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Francis Garden - 1878 - Table of contents

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden

Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





Category. The word κατηγορια originally meant accusation. Aristotle, however, used the verb κατηγορέω to denote the art of predicating affirmatively. Hence with him το κατηγούμενον means the predicate, and as all predication must fall under some one of the necessary conditions and relations of things, he calls these latter the Categories, and for the same reason the Latins entitled them Predicaments.



Aristotle makes them ten in number.

       1. Substance.           6. Passion.
        2. Quantity.             7. Place.
        3. Quality.               8. Time.
        4. Relation.             9. Posture.
        5. Action.               10. Habit.

These are summa genera of conception under which all nations, judgments, and classifications must be ranged. There are, however, ideas behind and beyond them, such as existence, good, and the like, which in the language of the schools are called transcendents and transcendentals—terms which Kant used in quite different senses (see Transcendent and Transcendental). Indeed he also used the word category in a sense different from the old one.

Aristotle's division has long been objected to as a cross one. Relation obviously includes posture, place, and time, if indeed it does not comprehend every category except substance. Habit too, as is acknowledged in the treatise on the categories, comes under quality. There have been many classifications of categories from the Stoics down to Sir W. Hamilton, which the reader may find and consider for himself. Meanwhile, let it be said that if the Aristotelian division be formally defective, it would be difficult to convict it of being other than exhaustive. The word category, as I have said, is employed by Kant in a sense different from the Aristotelian. He bestows the title on what he deems necessary and à priori forms of the understanding, whereas the categories of Aristotle are classifications of à posteriori notions and knowledge quite as much as, if not rather more than, of à priori.

If Kant has thus changed the philosophical sense of the word category, modern language has equally done so in another way. It is now continually used for class of any kind. When one considers how many words we have synonymous with class, it is difficult to account for men going out of their way and getting hold of category, except by a sickly preference for a long and grand word, over a short and familiar one, especially if the former have a philosophical air. The impropriety of entitling any class whatever a category will appear if we substitute the Latin predicament. Common as this misuse of the word category has become, I think it may still be avoided with advantage. The benefit of technical terms is impaired by using them in various senses.



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