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The Discovery of Things : Aristotle's Categories and Their Context - Wolfgang-Rainer Mann

The Discovery of Things

Aristotle's Categories and Their Context

Hardcover Published: 13th March 2000
ISBN: 9780691010205
Number Of Pages: 224

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Aristotle's "Categories" can easily seem to be a statement of a naive, pre-philosophical ontology, centered around ordinary items. Wolfgang-Rainer Mann argues that the treatise, in fact, presents a revolutionary metaphysical picture, one Aristotle arrives at by (implicitly) criticizing Plato and Plato's strange counterparts, the "Late-Learners" of the Sophist. As Mann shows, the "Categories" reflects Aristotle's discovery that ordinary items are things (objects with properties). Put most starkly, Mann contends that there were no things before Aristotle.

The author's argument consists of two main elements. First, a careful investigation of Plato which aims to make sense of the odd-sounding suggestion that things do not show up as things in his ontology. Secondly, an exposition of the theoretical apparatus Aristotle introduces in the "Categories"--an exposition which shows how Plato's and the Late-Learners' metaphysical pictures cannot help but seem inadequate in light of that apparatus. In doing so, Mann reveals that Aristotle's conception of things--now so engrained in Western thought as to seem a natural expression of common sense--was really a hard-won philosophical achievement.

Clear, subtle, and rigorously argued, "The Discovery of Things" will reshape our understanding of some of Aristotle's--and Plato's--most basic ideas.

Democracy and Association is an important contribution not only to the field of political theory but also to empirical political science. Warren's multifaceted typologies are a major advance. -- Margaret Kohn, Political Theory

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
A Note on Citationsp. xi
Introductionp. 3
The Projectp. 3
The Problemp. 6
The Task of
The Problem of Categories 1 and 2p. 23
The Task of
Plato's Metaphysics and the Status of Thingsp. 28
The Task of
The Categories Once More--The Role of the '-onymies'p. 35
Final Methodological Preliminariesp. 36
Setting the Stage: The ""Antepraedicamenta"" and The ""Praedicamenta""p. 39
Preliminary Remarks: The Role of the First Two Chapters of the Treatise 39p. 2
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691010205
ISBN-10: 069101020X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 13th March 2000
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 16.51  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.5