Aristotle’s Two Accounts of Relatives in Categories 7

Phronesis 60 (4):436-461 (2015)
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Abstract

AtCategories7, 6a36-7 Aristotle defines relatives, but at 8a13-28 worries that the definition may include some substances. Aristotle introduces a second account of relatives to solve the problem. Recent commentators have held that Aristotle intends to solve the extensional adequacy worry by restricting the extension of relatives. That is, R2 counts fewer items as relative than R1. However, this cannot explain Aristotle’s attitude to relatives, since he immediately returns to using R1. I propose a non-extensional reading. R1 and R2 do not specify different sets of relatives, but rather different ways to understand each relative.

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Matthew Duncombe
Nottingham University