Peter Auriol offers no comprehensive treatment of the categories. He did not compose commentaries on Aristotle and Porphyry, or treatises of logic. Nevertheless he develops an original theory of categories in his Sentences Commentary. Polemicizing especially against Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus and Hervaeus Natalis, Auriol follows Simplicius and advocates a linguistic interpretation of the Categories. For him, categories are primarily a collection of simple predicable terms signifying simple and positive concepts, but he acknowledges that one can also propose a metaphysical understanding of them. For the metaphysician, categories are a classification of things and not of terms, and on his understanding only five categories (i.e., Substance, Quantity, Quality, Action, and Passion) are able to pick distinct things of external reality. The logician’s and the metaphysician’s accounts of categories are not irreconcilable, however. Even the other five categories do have some foundation in the extramental world, and this suffices to obtain ten different categorial concepts of things. This allows Auriol to defend the whole extension of the categorial table and propose a procedure for justifying the number of ten categories stated by Aristotle.
Peter Auriol on Categories / Amerini, Fabrizio. - In: DOCUMENTI E STUDI SULLA TRADIZIONE FILOSOFICA MEDIEVALE. - ISSN 1122-5750. - XXV(2014), pp. 493-535.
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