Sobre os múltiplos sentidos de substância: Nota acerca de Metafísica Z3, 1028b33-34


  • Raphael Zillig Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul



In the opening sentence of Metaphysics Z3, Aristotle contrasts the four main senses in which the word "substance" is usually said with the semantical multiplicity expressed by pleonachōs. The syntax of the sentence makes it clear that the multiplicity resulting from these four main senses is in some respect imperfect in relation to the other one. If pleonachōs is interpreted in its comparative sense, this imperfection is one of degree; hence both multiplicities are of the same nature. If, on the other hand, it is understood in its usual Aristotelian sense, as a synonym of pollachōs, the deficiency becomes one of nature. In this note the second view is held: it is suggested that Aristotle has a peculiar variety of senses in mind when he uses pleonachōs in this sentence, one which cannot be simply attributed to "substance" on the base of the multiplicity resulting from the four reputable senses. According to this suggestion, the former multiplicity is introduced as a control factor for the examination of each proposal included in the latter one. Any proposal for the comprehension of "substance" is to be excluded if it amounts to a distinction between 1) substance as that which exists is in its own right and 2) substance as the essence or nature of that which exists in its own right. These two ways of understanding substance cannot be interpreted as standing for two independent senses of "substance". They are different perspectives of the same thing, and not different senses of the same word. "Substance", therefore, is not to be taken as being pollachōs in this way. Read this way, the contrast expressed at the beginning of Z3 condenses an important part of the strategy for the remaining chapters of Z.


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How to Cite

Zillig, R. (2007). Sobre os múltiplos sentidos de substância: Nota acerca de Metafísica Z3, 1028b33-34. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 1(1), 1-14.



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