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Aristotle's ten categories

zmikecuber
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2/1/2014 3:49:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What's your guys' opinions on Aristotle's ten categories? They are supposedly the ten different ways you can say something is predicated of another.

Substance - what a thing is
Quantity - how much there is
Quality - there's about 10 subcategories for this one I think?
Relation - how a thing can be said to be in reference to another
Action - how a thing can be said to be affecting another
Passion - how a thing is affected by another
Time - at what time a thing is
Place - simple location
Posture - the disposition of a thing's parts, whether metaphysical or physical
Possession - whether a thing has something

Supposedly, Aristotle thought that anything you say "is" can be fit into one of these categories. If I say: "I am a person", that's substance. If I say: "I am typing" that's action.

Do you think this is useful at all? Could we come up with any counter-examples?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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2/1/2014 6:03:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Bill Clinton found it very useful.

"It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/1/2014 6:13:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
"It is raining." <- certainly, it does not fit neatly or tidily into one and only category, as Aristotle wishes to put forth. This is one of the areas where we learn more from him going wrong than going right.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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2/1/2014 6:15:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 6:13:23 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
"It is raining." <- certainly, it does not fit neatly or tidily into one and only category, as Aristotle wishes to put forth. This is one of the areas where we learn more from him going wrong than going right.

Well the categories are only used when you're predicating something of something else. Statements affirming something about a substance. So it would depend what you mean by "it".
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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2/1/2014 6:24:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 4:42:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It just seems like mental masterbation to me,

When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the mastur.

I do find it interesting though. Just finished a 1 semester class about Aristotle's material logic, so we studied the ten categories a bit. I'm wondering how he came up with something like this. It seems almost random. I didn't think that they had weed back then.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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2/1/2014 6:24:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 6:15:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:13:23 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
"It is raining." <- certainly, it does not fit neatly or tidily into one and only category, as Aristotle wishes to put forth. This is one of the areas where we learn more from him going wrong than going right.

Well the categories are only used when you're predicating something of something else. Statements affirming something about a substance. So it would depend what you mean by "it".

That's the point. It doesn't fit nicely into any category, unfortunately. It's the famous counterexample to go against the ten categories, which is why we don't use them too dogmatically.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
zmikecuber
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2/1/2014 6:30:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 6:24:35 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:15:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:13:23 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
"It is raining." <- certainly, it does not fit neatly or tidily into one and only category, as Aristotle wishes to put forth. This is one of the areas where we learn more from him going wrong than going right.

Well the categories are only used when you're predicating something of something else. Statements affirming something about a substance. So it would depend what you mean by "it".

That's the point. It doesn't fit nicely into any category, unfortunately. It's the famous counterexample to go against the ten categories, which is why we don't use them too dogmatically.

Well I don't think the purpose of the ten categories is just for any old truth claims in the first place, so I don't really see how that's relevant.

Anyways, "it is raining" would probably be quality, and fall under the sub-category of disposition, since it is a quality easily lost and easily acquired. But it doesn't explicitly express what the subject is, or what's even meant by "it" so I don't think it's a very strong counter-example in the first place. Unless you mean "the world outside" by "it," which is what I assumed is meant in that case.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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2/1/2014 6:31:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 6:03:09 PM, philochristos wrote:
Bill Clinton found it very useful.

"It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."

Hahaha. ;P
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/4/2014 5:12:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 6:30:54 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:24:35 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:15:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:13:23 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
"It is raining." <- certainly, it does not fit neatly or tidily into one and only category, as Aristotle wishes to put forth. This is one of the areas where we learn more from him going wrong than going right.

Well the categories are only used when you're predicating something of something else. Statements affirming something about a substance. So it would depend what you mean by "it".

That's the point. It doesn't fit nicely into any category, unfortunately. It's the famous counterexample to go against the ten categories, which is why we don't use them too dogmatically.

Well I don't think the purpose of the ten categories is just for any old truth claims in the first place, so I don't really see how that's relevant.

Anyways, "it is raining" would probably be quality, and fall under the sub-category of disposition, since it is a quality easily lost and easily acquired. But it doesn't explicitly express what the subject is, or what's even meant by "it" so I don't think it's a very strong counter-example in the first place. Unless you mean "the world outside" by "it," which is what I assumed is meant in that case.

I understand where you're coming from, but you've taken an awkward definition. Qualities have to be essential (and not accidental) to the substance. Otherwise, all things are qualities (including quantities, habits, etc) are qualities. Now I'm not a classicist so it may be that I'm misrepresenting Aristotle and he's indeed saying that qualities can be accidental. This leads him open to criticisms by those classicists like Ackrill who say Aristotle is being vague and useless here. However, if we take a generous interpretation then we see this smaller problem of mine has arisen.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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2/4/2014 9:28:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 5:12:42 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:30:54 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:24:35 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:15:35 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/1/2014 6:13:23 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
"It is raining." <- certainly, it does not fit neatly or tidily into one and only category, as Aristotle wishes to put forth. This is one of the areas where we learn more from him going wrong than going right.

Well the categories are only used when you're predicating something of something else. Statements affirming something about a substance. So it would depend what you mean by "it".

That's the point. It doesn't fit nicely into any category, unfortunately. It's the famous counterexample to go against the ten categories, which is why we don't use them too dogmatically.

Well I don't think the purpose of the ten categories is just for any old truth claims in the first place, so I don't really see how that's relevant.

Anyways, "it is raining" would probably be quality, and fall under the sub-category of disposition, since it is a quality easily lost and easily acquired. But it doesn't explicitly express what the subject is, or what's even meant by "it" so I don't think it's a very strong counter-example in the first place. Unless you mean "the world outside" by "it," which is what I assumed is meant in that case.

I understand where you're coming from, but you've taken an awkward definition. Qualities have to be essential (and not accidental) to the substance. Otherwise, all things are qualities (including quantities, habits, etc) are qualities. Now I'm not a classicist so it may be that I'm misrepresenting Aristotle and he's indeed saying that qualities can be accidental. This leads him open to criticisms by those classicists like Ackrill who say Aristotle is being vague and useless here. However, if we take a generous interpretation then we see this smaller problem of mine has arisen.

The first of the eight divisions which is made of the Ten Categories is substance vs. accident...Which is the first category vs. all the rest. So technically, all the other categories are considered "accidental."

I suppose it also depends on what you mean by "quality." I'm not entirely sure what Aristotle means by "quality" because he also has a bunch of sub-categories of "quality." Yet why not put all the other ten categories which are intrinsic as sub-categories of "quality"?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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2/5/2014 5:45:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
If it isn't a subcategory of quality, then it isn't a quality. I'd have to make that interpretation or that Aristotle isn't being clear. With that in mind, then either there are exceptions (which Aristotle notes some of) or there is an unfalsifiable ambiguity.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...