Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology
6. Metaphysics as a Categorical Description
The subject of metaphysics is, according to some philosophical conceptions (e.g. Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Hartmann), the most basic aspects of our reality declaration about how we see the world. We usually divide the world into a complex structure of various kinds of things. We speak of plants, animals, people, means of transport, cities, etc. The basic divisions, which result from our perception of reality, are the subject of conceptions which analyse metaphysics as a categorical description (Carr, 1987).
Let us compare how two paradigmatic authors, Aristotle and Kant, deal with the categories. ← 37 | 38 →
6.1. Aristotelian Categories
Aristotle in the treatise Categories (Statements), which he wrote before Metaphysics, states ten categories: “Expressions which are in no way composite signify substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, action, or affection. To sketch my meaning roughly, examples of substance are ‚man‘ or ‚horse‘, of quantity, such terms as ‚two cubits long‘ or ‚three cubits long‘, of quality, such attributes as ‚white‘, ‚grammatical‘. ‚Double‘, ‚half‘, ‚greater‘, fall under the category of relation; ‚in the market place‘, ‚in the Lyceum‘, under that of place; ‚yesterday‘, ‚last year‘, under that of time. ‚Lying‘, ‚sitting‘, are terms indicating position, ‚shod‘, ‚armed‘, state; ‚to lance‘, ‚to cauterize‘, actions; ‚to be lanced‘, ‚to be cauterized‘, affections” (Aristotle, The Categories, 2009).
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