Aristotle’s Categoriae, or the Categories, is a comprehensive classification system for every object of human understanding that can be either a subject or a predicate of a proposition. There are ten categories: Substance, Quantity, Qualification, Relative/Relation, Place, Time, Position, State (Condition), Action, and Affection. The first part of this paper will explain each of the categories in the order in which they are presented in the chapters of Categoriae. The second half of the paper will discuss the question of ambiguity in the approach Aristotle uses to both construct and find meaning in these categories. Fr. Joseph Owens examines the use of metaphysical, logical and grammatical ways in which Aristotle presents the categories. Owens observes the benefits and disadvantages of Aristotle’s mixed approach, and questions the usefulness of the system as a whole. This paper will argue that Aristotle successfully uses all three approaches, sometimes separately and sometimes in combination, to create a thorough process for systematizing all objects of human cognition.

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