[hist-analytic] Aristotle's Metaphysics: The Izz and the Hazz
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat May 9 19:21:22 EDT 2009
-- and the Hazz Been?!
Have just had a good look at R. B. Jones's new pages:
on his programme on 'metaphysical positivism'
and the specific pages where he tidily displays the W. Ross's translation
of Aristotle's 14 books of metaphysics.
Since he has displayed an interest in Grice and yet, as he notes, his
'metaphysical positivism' is intended for 'the twenty-first century' as
retreating from some unwanted 'tendencies' in late twentieth-philosophy, I offer
some links to some questions of Aristotle's metaphysics as discussed by Grice
and Code, in a sort of 'analytic' manner.
A website at
-- by R. A. Smith -- summarises
"To reflect this distinction, [H. P.] Grice [born Holborne,
[A. D.] Code [I _think_ his PhD student at UC/Berkeley] have
calling the two types of predication izzing and hazzing
The question of attribution is slightly important here. Indeed it was Code,
in his "Aristotle" paper in the "Metaphysics" section in the Gricean
festchrift, P. G. R. I. C. E. Clarendon, 1986) who 'published' the 'unpublished'
views of Grice. Code ably credits the occasion: a 1976 Toronto Classics
"Rather than following the more usual practice
of discussing essentialist claims in terms of
first-order predicate calculus with modal
operators, I will follow Grice's insights into the
basic predication relations, IZZING and HAZZING,
when stating the definitions and specifying the
operations involves in the construction of a
general theory of substance and categories.
Much of Aristotle's vocabulary can be understood
and simplified in terms of Grice's "izzing" and
"hazzing". And, what's more, it is possible,
by displaying a number of theorems couched
in Grice's terminology, to give a semantico-pragmatic
treatment that lies behind Aristotle's own
When Loar submitted for publication the "Aristotle" paper by Grice (Pacific
Philosophical Quarterly, 1988 -- issue, 'in memory of H. P. Grice' --),
realised that Grice _had_ indeed to refer to Code as the first
'publication' on the matter (in a footnote).
Smith goes on:
>if Socrates izz a human and an animal, whereas he hazz paleness.
>To summarize this in a table:
>Subject and predicate in the same category Subject and predicate in
Predicate says what subject is Predicate says what
----- Grice is careful to refer to sources here: some _are_ from the
Metaphysics indeed (apparently, his immediate trigger was G. E. L. Owen, "The
snares of ontology" which he keeps quoting) but some from other bits from
Aristotle's corpus: the Organon, mainly.
Indeed, in McFarlane (who teaches courses on both _Grice_ *and*
metaphysics) has the Gricean concoction as pertaining to the Categories:
What is the difference between being SAID OF and being IN (i.e., between
IZZING and HAZZING)?
Or cfr. Cohen's page
"For Aristotle, man is what Socrates IS; wise, on the other hand, is not
what he IS (even though we say he is wise). Rather, it is something he HAS.
(Cf. Grice and Code on IZZing and HAZZing.)"
You would think that, by this time, izzing and hazzing SHOULD have made it
to the OED3. _Mailto:oed3 at oup.co.uk_ (mailto:oed3 at oup.co.uk) .
"To ti en einai" is perfect Aristotle. It encapuslates the treating of the
'infinitive' as a neuter, and the
Indeed, I have recently had occasion for discussion this with R. Hall in
CHORA. I was indeed challenged by M. Chase, as we were debating some of
I paraphrase Chase:
For Ross (ad Metaph 983a27), to ti en einai means
"the answer to the question, what was it to be so-and-so".
Ross chronicles three explanations that been given to explain the
problematic imperfect of the verb, 'to be', "en" :
1. It's a philosophical imperfect
which I take as ad hoc and a petitio.
2. It represents duration.
3. It expresses Arist.'s doctrine of the existence of form before its
embodiment in a particular matter.
As Chase notes, Ross declines to come down on the side of any one of these
interpretations. Chase, who works in France, goes on to suggest Tricot's
French translation of the Metaph. ( n. 3, vol. I, pp. 23-24 of the 1986
reprint) which accounts for the views of Thomas Aquinas, Bréhier,
Ravaisson, Bonitz, Werner, Waitz, the Ps.-Alexander, Colle, Ritter and
Preller, Lalande, Léon Robin, Schwegler, Rodier, Cruchon, etc., etc."
But I rather account for Grice!
I find a parallelism, indeed, between Aristotle's
"To anthropoi einai"
with Grice on
Conception of Value, ch. iii).
Aristotle is somewhat vague to allow 'anthropoi' in the dative _singular_.
It reads, colloquially as "what it takes to be a man".
Aristotle writes (cf. 1006a34) Cf. Top. 101b38-102a5 1028 33 36, An. Post.
91b-5, and Part. An. 640a33ff, "what it is to be a member of a kind"):
"hoti men oun estin ho horismos ho TOU TI EN EINAI logos, kai TO TI EN
EINAI ê monôn tôn ousiôn estin ê malista kai prôtôs kai haplôs, dêlon.
poteron de tauton estin ê heteron TO TI EN EINAI kai hekaston, skepteon. esti
gar ti pro ergou pros tên peri tês ousias skepsin: hekaston te gar ouk allo
dokei einai tês heautou ousias, kai TO TI EN EINAI legetai einai hê
hekastou ousia. epi men dê tôn legomenôn kata sumbebêkos doxeien an  heteron
einai, hoion leukos anthrôpos heteron kai TO LEUKOI ANTHROPOI EINAI ei
gar to auto, kai TO ANTHROPOI EINAI kai to leukôi anthrôpôi to auto: to auto
gar anthrôpos kai leukos anthrôpos, hôs phasin, hôste kai to leukôi
anthrôpôi kai to anthrôpôi: ê ouk anankê hosa kata sumbebêkos einai  tauta, ou
gar hôsautôs ta akra gignetai tauta: all' isôs ge ekeino doxeien an
sumbainein, ta akra gignesthai tauta ta kata sumbebêkos, hoion to leukôi einai
kai to mousikôi: dokei de ou: epi de tôn kath' hauta legomenôn ar' anankê
tauto einai, hoion ei tines eisin ousiai hôn heterai  mê eisin ousiai mêde
phuseis heterai proterai, hoias phasi tas ideas einai tines; ei gar estai
heteron auto to agathon kai to agathôi einai, kai zôion kai to zôiôi, kai to
onti kai to on."
This Ross (now available at
(http://www.rbjones.com/rbjpub/philos/classics/aristotl/mi.htm) courtesy of R. B. Jones) translates as:
"Essence must be used in more than one sense. Thus in one sense there will
be no definition of anything, and nothing will have an essence, except
substances; and in another those other things will have a definition and
essence. It is obvious, then, that the definition is the formula of the
essence, and that the essence belongs either only to substances, or especially
and primarily and simply. We inquire whether the essence is the same as the
particular thing. This is useful for our inquiry about substance; because
a particular thing is considered to be nothing other than its own
substance, and the essence is called the substance of the thing. In accidental
predications, indeed, the thing itself would seem to be different from its
essence; e.g., "white
man" is different from "essence of white man." If it were the same,
"essence of man" and "essence of white man" would be the same. For "man" and
"white man" are the same, they say, and therefore "essence of white
man" is the same as "essence of man." But perhaps it is not necessarily
true that the essence of accidental combinations is the same as that of the
simple terms; because the extremes of the syllogism are not identical with
the middle term in the same way. Perhaps it might be thought to follow
that the accidental extremes are identical; e.g. "essence of white" and
"essence of cultured"; but this is not admitted. But in "per se" expressions,
is the thing necessarily the same as its essence, e.g., if there are
substances which have no other
substances or entities prior to them, such as some hold the Ideas to
be?For if the Ideal Good is to be different from the essence of good and the
Ideal Animal and Being from the essence of animal and being"
Ref.: Bostock, D. Aristotle, Metaphysics. Series ed. by J. L. Ackrill
Bostock, D. on Grice on conditionals. In R. Walker, 'Conversational
Smith, R. "Aristotle" 1997. Clarendon Aristotle Series, ed. by J. L.
Ackrill. Oxford: Clarendon).
One notes that strictly, Aristotle's phrase translates, in German, as "Das
Ein Man zu sein", which is not _far_ from your common-or-garden
Heideggerian idiom that appalled Carnap! Kirwan translates it as either 'for a man to
be' or 'to be a man', but doubts (and I with Grice would disagree)
Aristotle would make a distinction (too fine?) here. Kirwan, unlike Grice/Code,
proposes a modal formalisation using strict-conditional. In his exegesis,
Cohen rightly complicates things when he writes, "For it [sc. the essence of
X] is not the same as Y, i.e. the X Y, it it is the same as the attribute
[X-ness"]. Cohen 1988:313. Enough to be looking forward to the Indian summer.
I offer some symbolisation alla Grice/Code:
1. A izz A.
2. (A izz B & B izz C) --> A izz C.
3. A hazz B -> -(A izz B).
4. A hazz B iff A hazz Some-Thing that izz B.
5. Each universal is a form.
6. (A hazz B & A is a particular) -> there is a C such that (C =/= A) &( A
7. A is predicable of B iff ((B izz A) v (B hazz Something that izz A).
8. A is essentially predicable of B iff B izz A.
9. A is accidentally predicable of B iff B hazz something that izz A.
10. A = B iff A izz B & B izz A.
11. A is an individual iff (Nec)(For all B) B izz A -> A izz B
12. A is a particular iff (Nec)(For all B) A is predicable of B -> (A izz
B & B izz A)
13. A is a universal iff (Poss) (There is a B) A is predicable of A & -(A
izz B & B izz A)
14. If A is Some Thing, A is an individual.
15. If A is a Form, A is Some Thing and Universal.
16. A is predicable of B iff (B izz A) v (B hazz Some Thing that Izz A).
17. A is essentially predicable of A.
18. A is accidentally predicable of B -> A =/= B
19. - (A is accidentally predicable of B) -> A =/= B.
20. A is a particular -> A is an individual.
21. A is a particular -> No Thing that is Not Identical with A izz A.
22. No Thing is both particular & a Form.
23. A is a Form -> nothing that is not identical with A izz A.
24. X is a particula -> there is no form B such that A izz B.
25. A is a form -> ((A is predicable of B & A =/= B) -> B hazz A)
26. (A is a form & B is a particular) -> (A is predicable of B iff B hazz
27. (A is particular & B is a universal & predicable of A) -> there is a C
such that (A =/= C & C is essentially predicable of A)
28. If there are particulars, of which universls are predicable, not every
universal is Some Thing.
29. Each universal is Some Thing.
30. If A is a particular, there is no B such that (A =/= B & B is
essentially predicable of A).
31. (A is predicable of B & A =/= B) -> A is accidentally predicable of
Much of Grice's interest here is to analyse Aristotle's casual expression,
'being is said in many ways'. Alert for Grice, "I hope he doesn't mean
_senses_!" (Grice's Modified Occam Razor, do not multiply senses beyond
necessity -- and his account of 'pragmatic ambiguity' in the final section of
"Aristotle on the [alleged] multiplicity of being" PPQ, cited, vol. 69).
J. L. Speranza
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