DE&E: Chapter 6:7

Long one tonight. But on the bright side, there are only two more paragraphs after this.

We should further note that in accidents, the genus, difference, and species are taken in a way different from that in substances.

Duly noted. How so?

For in substances, from the substantial form and the matter there is made something one per se, a certain single nature resulting from the conjunction of these two, and this nature is properly placed in the predicament of substance.

That is, the category of substance.

Hence, in substances, the concrete terms that signify the composite are properly said to be in the genus, in the manner of the species or the genus, as, for example, man or animal. But in this way neither the form nor the matter is in a predicament except by means of reduction, as when we say that the principles of a thing are in its genus.

OK, I’m lost again. What does he mean “in the genus, in the manner of the species or the genus”? And then, “neither the form or the matter is in a predicament except by means of reduction…” Is this because the essence is a composite, and so the composite is in a predicament but the form and matter individually are not? That would make sense, I think….

Clearly, this last bit is intended to be review. Unfortunately, while I might have understood it a couple of weeks OK, I’ve moved on, and it’s all fading.

However, from the accident and the subject there does not result something that is one per se, and thus from the conjunction of these two there does not result a nature to which the intention of genus or species might be attributed.

If my son runs, he’s running; that’s accidental not essential, and it doesn’t change his genus or species. Some new thing doesn’t come to be when he starts running.

Therefore, the accidental terms taken concretely, like white or musical, cannot be placed in a predicament except by means of reduction; but they can be placed in a predicament when they are signified abstractly, as whiteness and music.

“Placed in a predicament…” should mean, “placed in a category.” A white dog is white, so “white” as a concrete term is a predicable; but it can’t be placed in a category. “Quality” is one of the ten categories, and so I presume, then, that “whiteness” is a quality, but “white” is not. You can think of “whiteness” as a thing in itself, at least as an object of thought; but “white” only applies to some other thing that has the quality of whiteness.

By reduction, then, I have to assume Thomas means a kind of decomposition, where the accident is removed from the substance and treated as, e.g., a quality.

And because accidents are not composed of matter and form, in accidents the genus cannot be taken from the matter, the difference from the form, as is the case with composite substances; rather, the first genus is taken from their very mode of existing, as being is said in different ways according to what is prior and what is posterior in the ten genera of predicaments, and thus we call the measure of a substance quantity, the disposition of a substance quality, and so on for the others, as the Philosopher says in IX Metaphysicae cap. 1 (1045b27-32).

OK; quantity exists in a substance in a different way than quality, and so we have two distinct genera. So what are the species within these genera?

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