Aristotle's Theory of Substance: The Categories and Metaphysics Zeta by Michael V. WedinAristotle's Theory of Substance: The Categories and Metaphysics Zeta by Michael V. Wedin

Aristotle's Theory of Substance: The Categories and Metaphysics Zeta

byMichael V. Wedin

Paperback | September 5, 2002

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 370 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Aristotle's views on the fundamental nature of reality are usually taken to be inconsistent. The two main sources for these views are the Categories and the central books of the Metaphysics, particularly book Zeta. In the early theory of the Categories the basic entities of the world areconcrete objects such as Socrates: Aristotle calls them 'primary substances'. But the later theory awards this title to the forms of concrete objects. Michael Wedin proposes a compatibilist solution to this long-standing puzzle, arguing that Aristotle is engaged in quite different projects in thetwo works. The theory of Metaphysics Zeta is meant to explain central features of the standing doctrine of the Categories, and so presupposes the essential truth of the early theory. The Categories offers a theory of underlying ontological configurations, while book Zeta gives form the status ofprimary substance because it is primarily the form of a concrete object that explains its nature, and this form is the substance of the object. So when the late theory identifies primary substance with form, it appeals to an explanatory primacy that is quite distinct from the ontological primacythat dominates the Categories. Wedin's new interpretation thus allows us to see the two treatises as complementing each other: they are parts of a unified history of substance.
Michael Wedin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis.
Title:Aristotle's Theory of Substance: The Categories and Metaphysics ZetaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.01 inPublished:September 5, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199253080

ISBN - 13:9780199253081

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Plan of the Categories2. Nonsubstantial Individuals3. Commitment and Configuration in the Categories4. Tales of the Two Treatises5. The Structure and Substance of Substance6. Form as Essence7. Zeta 6 on the Immediacy of Form8. The Purification of Form9. Generality and Compositionality: Z. 13's Worries about Form10. Form and ExplanationBibliography, Index Locorum, General Index

Editorial Reviews

`Wedin's conclusions will be of particular interest not only to scholars directly engaged with the question of the compatibility of the Categories and the Metaphysics, but also to those interested in the role of causal explanation in Aristotle's metaphysical project.'Ian Bell, Department of Philosophy, University of Richmond