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“Predication, Things, and Kinds in Aristotle’s Metaphysics”

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What in Aristotle corresponds, in whole or (more likely) in part, to our contemporary notion of predication? This paper sketches counterparts in Aristotle’s text to our theories of expression and of truth, and on this basis inquires into his treatment of sentences assigning an individual to its kinds. In some recent accounts, the Metaphysics offers a fresh look at such sentences in terms of matter and form, in contrast to the simpler theory on offer in the Categories. I argue that the Metaphysics initiates no change in this regard over the Categories. The point that form is (metaphysically) predicated of matter is a contribution, not to the account of statement predication, but to the analysis of compound material substances. Otherwise put, in our terms Aristotelian form is not - in particular, is not also - a propositional function, but a function from matter to compound material substances.

Affiliations: 1: University of Southern California, Mudd Hall of Philosophy 3709 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0451, Email:


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