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I'm reading (Cat, 3a21):

This is not, however, peculiar to substance: The differentia also is not in a subject. For footed and two footed are said of man as a subject but are not in a subject ...

So, from what I understand, differentia is a genera or a species. Then, would this imply that a substance has several species and genera?

For example, if the individual man is white, then he would have animal as genera but also white as differentia which, as I understand will also be a genera.

Also, is differentia a thing? It seemed to me that it wasn't but then if it is a genera I suppose it must be under A's framework.

  • It must be a property; see Genus–differentia definition. See also Difefrentia. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 16 '18 at 14:19
  • See Species, Genus, and Differentia : "Since a definition defines an essence, only what has an essence can be defined. In general, however, it is not individuals but rather speciesthat have essences. A species is defined by giving its genus and its differentia: the genus is the kind under which the species falls, and the differentia tells what characterizes the species within that genus. As an example, human might be defined as animal (genus) having the capacity to reason (differentia)." – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 16 '18 at 14:23
  • And see : Edgar Herbert Granger, Aristotle on Genus and Differentia, JouHistPhil (1984). – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 16 '18 at 14:27
  • Ok, great I'll read them. Also, can you check again the question? I changed it a lot. @MauroALLEGRANZA – César D. Vázquez May 16 '18 at 14:29
  • "... the genus is the kind under which the species falls, and the differentia tells what characterizes the species within that genus." Is the differentia said of the subject or said in the subject? @MauroALLEGRANZA – César D. Vázquez May 16 '18 at 15:01
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Long comment

There are several places where A discuss the species, genera and differentia issue: Topics, Book IV, Cat,5 and Meta, Book VII (Z).

They are related to essence (and substance), definitions and the "process" of division.

Animal rational is obtained with the genera animal by division : some animals are rational, while some are not.

Thus, the species "animal rational" is obtained from the genera animal "adding" the differentia rational.

  • 1
    An. Post. II 13, 96a32 & 96b15 are also relevant but of course you have indicated the main texts and did not say you were offering a complete enumeration. Given yours, there is no need for any other answer. Best : GT – Geoffrey Thomas May 16 '18 at 18:02
  • From what understood from Edgar Herbert Granger, Aristotle on Genus and Differentia, He argues that this account that the differential is just a characteristic added to a kind is probably prior in him and that later on he considered the differential to have even the same level of importance to define a substance as the genera and that was probably also of the same kind of the genera. From what I see of your answer it seems to me that you think that the first account is the right one. Do you disagree with Herbert Granger? @MauroALLEGRANZA – César D. Vázquez May 17 '18 at 15:30

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