We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Aristotle's Categories?

Niki Acker
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Aristotle's Categories are taken from a section of his work on logic, Organon, entitled Categories. The works of Aristotle, a philosopher of Ancient Greece, were extremely influential on the development of Western philosophy and science for centuries after he lived. Aristotle's Categories deal with the nature of any given part of a proposition, a statement that can be proven either true or false. Therefore, Aristotle's Categories are an integral part of the study of Aristotelian logic.

Aristotle's Categories are ten in number and can be used to identify both the subject and the predicate of a proposition. The predicate is that which can be proven true or false about the subject. In the sentence "All men are mortal," for example, "All men" is the subject and "are mortal" is the predicate.

The first of Aristotle's Categories is Substance. This is both the most complex and the most controversial of the Categories. Put simply, substance is that which exists in and of itself. All of the other categories say something about the substance, but the substance itself can stand alone. Some modern philosophy rejects this definition of substance.

The second of Aristotle's Categories is Quantity. This refers to the physical size of something and is the basis for much later mathematical thought. Nearly any concept that is physical in nature and can be measured in numbers would fall into the quantity category, such as descriptions of height, weight, and width.

Aristotle's third category is Quality. This describes the inherent nature of an object. Quality also includes physical descriptions, but only those that cannot be described mathematically.

The fourth of Aristotle's Categories is Relation, which describes how one object relates to another. The relation of one thing to another may be that of cause and effect, or that of equivalence, for example. Things can also be related physically, such as one being smaller than the other, or temporally, such as one being earlier than the other.

Aristotle's fifth category is Place. This refers to the object's physical position in the environment, or its location. The sixth is Time, or the object's temporal position, either in relation to certain events or in relation to any timekeeping system.

The seventh of Aristotle's Categories is Position. This refers specifically to the position of different parts of the object in relation to each other, and may be better understood by some as "pose" or "posture." The eighth is State. This is an ongoing but not an inherent attribute of the object. Whereas an adjective like "light-hearted" may fall into the quality category, one like "sleeping" would be classified as a state.

Aristotle's ninth category is Action, referring to how changes to an object affects something else. Conversely, the tenth category is Passion or Affection, regarding the changes that something else has on the object.

Every part of a verifiable statement, or proposition, falls into one, and only one, of these categories, according to Aristotle. Here is an example sentence with the pertinent categories in parentheses: The shy (quality), five-foot-two (quantity) girl (substance) reclined (position) beside her sister (relation) in her backyard (place) that afternoon (time), pleased (affection) with the strawberries she ate (action), but bored (state).

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker , Writer
"In addition to her role as a Language & Humanities editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "

Discussion Comments

Niki Acker

Niki Acker


"In addition to her role as a Language & Humanities editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide...
Learn more
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.