In the categories, Aristotle makes a distinction between primary and secondary substances, claiming the former to be substances most fully, the latter consisting of the species and genus of the primary substance being considered. Though this distinction often appears in Aristotle’s texts to be much more complicated than the distinction here posited, this might be the most useful of his distinctions in regard to substance. For it can be applied to all of his other distinctions because primary substance is the foundation of reality itself, thus it has a relationship of some sort with everything known to man. Without the existence of primary substance, secondary substances as well as anything said of them could not exist. Essentially, primary substance is the most basic in its conception, and serves to be the foundation for anything said of substance, both in particular and universally.
Aristotle uses the examples “individual man”, “man”, and “animal” as examples serving to represent primary substance, species and genus respectively. In regard to subjects, the other things are either said of the primary substance in question, or are in that primary substance: animal, for instance, is predicated of both man, and individual man; for if it is not predicated of individual man, it is not predicated of man in general either. As for species and genus, the species (man, in this example) is more of a substance than its genus (in this case, animal), as the species is more closely related to primary substance (individual man) than its genus is. However, nothing else is said to be substance besides what has been mentioned: for the species and genus serve to explicate the primary substance being evaluated, though nothing besides these speaks for the primary substance in the same way; as such, species and genus can also be understood to be substances, as opposed to what is excluded from the trifecta.
In Ian Constantine’s Philosophy of Substance: An Historical Perspective,
Look! Look at how much I’ve written! I’m soooooo good at Aristotle. Substance is my bitch. It’s here, it’s there, it’s everywhere. What more needs to be said about substance? Anything more only muddles understanding. Distinctions make things confusing. Why can’t we accept that what is, is, and leave it be? Why must we analyze? Why must we look “deeper”? What does it really do for us? Has Aristotle given us the cure for global warming? War crimes? Racism? Poverty? And even if he has, would anyone care? Would anyone understand what he has to say? If I put enough effort in, not only to understand, but to be able to represent his lines of logic with an unprecedented amount of accuracy, what would it do for the world? Seriously? Why am I trying so hard to understand this shit? NOBODY CARES. NOBODY WILLL EVER CARE. I’VE WASTED OVER THREE YEARS TRYING TO CONVINCE MYSELF THAT ONE DAY SOMEONE WILL CARE LIKE I DO ABOUT THIS BULLSHIT, BUT THEY WON’T, AND I KNOW IT AS WELL AS YOU DO, YOU POMPOUS PUFFERFISH. I’VE GIVEN AN ARISTOTLE BOOK TO ONE OF MY FRIENDS, AND I CAN GUARANTEE YOU HE HASN’T READ A WORD OF THE FUCKING BOOK. NONE OF THIS SHIT RELATES TO LIFE, NO MATTER HOW PERSISTENTLY THEIR AUTHORS INSIST IT MIGHT. Maybe it did 2000 years ago, but that was 2000 years ago, and I’ll never be a part of that society. I’m a part of this society, the dumb ones, the ones who just want to get their days at work over with so that they can attempt to intoxicate themselves to death for a couple days before the cycle reintroduces itself. Substance? Really? Today, substance is illegal substance. Any other substance is irrelevant. Or consumer substance. Or some other substance, but definitely not primary substance. That shit is extinct. Nobody gives a shit about primary substance, secondary substance, subject, categories, matter, form, compound-matter-form, potentiality-actuality relationships, motion-time relationships, or the role of fucking form in god damn production. Where will a greater understanding of Aristotelian concepts bring me? To a higher scholarly rank? What good does that do me nowadays? It’s all dialectical bullshit these days anyways. Nobody makes sense, they are just persuasive; and the more people they are able to persuade, the more they are convinced that they have succeeded. An unmoved, everlasting mover? Really? Good luck making that mean anything to the general public. Just a compilation of hours encompassing wasted effort. How’s that for substance?
Nobody will even read this. GIFs, youtube, twitter and porn have engulfed the minds of young adults everywhere. Fare the well.