard to definitions and conclusions ( syllogisms ). The only difference is the designation of the first category, which in the topic means “what is something” (ti estin). The answer to this question can either be a label of a substance (an essential characteristic, not the substance itself) or a statement about this first substance, which falls under one of the other nine categories. The topic of the topic is the genera of the predicates and not the genera of beings. In the Topik, Aristotle also points out that every statement also falls under one of the predicables , i.e. either definition, genre, proprium or accident. Categories and predicables are not mutually exclusive, but are different criteria for assessing what is said. By analyzing modes of expression in terms of their conceptual status, it becomes possible to avoid or criticize shifts in meaning and fallacies that were common in eristics and sophistics at the time. Examples of this were provided by Aristotle in the Sophistic Refutations (e.g. Soph el. 22, 178b 24 ff), but also in other writings, e.g. against Parmenides (Phys. I 3) or Plato (An. Post. I 22, 83a 24ff and with regard to the good in EN I4, 1096a 11ff).

In the Topic, Aristotle also explains the function of the terms homonymous and synonymous for the category system. While expressions that lie within a category (i.e. individual, species, genus) are synonymous, a term like good is homonymous, it is equivok . “One must also pay attention to the forms of the categories with regard to the word and check whether they are the same in all cases. If they are not the same, then the linguistic expression is evidently homonymous. So the good in food is what arouses pleasure, whereas in the art of healing it is what brings about health. In relation to the soul, 'good' denotes a quality, e.g. B. 'prudent', 'courageous' or 'just'; the same applies when one relates 'good' to people. Sometimes the good denotes the when, e.g. B. what happens at the right time is a good; because good is what happens at the right time. Often, good also describes the quantity, such as B. 'moderate'; for what is measured is also called a good. So 'good' is a homonymous expression. ”(Top I 15, 107a 3-11) Here the linguistic function of the categories in dealing with sophistic arguments is in the foreground. "It is also clear how to encounter the inferences based on the same designation of what is not the same, since we have the different forms of the categories." (Soph. El. I 22, 178a 4-6 ).

Since the first category in the category script is now called Ousia, the focus of the analysis is no longer on language analysis, but on explaining beings. The distinction between the first and second substance plays an essential role, which is not taken up again in the later works. The concept of substance is the central concept of metaphysics , whereby the first substance is only subjected to a more in-depth analysis in the more mature philosophy of Aristotle, through the distinctions between matter and form or possibility and reality or act and potency . When examining the various ways of using the word “being” in later writings (Met. V 7, 1017a 22 -30; VI 2, 1026a 33; VII 1, 1028a 10-13), beings are delimited by the categories (horistai to on, Met VII 3, 1029a, 21). Aristotle speaks there directly of the “categories of beings” (kategoriai tou ontos; Met V 28, 1024b 13; IX 1, 1045 b 28; Phys. III 1, 200b 28). The categories serve the analysis of beings insofar as it is stated.

“To be in oneself, however, is said of everything that the forms of the categories [schemata ton kategorion] signify; for as many times as these are stated, they denote as many meanings of being. "(Met. V 7, 1017a 22 - 24)

This immediate ontological reference is not yet so clear in the category writing. In an attempt to determine the purpose of the categories in this work, various suggestions have been made throughout the history of interpretation. The spectrum of the views of ancient commentators on whom Simplikios reports is comparable to the modern interpretations. According to Simplikios, there were opinions that categories were

  1. linguistic expressions that denote (phonai semainousai) or
  2. things designated by means of linguistic expressions (symainomena pragmata) or else
  3. Thoughts (hapla noemata).

Simplikios himself rejected all three positions as too one-sided. Rather, he formulated a differentiated function of the categories in accordance with Porphyrios: "They are the simplest linguistic expressions that designate things insofar as they are descriptive, but not insofar as they are merely forms of language." An essential contribution to the new discussion about the categories in the 19th century, Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg did , who (in contrast to Simplikios) emphasized the connection with the grammatical functions in the sentence. Hermann Bonitz, on the other hand, understood the categories as pure modes of being. At Otto Apelt , the linguistic statements are in the foreground. He called the categories "genera of predicates". Karl Bärthlein referred to the argument that the 2. – 9. Category, because these are dependent on the substance, could not have any independent ontological meaning. For Franz Clemens Brentano, on the other hand, the categories were “highest terms” or “highest terms of positive predicates” and thus have their own reality. Martin Heidegger directly opposed the conception of a reality of the categories with the statement “Categories are not 'real terms', but framework in which all real terms are entered! It does not describe things in their real nature and not already firmly defined generic terms (γένη!), But the conditions for the possibility of genera in general. "Categories refer to the level of being of beings, they are" determinations that already exist for every being which every being has to be if it should be. ” Ingemar Düring emphasizes the twofold meaning of the categories (semantic as a form of expression and ontological as content of reality) . “They serve as tools for classifying the types of movement and change; they describe different forms or expressions of being and none of the categories can be traced back to another or to a common ἀρχή [arché = origin]. " Andreas Graeser describes the categories as" classes of meaning, natural classes of things ", which are both linguistic and logical as well as have an ontological content. This is also emphasized by Klaus Oehler: "As everywhere with Aristotle, the investigations of linguistic expression in the category analysis also aim at the underlying logical and noematic [epistemological] structures and finally on the ontic conditions that are fundamental for him." Michael Frede has three, including the topic Usages of the concept of categories differentiated: (i) categories in the technical sense of the word as predications, (ii) classes of predicates determined by the predication in question and (iii) as the highest classes of beings. The latter meaning can only be found in the category writing. Ludger Jansen is of the opinion that the categories fulfill different logical-dialectical and ontological functions, which lead to different elements being assigned to the respective categories.

The fundamental importance of the categories for the Aristotelian philosophy is made clear by the multitude of lists to be found in different works. Klaus Oehler has put together a list with over 60 mentions from at least three categories. A classic example is the structuring of the good in the Nicomachean Ethics : “Since, furthermore, the good is predicated in the same number of meanings with beings (because it is in the category of substance, e.g. God, understanding, in that of quality: the virtues, the quantity: the right measure, the relation: the useful, the time: the right moment, the place: the recreational stay, etc.), there is obviously no general that is common and one. Because then one would not speak of it in all categories, but only in one. "(EN 1096a)

The substance (5th chapter)

The list of categories is followed in a kind of phenomenology by a closer examination of the most important individual categories. The first category - and not just in order - is the ousia. Substance is essential and excellent because it is the subject to which every statement relates. With this thesis, Aristotle clearly and unequivocally opposes the theory of ideas of his teacher Plato, without explicitly addressing this (here). The primacy in the investigation of beings has unreservedly the individual. It is not the general, such as the highest genres of thought mentioned by Plato in the Sophist (being, rest, movement, identity, difference) that has priority, but the individual, without which the general cannot exist (Cat 5, 2b 5) The problem Aristotle criticizes the fact that Plato assigns a being to non-existent in the Sophist , arguing that being is not one, but a plurality ordered according to categories. (Met. XIV 2, 1088b 35 - 1089a 31) “In contrast to Plato, he attacks the question from below: he always starts from the natural processes”. This opposition between Aristotelian realism and Platonic idealism is based on the problem of universals , which has been an essential subject of philosophical debate throughout the history of philosophy up to the present day.

Genus, species difference, species and individual
(living being)
gifted with reason
neighing one-
kind of
kind of
First substance:
First substance:
First substance:

In analyzing the concept of ousia, Aristotle now distinguishes - in accordance with the logic of the second chapter - between the first substance (prote ousia) and the second substance (deutera ousia). “Second substances are the species to which the substances belong in the first sense, they and their genera. For example, B. a certain human being to the species human, and the species of the species is the sensory being. ”(Cat 5, 2a 15 - 18) Aristotle makes a number of statements on the properties of statements about substances:

  • Cat 5, 2a 19ff: Either the name of a subject or its term as a substitute is stated. In Aristotle, term means the species or genus under which the definition of substance falls, i.e.: this there (tode ti) is Socrates or this there is a two-legged, sensible being. That doesn't apply to properties. One cannot say that a body is the color white.
  • Cat 5, 2a 34ff: Second substances (the type of human being) are stated by a subject, properties (the whiteness) are in or on a subject. Both only exist if there is a first substance. You couldn't say something is white if there were no bodies. Likewise, the term human would not exist if there were not individual human beings. The reverse conclusion, the question of whether there could be first substances if there were no second substances or properties, is not considered by Aristotle.
  • Cat 5, 2b 7ff: Species are closer to the substance than genera because they are more concrete. For Aristotle there is thus a hierarchy of beings. The more general a term, the less specific it is and the less it relates to individual things. The term living being is less substance than the term human.
  • Cat 5, 2b 29ff: There is also a hierarchical (transitive) relationship between the first substance, second substance and properties. While second substances denote the meaning of a first substance, the properties ("everything else" = the 2nd - 9th category) express the peculiarities. These peculiarities also apply if the term species is used instead of the name. “This person is wise” is just as true as “Socrates is wise” when referring to “this person” as Socrates.
  • Cat 5, 3a 21ff: Similar to the second substance, the species difference (eudopoios diaphora) is not in any subject, but is only stated by this. The characteristics “walking on two legs” and “two-legged” apply to several individuals, that is, they are predicated by humans as a species and (due to the transitive relationship necessary) also by Socrates as a particular human being. Oehler points out that the specific difference is not directly included in the systematics of the categories, because although it describes a property, it serves to differentiate between species within a genus, i.e. it is inherent in the concept of the second substance. He quotes the topic: "No difference, like the gender, belongs to the accidents, because it is not possible that the difference can be attributed to a thing as well as it cannot." (Top Z 6, 144a 24ff)
  • Cat 5, 3a 29ff: When one speaks of “being in”, then the physical parts of a substance are not meant. The head and hand are an integral part of the substance of Socrates and cannot accidentally or not accidentally belong to it. The species difference differs from the physical parts in that it is formed purely conceptually. Here, too, there is a difference between the ontological conception and Plato, in which the properties are still considered parts of objects that can be perceived by the senses. Aristotle, on the other hand, makes a clear ontological distinction between the physical parts and the properties (facts) that are always dependent. (see also: Met VII 1, 1028a 13-b 7) Gerold Prauss sees this as an advance in philosophical reflection.
  • Cat 5, 3a 33ff: Everything derived from substances and differences is stated synonymously. What the plant and the senses have in common - propagation through seeds - also applies to every individual.
  • Cat 5, 3b 10ff: The difference between first and second substance is that of unity and plurality. The second substance is related to the first like a quality. But it is not a quality because it does not fall under the criterion of being-in and is not accidental.
  • Cat 5, 3b 24ff: Substances have no contrary opposite. They are not white and black at the same time in one place.
  • Cat 5, 3b 33ff: There is no more or less with substances. This does not apply to the relation of different substances to one another, rather one person cannot be more human than another. The criterion does not refer to accidents, but to type and genus.
  • Cat 5, 4a 10ff: Only substances can absorb the contrary. "So z. B. a certain person, although he is one and the same, now white, now black, warm and cold, bad and good. ”The other categories, the accidents, do not have this characteristic of change. Properties cannot themselves be carriers of properties. A certain white is always a certain white under the same circumstances.
  • Cat 5, 4a 22ff: The statement that statements lack the property of changeability acts like a small digression. Speech and opinion can soon be true or sometimes untrue, not because their properties change, but the underlying facts. The statement “Socrates is seated” becomes incorrect when Socrates stands up. Incidentally, Aristotle conveys a realistic concept of truth that is tied to the agreement between thoughts / statements and reality ( correspondence theory ). The topic is otherwise still missing in the category writing and is only discussed in more detail in Metaphysics (especially in the chapter on the modality of substances, Met. IX, 1051 b).

The commercials

Everything that is in a subject is for Aristotle an accidental property. These can either be individual or general (see Chapter 2: the types of beings). These properties are the remaining nine categories. They are all ontologically dependent on a (first) substance, i.e. H. they cannot exist independently, but the relationship of in-being applies to them. The discussion of the main properties of quantity, quality and relative can be found in the dictionary of terms of metaphysics (Met. V 13, 14, 15) in a similar way. This is one of the proofs that Aristotle also bases his theory of beings, which he developed in the category writing, in his later work, albeit slightly modified in details and in perspective.

Quantity (chapter 6)

“What is called quantitative is that which can be broken down into components in such a way that each of them, two or more, is by its nature a one and a definite individual. Quantity is quantitative when it is countable, size when it is measurable. A quantity, however, is called what is potentially into discontinuity, but what can be broken down into continuous magnitude. ”(Met. V 13, 1020a 7–11) Such a definition is still missing in the category writing. Here Aristotle begins suddenly with the distinction that some quantitative is discrete, others continuous. Discrete things are countable. This also includes speech that consists of syllables. The parts of continuous things like line, surface, body or time and place each have a common boundary. Quantities can also be in such a way that their parts are in a position relative to one another, as in the case of geometric quantities, or they have no spatial reference and instead have an order, a sequence, such as time, numbers or speech.

One characteristic of the quantitative is that it has no opposite. Two cubits long or three cubits long are certain values ​​that cannot be contradicted. Likewise, there is no more or less in quantity because it is determined. Expressions such as large and small, much and little, sooner or later do not count towards the quantitative, because these require a reference value. They belong in the category of the relative; because a millet grain can z. B. can be described as large and a mountain as small. The most reliable characteristic of the quantitative is that it is either equal or unequal. Properties such as color or states (qualities) are not the same or different, but similar or not.

Relative (Chapter 7)

Relatives need a reference. This applies to comparative words such as larger or double. But Aristotle also calls things such as posture, state, perception, knowledge or location relatives, because these terms only get their meaning through their relationship to something. An attitude is an attitude in relation to something, a knowledge the knowledge of something or the position of a position to something. Relatives can be contrary, such as efficiency and wickedness or knowledge and ignorance. They can also express a more or less (an intensity). But there are also relatives for which this does not apply. So one cannot speak of more or less twice when it comes to doubling.

A characteristic of the relative is the inverse relationship, the reciprocal, between master and servant or between double and half. Attention is to be paid to the formation of concepts. Bird and wing are not reciprocal, but winged things and wings are. One cannot express the reciprocal relationship if one does not choose the right relationship level, such as in the case of a human slave, the reverse relationship (the human being of a slave) does not work. A relative must express what is peculiar to the relationship. Not everything relative is at the same time. Because the knowable or the perceptible already exists before it is known or perceived.

Individual substances do not count as relative, not even their parts, although every substance is related to something. When one says this mountain is small (or large), the relative is the smallness and not the individual mountain. But the substance must be known so that anything relative can be said about it at all.

Quality (Chapter 8)

Aristotle defines quality as that which is called the constitution (property in the narrower sense). In the text he speaks of the nature of the human being, but also gives other examples. The term quality includes various characteristics. Aristotle distinguishes four types.

He calls the first type posture (habitus) and condition (disposition). The habitus, e.g. B. types of knowledge or abilities (skills), describes more permanent properties, while the states, warmth or health, can change relatively quickly. This type of quality can also be characterized as acquired properties. The second type of quality refers to natural features, resulting in skills, ability to express and inability z. B. a boxer. Properties such as hard and soft also play a role. The third type Aristotle calls affective qualities that objects passively possess, such as being sweet or sour. Affective here means that these properties are perceived as such in sensory perception. You touch something and notice that it is warm or cold, you eat the honey and taste that it is sweet. The fourth type of quality arises as a figure (shape) or form that things can have, such as round or square. The difference to the first three types of quality lies in the fact that such properties are more closely related to the determination of the essence of an object. A ball is round, a cube is square, a leaf is flat.

Similarity plays a special role in terms of quality. The similarity itself is an expression from the category of relatives. Because there is always similarity in relation to something. (Cat. 7, 6b 9-10, 22-23). For every quality, however, it is true that similarity is the only peculiar characteristic. “Because one thing is similar to the other only because of its quality.” (Cat. 8, 11a 16-17) So similarity is the proprium of quality. Similarity is closely connected with the characteristic of more or less, while the proprium of quantity is the equality of measure. In the dictionary of terms, Aristotle confirms this distinction: “That is the same thing whose essence is one, similar is that whose quality is one; and that is equal whose quantum is one ”. (Met V 15, 1021a 11-12)

Aristotle points out that his analysis is not complete and that for some characteristics one can also discuss which categories they belong to, e.g. B. loose and dense or smooth and rough do not belong in the category of location rather than quality, because these properties are determined by how the positions of the parts contained in the objects are determined relative to one another. In contrast to quantity, there are opposites in quality such as black and white, pointed and round, fair and unjust. If something is a quality, its opposite is also a quality. For some qualities there is also an increase or decrease, for example with steep or loud. For others like geometric shapes, that doesn't exist.

the other categories (Chapter 9)

In the ninth chapter, Aristotle goes very briefly into doing and suffering and points out that the other categories can be examined analogously to the preceding.

The post-predicaments (10th to 15th chapters)

From the 10th to the 15th chapter, Aristotle deals with terms that are not recorded in the table of categories. These are the "contrast" (10th and 11th chapters), the "earlier" (12th chapter), the "at the same time" (13th chapter), the "movement" (14th chapter) and the "having" (15th chapter). These terms were later referred to as the post-predicaments . Modern interpreters agree that these terms have no direct relation to the theory of categories. It is therefore also assumed that the transition, i.e. the concluding remarks in Chapter 9 (Cat. 11b 10-15) and the introductory sentence to Chapter 10 (Cat 11b 15-16), were subsequently included in the text about the To reduce breakage. Because the reference to the theory of categories cannot be established directly, doubts were expressed as early as in antiquity, for example with Andronikos of Rhodes, as to whether this part of the script was at all authentic. Such doubts were renewed especially in the 19th century. Michael Frede, who pleads for authenticity, points out that matching formulations can be found in both parts. Above all, he sees a uniform concept if the script is not viewed from the perspective of categories, but primarily from the question of which top terms can be expressed in a variety of ways, i.e. are homonymous. This would make the first chapter an introduction. Another important note for Frede is the fact that the term category itself appears only once in the category script in a subordinate place (Cat 10b 19-20). This is supported by the fact that in the dictionary of terms in Metaphysics V not only the categories but also (with the exception of the movement) the post-predicaments are dealt with and the entire book by Diogenes Laertius is entitled "On words with many meanings" (Perì tôn possachôs legoménōn) Has.

The opposite

When examining the concept of the opposite (antique menon), Aristotle no longer goes into the difference between substance and accident, but presents four types of contrast that can also be found in other parts of his work (Item II 8 or Met X 3ff) .

  • The relative (pros ti) that results from a relationship, a comparison or a reference such as double and half, knowledge and knowable or knowledge and science.
  • The contrary (enantion) can have various structural features. On the one hand there is the exclusive opposition such as sick and healthy or even and odd. On the other hand, there are contradictions that allow alternatives, such as good and bad or black and white. Such qualities do not necessarily have to be available as alternatives. In these cases there is also a mean like gray. The examples given show variable properties. There are also natural opposites in objects such as cold ice and warm fire that do not lose these properties.
  • Deprivation (steresis - privation ) and possession (hexis - habitus) refer to a state of a substance and the absence or presence of a trait such as blindness and eyesight. Such properties actually exist by nature, but are not necessary ( proprium ). They can only occur in certain substances. A plant is not called blind and a fish is not considered legless.
  • Affirmation (kataphasis) and negation (apophasis) belong systematically to sentence and judgment theory and are also dealt with in more depth in other works (Int 7 and I 1) because the contradiction is tied to a statement (words “in connection "). There you will also find the basic description of the logical square .

Sooner or later

Aristotle also names four modes of expression for the concept of sooner or later (proteron - hysteron).

  • temporal: in the temporal sense
  • epistemic: in the sense of a sequence, the simple is earlier than the multiple (counting)
  • ontological: within an order, the simple is earlier than the complex (point, line, surface, body)
  • by definition: by setting priorities, the better, more important or more worthy than before applies.

At the same time

There are orders and relationships that do not fall under the distinction of sooner or later. This applies, among other things, to the classification of objects according to species and genera. Socrates is (hama) man and living being at the same time. If something is double, half is also true. Things can be in one place at the same time, happen at the same time or, according to nature, be at the same time. The latter are not related to cause and effect, because then they would be earlier or later in time.


When examining movement (kinesis), Aristotle lists six types. These are becoming, passing away, increase, decrease, change and change of location. You can see a four-way division here if you refer to the categories behind it; for the becoming and passing relates to a substance, the increase and decrease to a quantity. Furthermore, the change affects the quality and the change of location affects the category of where. The opposite of movement is rest. The concept of movement, as Aristotle uses it here, is very broad and also includes that of development.

To have

The concept of having (echein), as Aristotle introduces it at this point, is not an analysis of the category, but an investigation of the various uses of language. One speaks of having a habitus (virtue), of a quantity (size), of having on (clothes), of being part (having a hand), of containing something (in a vessel) or, figuratively, of a relationship (man and wife, but not in the sense of owning, but of living together).


Categories 15b14-32 with Scholia in the manuscript written in 954 Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, Gr. 201, fol. 26r

In Peripatos , the Aristotelian school , as in early Hellenistic philosophy , the writing of categories had no special meaning. Only the Stoa had developed its own doctrine of categories , which aimed to classify the real and differentiate between four types of beings. It was not until Andronikos of Rhodes compiled the works of Aristotle in the 1st century BC, who put categories as an introduction to the first place of the entire work, that the categories gained considerably in importance. Along with De Interpretatione , the categories became the most widely received work of Aristotle, perhaps of philosophy as a whole. Both writings have been the basis of philosophy lessons since the Roman Empire . They were subsequently translated into Latin (4th century), Armenian , Syrian (5th century), later into Arabic (9th century), Old High German (11th century) and then into other languages.

Soon after Andronikos, who himself doubted the authenticity of the post-predicaments, the practice of writing comments on individual works began. The categories were of outstanding importance. Many of these comments are known from Simplikios , who introduced the state of research known to him. One of the first significant commentators alongside Boethos of Sidon , a student of Andronikos, was the Peripatetic Alexander of Aphrodisias , who saw the categories as the beginning of logic. Other commentators in the 2nd century were Lukios and Klaudios Nikostratos . Both dealt polemically and critically with the categories.

For the following antiquity the ontological point of view remained dominant. In Enneades VI, Plotinus criticized Aristotle's theory of categories by adding to the Aristotelian categories that relate to the sensually perceptible world those that relate to the conceivable world. The categories as modes of expression are not sufficient to grasp the true being as such, its essence. In order to grasp being as a whole, in addition to the categories, the division of the highest genres of thought (megista genê), as set out by Plato in the Sophistes, must be added. At the same time, Plotinus reduced the categories for the material world to five (being, quantity, quality, relation and movement). His pupil Porphyry wrote a commentary in which he distanced himself in part by Plotinus, and influential in the Middle Ages Isagoge (Introduction heading into the categories). While the commentary by Iamblichus of Chalkis has been lost, the text of his pupil Dexippus , written in dialogue form and mediating between Plato and Aristotle, has been preserved. Other important and preserved comments come from Boethius , Simplikios and Ammonios Hermeiou . Further commentaries from the Neoplatonic philosophers Johannes Philoponos , Olympiodoros , Elias and David are available from the Ammonius School . While most of the commentaries were written for introductory school purposes, especially the commentary of Simplikios, like that of Plotinus and Boethius, has a scientific-philosophical claim. Simplikios argued against Plotin's view that Aristotle's categories had to be supplemented by a further category type relating to the conceivable world. As a result, the view prevailed that the Aristotelian categories were sufficient for a description of the world.

Drawing and explanation of geometrical figures according to Aristotle in the Commentary Notkers III. on the categories in the manuscript St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 818, page 62 (11th century)

In Book IV of the Confessions , Chapter XVI, Augustine reports that when he was around twenty he read the Categoriae decem - a widely used free paraphrase of the categorical writing . He understood this scripture, but did not understand that God cannot be understood as substance like everything that is in the sense of the categories. Only in faith can one recognize God's greatness and goodness. For Augustine, God is the only immutable substance that has no accidents.

In the philosophy of the Middle Ages , the categories and De Interpretatione formed together with the isagogue of Porphyrios the - later so called - old logic, the Logica vetus . In the philosophical lessons of the Middle Ages, these writings, translated and commented on by Boethius, were the introduction to the Logica curriculum . Johannes Scottus Eriugena considered the categories on the basis of the Categoriae decem with regard to possible predicates of God in the dialogue "peri physeon I" Thomas Aquinas tries to deduce the categories, using the basic assumption that has been prevalent since antiquity that thinking, language and being are parallel should be understood, not addressed. This basic assumption is criticized for the first time by Wilhelm von Ockham , who, because of his nominalism, understands the categories as intellectual things ( entia rationis ); this separation and the resulting conception can be seen as the impetus for modern epistemology .

Immanuel Kant mentions Aristotle and his categories in the Critique of Pure Reason . He criticizes Aristotle for not deriving them from a principle. “It was an attempt on the part of the Ari s t o t e le s worthy of an astute man to seek out these basic concepts. But since he had no Principium, he picked them up as they struck him and first found ten of them, which he called categories (predicaments). ”But since Kant aimed to use pure intellectual concepts, which he then called categories, to find, its consideration is not in accordance with the Aristotelian aim, regardless of whether one understands these as ontological, predicative or grammatical.

First page of the categories in the edition of Immanuel Bekker (1834)

John Stuart Mill considered the gain in knowledge of the categorization to be relatively small and even made fun of: “It is a mere register of the distinctions which the language of common life roughly defines, by at the same time making only a very weak or no attempt at all, to penetrate through philosophical analysis to the rational of even those ordinary distinctions. Such an analysis (even of the most superficial kind) would have shown that the enumeration suffers from both abundance and lack. Some items are omitted and others are listed several times under different titles. It is as if one wanted to divide living beings into humans, quadrupeds, horses, donkeys and ponies. ”From Mill's point of view, feelings and states of consciousness in particular cannot be subsumed under substances or accidents.

In contemporary philosophy , Aristotle's theory of categories was also taken up in the Ordinary Language Philosophy of Analytical Philosophy , prominently by Gilbert Ryle in The Concept of Mind . For Ryle, categories are neither completely deducible, since their number is indefinite, nor can they be arranged systematically. The structuralist Émile Benveniste pointed out that the Aristotelian categories depend on the structure of the Greek language. They are a transformation of language categories into thought categories. He emphasized that the categories do not exist in reality, but that they are a projection of certain linguistic typologies of Greek onto reality. Jonathan Lowe's four-category ontology relates directly to the theory of categories. This differentiates between the categories of objects (substances), types (substance universals), attributes (property universals) and modes (tropics or individuated properties) by combining the pair of terms substantial / not substantial with the distinction between particular and universal and deriving from this derives four fundamental categories.

Text output

Ancient Greek
Wikisource: Κατηγορίαι  - sources and full texts (Greek)
  • Aristotle: categoriai . In: Lorenzo Minio-Paluello (ed.): Aristotelis categoriae et liber de interpretatione . Oxford University Press, Oxford 1949 (authoritative critical edition)
  • Aristotle: categoriai . In: Immanuel Bekker (ed.): Aristotelis. Opera . 1831-1837

German translations

  • Aristotle: categories . Translated by Klaus Oehler . In: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation . Volume 1, Part 1. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1984
  • Aristotle: categories, hermeneutics . Greek - German, translated by Hans Günter Zekl . Meiner, Hamburg 1998
  • Aristotle: The categories. Greek / German. Transl. And ed. by Ingo W. Rath. Reclam, Stuttgart 1998, bibliographically supplemented edition 2009
  • Aristotle: Categories and Hermeneutics . Translated by Paul Gohlke. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 1951.
  • Aristotle: categories or doctrine of the basic concepts . Translated by Julius von Kirchmann . Erich Koschny, Leipzig 1876
  • Aristotle: categories. Doctrine of theorem . Translated by Eugen Rolfes. Meiner, Leipzig 1922.
English translations
Wikisource: Categories  - Sources and full texts (English)

Latin translation

  • Aristotle: Categoriae vel praedicamenta . Translated by Boethius . In: Lorenzo Minio-Paluello (ed.): Aristoteles Latinus . Volume I, part 1-5, De Brouwer, Bruges-Paris 1961


For the introduction

  • Andreas Graeser : Aristotle. Language and Ontology Section . In: Wolfgang Röd (ed.): The philosophy of antiquity 2. Sophistry and Socraticism, Plato and Aristoteles . (History of Philosophy Volume II). 2nd Edition. Beck, Munich 1993, pp. 210-226.
  • Otfried Höffe : Aristotle . 3. Edition. Beck, Munich 2006, Section 11: Ontology and Language. Pp. 164-187.

To deepen

  • John Lloyd Ackrill : Categories and De Interpretatione . Oxford University Press, Oxford 1975, ISBN 0-19-872086-6 .
  • Dirk Fonfara: The Ousia teachings of Aristotle. Studies on category writing and metaphysics . De Gruyter, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-11-017978-4 .
  • Wolfgang-Rainer Mann: The Discovery of Things: Aristotle's Categories and Their Context . Princeton University Press, Princeton 2000, ISBN 0-691-01020-X .
  • Ilan Moradi: The Evolution of the Aristotelian Substance Theory. From category writing to metaphysics . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-8260-4613-1 .
  • Klaus Oehler : Aristotle: Categories . Translated and explained by Klaus Oehler. In: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, 4th compared to the second unchanged edition, Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2006. ( Basic Commentary )
  • Ernst Vollrath : Studies on the category theory of Aristotle . Henn, Ratingen 1969, DNB 458547719 .
  • Mieke Mosmuller : The categories of Aristotle , Occident Verlag, Baarle-Nassau 2013, ISBN 978-3-00-043873-8 .


  1. ^ Edmund Braun: Peri tôn katêgoriôn. In: Franco Volpi (ed.): Großes Werklexikon der Philosophie , Kröner, Stuttgart 2004, p. 82 f.
  2. A differentiated justification for authenticity can be found in Michael Frede: Title, Unity and Authenticity of the Aristotelian Category Writing, in: Paul Moraux, Jürgen Wiesner (ed.): Doubtful in the Corpus Aristotelicum. Studies on some Dubia, de Gruyter, Berlin 1983, pp. 1–29; this position has already been set out by Lambert Marie de Rijk: The Authenticity of Aristotle's Categories, in: Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, 4 (2/1951), pp. 129–159
  3. Wolfgang Detel refers to this meaning : A terminological reconstruction by Aristoteles, Categoriae. 1-5. In: Amicus Plato, magis amica veritas. Festschrift for Wolfgang Wieland for his 65th birthday, ed. by Rainer Enskat , Springer, Berlin 1998, pp. 60–81, here p. 66.
  4. Terence H. Irwin gives these examples: Homonymy in Aristotle. In: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Mar., 1981), pp. 523-544, who also discusses the partially existing difference between homonymous and equivocal expressions.
  5. Christoph Zimmer : Synategoremata ( Memento of the original from November 5, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 252 kB) - Explanation of terms and history of terms @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Benedikt Strobel: To be asserted by a subject and to be present in a subject: on the semantics of general terms in Aristotelian categorization . In: Phronesis 54, 2009, pp. 40-75, pp. 48-51.
  7. Hellmut Flashar refers to this background: Aristoteles. Teacher of the West. Beck, Munich 2013, p. 186.
  8. A comparable matrix can be found in Christof Rapp: Aristoteles und Aristotelischeverbindungen . In: Käthe Trettin (Ed.): Substance . Klostermann, Frankfurt 2005, pp. 145–170, here p. 152.
  9. The name comes from Ignacio Angelelli: Studies on Gottlob Frege and Traditional Philosophy. Reidel, Dordrecht 1967, 12 Lambert Marie de Rijk calls this scheme "Semantic Diagram", in: ders .: Aristotle: Semantics and Ontology, Brill, Leiden 2002, p. 378.
  10. Michael von Wedin: Nonsubstantial Individuals . In: Phronesis 38, 1993, pp. 137–165, speaks of a meta-ontology (137)
  11. Chrisdividtof Rapp: Aristoteles for introduction, Junius, Hamburg 2001, p. 147.
  12. Daniel von Wachter uses the terms property and substance universals : things and properties. Röll, Dettelbach 2000, based on Armstrong's “substantival universals” ( David M. Armstrong : Universals and Scientific Realism, Volume II: A Theory of Universals, Cambridge UP 1978, pp. 61–67) and places them in the ontological square a, p. 149.
  13. An overview of the discussion is given by Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, pp. 181–186, and Michael von Wedin: Nonsubstantial Individuals . In: Phronesis 38, 1993, pp. 137-165. Wedin, who analyzes the various positions in detail, endorses the traditional interpretation. A formal presentation of the three views that is widespread in literature can also be found in the article by S. Marc Cohen:  Nonsubstantial Particulars. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
  14. ^ John Lloyd Ackrill: Categories and De Interpretatione. Oxford University Press, Oxford [1963] 1975, pp. 74-75.
  15. ^ Lambert Marie de Rijk: Aristotle: Semantics and Ontology. Brill, Leiden 2002, p. 379, in direct discussion with GEL Owen and M. Frede (see below)
  16. GEL Owen: Inherence. In: Phronesis 10, 1965, pp. 97-105.
  17. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, p. 182.
  18. Michael Frede: Individuen bei Aristoteles, in: Antike und Abendland 24 (1978), pp. 16–39.
  19. ^ Wolfgang-Rainer Mann: The Discovery of Things: Aristotle's Categories and Their Context. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2000, p. 10.
  20. Christof Rapp: Aristoteles for introduction, Junius, Hamburg 2001, p. 152.
  21. The reference to the transivity and the application example can be found in: Rainer Thiel: Aristoteles' Category Writing in their ancient commentary. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, p. 126.
  22. ^ John Lloyd Ackrill: Categories and De Interpretatione. Oxford University Press, Oxford [1963] 1975, p. 76; Günter Patzig: Remarks on the "categories" of Aristotle. In: E. Scheibe, E. Süßmann (Ed.): Unity and diversity. Festschrift for C.-F. v. Weizsäcker on his 60th birthday. Göttingen 1973, pp. 60–76, here pp. 65–66. (also in: G. Patzig, Gesammelte Schriften. Vol. III: Essays on ancient philosophy, Göttingen 1996, pp. 93–114); see also Klaus Oehler: Categories. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, pp. 233-235.
  23. so Rainer Thiel: Aristotle's category writing in their ancient commentary. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, pp. 130-132.
  24. Lambert Marie de Rijk: Aristotle: Semantics and Ontology, Brill, Leiden 2002, p. 381, which refers to the corresponding statements in Top II 5, 112a, pp. 16-21. De Rijk also refers to the resemblance to a syllogism, but does not see this as the primary subject of the text.
  25. Hellmut Flashar points out that Aristotle himself does not use any nouns in his list with the exception of the Ousia. Hellmut Flashar: Aristotle. Teacher of the West. Beck, Munich 2013, 187
  26. cutting and burning are two techniques of contemporary medicine
  27. A clarification on this is provided by Theodor Ebert: Genera of predicates and genera of beings in Aristotle. The relationship between Cat. 4 and top. 1 9. In: Archives for the History of Philosophy. 64: 113-138 (1985).
  28. quoted from: Rudolf Rehn: Language and Dialectics in the Aristotelian Philosophy. Founder, Amsterdam 2000, pp. 310–311 (FN 198)
  29. ^ Wolfgang-Rainer Mann: The Discovery of Things: Aristotle's Categories and Their Context. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2000, p. 5.
  30. ^ Frank A. Lewis: Substance and Predication in Aristotle, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1991, p. 143.
  31. See the illustration in Rainer Thiel: Aristoteles' Category Writing in their ancient commentary. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, pp. 153–155.
  32. The list is taken from Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, p. 41; a detailed description of the ancient positions presented by Simplikios is given in Rainer Thiel: Aristotle's category writing in its ancient commentary. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, pp. 11-29.
  33. Quoted from Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1984, p. 42.
  34. ^ Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg: Historical contributions to philosophy, first volume: History of the theory of categories . Bethge, Berlin 1846 ( limited preview in the Google book search)
  35. ^ Hermann Bonitz: About the categories of Aristotle . From the May issue of the 1853 volume of the meeting reports of the philos.-histor. Class of the Academy of Sciences [X. Vol., P. 591ff.] Specially printed ( limited preview in the Google book search)
  36. Otto Apelt: The categories of Aristotle. In: ders .: Contributions to the history of Greek philosophy, Meiner, Leipzig 1891, pp. 101–216, 120; recently also Allan Bäck: Aristotle's theory of predication, Leiden / Boston / Cologne, Brill 2000, especially Chapter 5, pp. 132-165 (“The Categories are significative expressions, in the sense of signifying objects.” 136) and John P Anton: On the Meaning of "Categories" in Aristotle's Categories. In: John Peter Anton, Anthony Preuss (eds.): Aristotle's Ontology. Sunny Press, New York 1992, pp. 3-18, here p. 9.
  37. Karl Bärthlein: On category research in antiquity, in: Dietmar Koch, Klaus Borth (Hrsg.): Category and categoricality. Historical-systematic research on the concept of the category in philosophical thought. Festschrift for Klaus Hartmann on his 65th birthday, pp. 13–48, here p. 26; similarly also Gerold Prauss: Thing and property in Plato and Aristoteles, Kant - Studien 1968, pp. 98–117, here pp. 114–117.
  38. ^ Franz Brentano: History of the Greek Philosopher, after the lectures on the history of philosophy from the estate ed. by Franziska Meyer Hildebrand, Bern / Munich 1963, 2nd edition. Meiner, Hamburg 1988, p. 248.
  39. ^ Franz Brentano: Aristoteles und seine Weltanschauung, Meiner, Leipzig 1911, 2nd edition. Hamburg 1977, p. 45; see also: Franz Brentano: On the manifold meaning of beings according to Aristotle . Herder, Freiburg 1862 ( limited preview in the Google book search) and: About Aristoteles . Post-retired articles, here: On the Aristotelian theory of categories (manuscript from September 1909), Meiner, Hamburg 1986, pp. 45–58.
  40. Martin Heidegger: The basic concepts of ancient philosophy. Lecture in the summer of 1926, GA 22, p. 197 and 298.
  41. ^ Ingemar Düring: Aristoteles. Presentation and interpretation of his thinking. Winter Heidelberg 1966, pp. 594 and 612, for the presentation of the category writing, pp. 59-64.
  42. ^ Andreas Graeser: Aristoteles, section language and ontology, in: The philosophy of antiquity 2. Sophistics and Socratics, Plato and Aristotle. History of Philosophy Volume II, ed. by Wolfgang Röd, 2nd edition. Beck, Munich 1993, p. 213.
  43. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1984, 86
  44. Michael Frede: Categories in Aristotle. In: DJ O'Meara (Ed.): Studies in Aristotle. 1981, reprinted in: M. Frede: Essays in Ancient Philosophy. Oxford University Press 1987, pp. 29-48, here p. 35.
  45. Ludger Jansen: Aristotle's category of the relative between dialectics and ontology (PDF; 256 kB), published in: Philosophy History and Logical Analysis 9 (2006), pp. 79-104, in the preprint p. 1.
  46. Günter Patzig: Comments on the "categories" of Aristotle, in: Collected writings. Vol. III: Essays on ancient philosophy, Göttingen 1996, p. 94.
  47. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, pp. 290-292.
  48. ^ Karl-Heinz Volkmann-Schluck : The metaphysics of Aristotle. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1979, p. 107.
  49. ^ Ingemar Düring: Aristoteles. Presentation and interpretation of his thinking. Winter, Heidelberg 1966, p. 186.
  50. Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (ed.): Aristoteles, refers to this gap in the analysis . Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, p. 214.
  51. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, p. 217.
  52. Gerold Prauss refers to the difference in the ontological conception: Ding and property in Plato and Aristoteles, Kant - Studies 1968, 98–117, on progress: p. 112.
  53. Mario Mignucci discusses the relationship between relatives and substances: Aristotle's Definitions of Relatives in "Cat." 7. In: Phronesis 31, 1986, pp. 101-127.
  54. The distinction between quality types as acquired, natural and sensory qualities can be found in Karl Bärthlein: On the emergence of the Aristotelian substance-commercial theory, in: Archive for the history of philosophy 1968, pp. 196-253, here p. 210.
  55. Christof Rapp analyzes the role of similarity in category writing: similarity, analogy and homonymy in Aristotle. In: Journal for Philosophical Research. 46, (4/1992), pp. 526-544.
  56. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, pp. 132-134.
  57. ^ Hans B. Gottschalk: The earliest Aristotelian commentators. In: Richard Sorabji (Ed.): Aristotle Transformed. The Ancient Commentators and Their Influence , 2nd, revised edition, London 2016, pp. 61–88, here: 73.
  58. ^ Michael Frede: Title, unity and authenticity of the Aristotelian category writing. In: Paul Moraux, Jürgen Wiesner (Ed.): Doubtful in the Corpus Aristotelicum. Studies on some Dubia. de Gruyter, Berlin 1983, pp. 1-29, especially p. 21.
  59. This information can be found not only in Frede, but z. B. also in the introduction to the translation by Hans Günter Zekl: Metaphysik, Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2003, pp. 28–30, who emphasizes the parallelism to the category writing there.
  60. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, p. 286.
  61. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1984, 287
  62. ^ Rainer Thiel: Aristoteles' category writing in their ancient commentary. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, p. 2.
  63. Max Pohlenz: The Stoa. History of a movement. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht [1959], 7th edition. Göttingen 2009, pp. 69-70.
  64. ^ Paul Moraux : Aristotelianism among the Greeks: from Andronikos to Alexander of Aphrodisias. Volume 3, de Gruyter, Berlin 2001, p. 3ff.
  65. ^ Plotin: Enneades VI at
  66. Klaus Wurm: Substance and Quality, de Gruyter, Berlin 1973, p. 151.
  67. ^ Rainer Thiel: Aristoteles' category writing in their ancient commentary. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, pp. 8–9.
  68. See Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, p. 43ff.
  69. ^ Augustine: Confessions , text at
  70. See Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, pp. 44 and 128.
  71. Mischa von Perger: Eriugena's adaptation of the Aristotelian theory of categories. In: Dominik Perler, Ulrich Rudolph (Hrsg.): Logic and Theology: The Organon in Arabic and in the Latin Middle Ages. Brill, Leiden 2005, pp. 239-304.
  72. ^ Klaus Oehler, in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation. Volume 1, Part 1, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, pp. 48-49.
  73. Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason. A 81 / B 107, AA IV, 66
  74. John Stuart Mill: A System of Logic, Ratiocinative an Inductive. Being a connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. Books I-III. Toronto: Routledge, Kegan, Paul 1978, p. 47 (= Book I, Chapter III, § 1); German: System of deductive and inductive logic: a presentation of the principles of the doctrine of evidence and the methods of scientific research; Volume 1, Fues, Leipzig 1872, p. 33 ( online )
  75. ^ Klaus Oehler , in: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Aristoteles. Works in German translation . Volume 1, Part 1, Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1984, p. 58.
  76. Harald Weinrich: About having, Beck, Munich 2012, chapter 11
  77. ^ EJ Lowe: The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science, Oxford University Press 2007, and the review by Ryan Wasserman on this

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