On Aristotle Categories 7-8 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)
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In Categories chapters 7 and 8 Aristotle considers his third and fourth categories - those of Relative and Quality. Critics of Aristotle had suggested for each of the non-substance categories that they could really be reduced to relatives, so it is important how the category of Relative is defined. Aristotle offers two definitions, and the second, stricter, one is often cited by his defenders in order to rule out objections. The second definition of relative involves the idea of something changing its relationship through a change undergone by its correlate, not by itself. There were disagreements as to whether this was genuine change, and Plotinus discussed whether relatives exist only in the mind, without being real. The terms used by Aristotle for such relationships was 'being disposed relatively to something', a term later borrowed by the Stoics for their fourth category, and perhaps originating in Plato's Academy. In his discussion of Quality, Aristotle reports a debate on whether justice admits of degrees, or whether only the possession of justice does so. Simplicius reports the further development of this controversy in terms of whether justice admits a range or latitude (platos). This debate helped to inspire the medieval idea of latitude of forms, which goes back much further than is commonly recognised - at least to Plato and Aristotle.
excludes all mechanical and extrinsic cause.’ 116. When the person who was ‘on the left’ has moved away. 117. logos here seems to be something like the Stoic ‘seminal reason’ (spermatikos logos) which pre-exists and survives the thing in question. 118. Cat. chapter 10. 119. Virtue would still exist even if there were no vice, so it does not have its being in its opposition to vice in the way that half and double depend on the opposition between them for their being; see 163,30ff. above and
establishing a hierarchy of (Platonic) form, quality and qualified thing. Each gets something from what is above it, and gives to what is below it without being diminished; the principle of transmission is the logos. 301. Omitting the second aph’ in line 33. 302. A denial of the Stoic distinction between logos endiathetos and logos prophorikos (see n. 234 above and Atkinson (1985) 56-8). 303. These are characteristics of Form qua quality. 304. cf. Plotinus Ennead 188.8.131.52ff. 305. Latitude
those pale due to a long illness, whose paleness is ‘hard to change and long-lasting’ (= an affective quality), and (c) those whose paleness is ‘volatile and quick-changing’, e.g. as a result of fear (+ an affection). The division of psychic qualities at 253,13 is only twofold. 418. Cat. 9b28. 419. At Cat. 8b27; cf. 228,21-241,34. 420. 233,10ff. 421. States and conditions are contrasted with affective qualities and affections in that the former ‘result from instruction and are imposed from
affection, viz. the freezing of the vapour; cf. 258,5-9. 440. Virtue and knowledge (Cat. 8b26ff.). 180 Notes to pages 120-127 441. Perhaps another reference to the Stoic ‘containing’ cause; see n. 54. 442. Metaph. 1022b15ff. 443. Cat. 9b33ff. 444. i.e. the whole person compounded of body and soul. 445. DA 403a16ff. 446. Simplicius may be referring to a passage at Timaeus 87D where Plato says: ‘Everything good is beautiful, and the beautiful is not disproportionate; therefore the living
terms of relatively disposed changes, they have called all these ‘relatively disposed’ for the sake of clear exposition; and just as havable is spoken of in a wider context than state, so they assumed that what is relatively disposed has a wider connotation than the qualified. Some assumed292 just this much – that what is relatively disposed covers a wider field than what is qualified, in so far as that which is relatively disposed in a certain way extends also to include that which is relatively