Aristotle - The Organon - index for CATEGORIAE Book 1 Part 10

Opposite, contrary, privative, positive

Paragraph 1 The proposed categories have, then, been adequately dealt with.
Paragraph 2 We must next explain the various senses in which the term 'opposite' is used.
Paragraph 3 (i) as correlatives to one another,
Paragraph 4 (ii) as contraries to one another,
Paragraph 5 (iii) as privatives to positives,
Paragraph 6 (iv) as affirmatives to negatives.
Paragraph 7 Let me sketch my meaning in outline.
Paragraph 8 (i) Pairs of opposites which fall under the category of relation are explained by a reference of the one to the other, the reference being indicated by the preposition 'of' or by some other preposition.
Paragraph 9 (ii) Pairs of opposites which are contraries are not in any way interdependent, but are contrary the one to the other.
Paragraph 10 Some intermediate qualities have names, such as grey and sallow and all the other colours that come between white and black;
Paragraph 11 (iii) 'privatives' and 'positives' have reference to the same subject.
Paragraph 12 To be without some faculty or to possess it is not the same as the corresponding 'privative' or 'positive'.
Paragraph 13 To be in a state of 'possession' is, it appears, the opposite of being in a state of 'privation', just as 'positives' and 'privatives' themselves are opposite.
Paragraph 14 That which is affirmed or denied is not itself affirmation or denial.
Paragraph 15 It is evident that 'positives' and 'privatives' are not opposed each to each in the same sense as relatives.
Paragraph 16 That those terms which fall under the heads of 'positives' and 'privatives' are not opposed each to each as contraries, either, is plain from the following facts:
Paragraph 17 In the case of 'positives' and 'privatives', on the other hand, neither of the aforesaid statements holds good.
Paragraph 18 Again, in the case of contraries, it is possible that there should be changes from either into the other, while the subject retains its identity, unless indeed one of the contraries is a constitutive property of that subject, as heat is of fire.
Paragraph 19 (iv) Statements opposed as affirmation and negation belong manifestly to a class which is distinct, for in this case, and in this case only, it is necessary for the one opposite to be true and the other false.
Paragraph 20 At the same time, when the words which enter into opposed statements are contraries, these, more than any other set of opposites, would seem to claim this characteristic.
Paragraph 21 In the case of 'positives' and 'privatives', if the subject does not exist at all, neither proposition is true, but even if the subject exists, it is not always the fact that one is true and the other false.
Paragraph 22 But in the case of affirmation and negation, whether the subject exists or not, one is always false and the other true.

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