The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

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Call a property recurrent if it can be found in more than one subject, and nonrecurrent otherwise. The question whether Aristotle holds that there are nonrecurrent properties has spawned a lively debate among recent commentators. An assumption held in common by both sides of the debate is that a property is nonrecurrent if it is inseparable from an individual subject. In this paper, I’ll argue that this assumption is false. There are a variety of kinds of separation in Aristotle. When we focus attention on what notion of separation is relevant, we will see that the inseparability possessed by individual properties is neutral on the question whether such properties are recurrent or nonrecurrent. In particular. I’ll ; argue that Aristotle is only claiming that inherent properties, unlike parts, cannot; be severed from their subjects.


Phil Corkum presented “Parts and Properties in Aristotle’s Categories” to the Society at its meeting with the Eastern Division in Philadelphia in 2002. This paper is superseded by “Aristotle on Nonsubstantial Individuals” in Ancient Philosophy (2009) 29: 289-310.

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