This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: complexion is
healthy because it is indicative of health.
Notice that in all cases there is reference to health. And what is the central case of
health? What is it that is healthy in the primary sense? Clearly, a person (or animal,
or plant). A diet is healthy only because it makes a person healthy, and a complexion
is healthy only because it indicates that the person who has it is healthy, whereas a
person is healthy because he has health (and not because of his relation to other
things that are healthy in some more central way than the way a person is healthy).
So one might say that persons are healthy in the primary sense of the term, while
diets and complexions and the like are healthy only in secondary senses of the term. Copyright © 2004, S. Marc Cohen 1 Last modified 12/4/2004 10:49 PM It is the same with beings, Aristotle tells us (1003b6):
For some things are called beings because they are substances, others because they are
attributes of substances, others because they are a road to substance, or because they are
perishings or privations or qualities of substance, or productive or generative of substance …. This fits in perfectly with what we learned in the Categories, where primary substances
(individuals) were argued to be the ontologically basic things. Beings in other
categories (e.g., qualities, etc.) owe their existence to the substances they inhere in.
Qualities are beings, too, but not in the way that substances are.
So the study of being qua being must begin with a study of the central cases of being,
the things that are beings in the primary sense: substances. Metaphysics Z: the study of substance
Aristotle begins book Z (VII) with a reminder that being is said in many ways, and that
the being of substances is central, an...
View Full Document
- Spring '09