This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: d that if we are to study being we must study
substance. Indeed, he tells us (1028b3):
… the old question—always pursued from long ago till now, and always raising puzzles—
‘What is being?’ is just the question ‘What is substance?’ But Aristotle can no longer take it for granted that the old Categories examples of
substances—a man, a horse, a tree—are going to be acceptable as basic items. Why?
Because of the hylomorphic analysis that was introduced in the Physics.
How hylomorphic analysis threatens Categories substances
Matter underlies and persists through substantial changes. A substance is generated
(destroyed) by having matter take on (lose) form. Examples:
1. A house is created when bricks, boards, etc., are put together according to a
certain plan and arranged in a certain form. It is destroyed when the bricks,
boards, etc., lose that form.
2. An animal is generated when matter (contributed by the mother) combines
with form (contributed by the father).
This suggests that the primary substances of the Categories, the individual plants
and animals, are, when analyzed, actually compounds of form and matter. And in the
Metaphysics, Aristotle suggests that a compound cannot be a substance (Z.3,
1029a30). Copyright © 2004, S. Marc Cohen 2 Last modified 12/4/2004 10:49 PM This may seem a strange move for Aristotle to be making. But the idea may be this:
a compound cannot be a basic ontological ingredient. Cf. these compounds:
• a brown horse
• a scholar
Each of these is a compound of substance + attribute:
• a brown horse = a horse + brownness
• a scholar = a human + education
In these cases, the compound is a compound of entities that are more basic. (“A
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHYSICS 110 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at UC Davis.
- Spring '09