1

Some things, again, are present in a subject, but are never predicable of a subject. For instance, a certain point of grammatical knowledge is present in the mind, but is not predicable of any subject; or again, a certain whiteness may be present in the body (for colour requires a material basis), yet it is never predicable of anything.

Aristotle. Aristotle: The Complete Works (p. 26). Pandora's Box. Kindle Edition.

Can you please suggest where is my mistake in understanding:

Thing is either subject or predicate. If A is present in a subject then it is not subject. If it is not subject then it is predicate. But A is never predicable of a subject.

Certain point of grammatical knowledge is present in the mind

Certain point of grammatical knowledge is Subject. Present in the mind is Predicate. Why Aristotle uses 'present in a subject' but not 'predicable of some supreme object'?

2
  • 1
    See also this post Oct 13 at 9:12
  • 1
    According to Aristotle, what is said of a subject ("predicable") must be universal, it can be a substance or a property. Certain point/ certain whiteness are individual substance/property, hence not said of anything even when present in it. But grammatical knowledge/whiteness as universals can be said of mind/body. Similarly, present in is based on the distinction between substance and non-substance, only non-substances can be present in a subject, see Predication and Ontology: The Categories.
    – Conifold
    Oct 13 at 9:12
0

A property is un universal, predicable of a subject: "Socrates' hair are white".

Here whiteness is predicated of Socrates' hair.

The specific shade of whiteness characteristic of Socrates' hair is a sort of individual property, and thus is not a universal.

Being not a universal, it is not "predicated of" the subject Socrates, but it is "part" of the characteristics of the individual Socrates and thus it is "present in" the subject Socrates.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.