Apeiron 54 (3):261-285 (2021)

Simplicius reports that Xenocrates and Andronicus reproached Aristotle for positing an excessive number of categories, which can conveniently be reduced to two: τὰ καθ᾽αὑτά and τὰ πρός τι. Simplicius, followed by several modern commentators, interprets this move as being equivalent to a division into substance and accidents. I aim to show that, as far as Xenocrates is concerned, this interpretation is untenable and that the substance-accidents contrast cannot be equivalent to Xenocrates’ per se-relative one. Rather, Xenocrates aimed to stress the primacy of Plato’s binary distinction of beings, as presented at Sophist 255c13–4, over Aristotle’s list of the categories.
Keywords Categories  Xenocrates  Aristotle  Andronicus  Simplicius  Predication
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DOI 10.1515/apeiron-2019-0043
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