80 The Present Progressive Periphrasis and the Metaphysics of Aristotle R. ALLAN COBB he thesisl which I wish to argue in this paper is that Aristotle introduces for the first time in the history of the Greek language the progressive sense for the present periphrasis in order to establish a new metaphysical theory, and furthermore, that this grammatical innovation was indeed necessary in order to express this theory in a plausible fashion as it applies to crucial examples. The theory is that what a thing is, or more accurately what a thing is in itself, is determined by members of all ten categories, but only in a primary way in relation to the category of substance and in secondary ways in relation to the other categories. In other words, in answer to the question "What is it (in itself)?", one may correctly say "a man" or "an animal" and thus say what it is (in itself) primarily, but in addition, one may say that it is white, three feet high, or walking, and thus say what it is (in itself) secondarily. (The crucial examples in question are those of the continuous action of an agent going on at
Phronesis – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1973
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