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 term 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 thus goes back much further that is commonly recognised - at least to Plato and Aristotle.
Series: Ancient Commentators on Aristotle
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 26th April 2002
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.51
Edition Number: 1