(Greek ousia = substance, being)

(1) The pre-Socratics noticed that appearances change and, thus, asked what exactly the changing thing "really" was. Their answer was substance, i.e. that which stands under the changes and is the actually existing thing whose various appearances are being seen.

(2) That which is signified by a proper name, e.g. Napoleon. As opposed to a universal, which is signified by an adjective or a class name, e.g. human or cat.
Categories: metaphysics aristotle

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