O presente artigo tem como objetivo principal esclarecer a concepção da tradição megárica acerca do conceito de capacidade (δύναμις), tal como apresentada no livro Theta da Metafísica de Aristóteles. A análise se faz necessária devido à falta de atenção aristotélica na formulação da tese adversária dos megáricos, pois em nenhum momento Aristóteles parece nos oferecer argumentos plausíveis que justifiquem de maneira adequada a tese de seus oponentes. Partindo desta dificuldade de reconstrução do argumento megárico e visando lhe oferecer uma maior (...) dignidade, o estudo irá, em primeiro lugar, destrinchar possíveis argumentos que sustentem a tese no contexto da referida obra. Em seguida, irá provar que, mesmo a tese megárica não sendo tão facilmente refutável como uma primeira leitura poderia sugerir, há em sua estrutura problemas graves, que se evidenciam diante da concepção aristotélica da capacidade. (shrink)
Many contemporary philosophers hold that comparison requires a common, monistic ‘covering value’, and Aristotle is often described as a forerunner of this view. This paper reconsiders that claim. First, its textual warrant is substantially weaker than has been thought. Philosophically, moreover, Aristotle’s theory of non-synonymous predication allows for comparisons to be made using the special kind of non-synonymous terms that he calls pros hen legomenon, literally those ‘said with reference to a single thing.’ His favourite example is ‘healthy’ as said (...) of food, organisms, and medical procedures: these various senses are not entirely synonymous, yet are not simply unconnected. This has significant implications. Aristotle famously holds that goodness is species-specific, and it would then seem that species cannot be ranked according to how good they are. Yet Aristotle does—frequently—rank species. The paper shows us that he is not, pace other scholars, thereby caught in a contradiction. -/- . (shrink)
In DA I.2–5, Aristotle offers a series of critical discussions of earlier Greek definitions of the soul. The status of these discussions and the role they play in the justification of Aristotle’s theory of soul in DA II–III is controversial. In contrast to a common view, I argue that these discussions are not dialectical but philosophical. I also contend that Aristotle does not consider earlier philosophical definitions of soul to be endoxa, but rather contradoxa – beliefs about which the many (...) and the wise disagree among themselves. Through an analysis of Plato’s and Empedocles’s definitions of soul, I show that these definitions are nevertheless treated by Aristotle as potential scientific principles for explaining two of the soul’s per se attributes: causing motion and cognition in animate bodies. The main role of the critical discussions in DA I.2–5 is to show that all such earlier definitions of soul fail this explanatory task. Nevertheless, I show that these chapters are not wholly aporetic. Aristotle makes progress by solving two scientific puzzles within them: whether the soul has spatial parts, and whether ‘soul’ refers to a uniform entity across biological species. (shrink)
Biology and theology are interdependent theoretical sciences for Aristotle. In prominent discussions of the divine things (the stars and their unmoved movers) Aristotle appeals to the science of living things, and in prominent discussions of the nature of plants and animals Aristotle appeals to the nature of the divine. There is in fact a single continuous series of living things that includes gods, humans, animals, and plants, all of them in a way divine. Aristotle has this continuum of divine beings, (...) and a theory of value that corresponds to it, in mind not only in key parts of his theology and biology, but also in his practical philosophy. Here I call attention to some important texts and attempt to offer a coherent account of them, without being able to enter into the usual interpretive disputes. I begin by clarifying the terms “theology” and “biology” and their place in Aristotle's division of philosophy. Next, I discuss how Aristotle’s theology is informed by his biology, and then how his biology is informed by his theology. I end by discussing some implications of the interdependence of biology and theology for Aristotle’s ethics and exhortation to philosophy. (shrink)
This paper reconstructs the function argument of Aristotle’s Eudemian Ethics 2.1. The argument seeks to define happiness through the method of division; shows that the highest good is better than all four of the goods of the soul, not only two, as commentators have thought; and unlike the Nicomachean argument, makes the highest good definitionally independent of the human function.
Aristotle (384-322 B.C), a well know Greek philosopher, physician, scientist and politician. A variety of identifying researches have been written on him. It is therefore a considerable pride for the researcher to write something about him when even mentioning his name and his father's name is a point of prestige in the Greek Language. His name means the preferable sublimity whereas Nicomachus (his father's name) means the definable negotiator. His father's and mother's origin belongs to Asclepiade, the favorite origin in (...) Greek. Points of view regarding this figure are controversial some praise him and consider him the peak of philosophical thinker which makes humanity in general owe this genius thinker a great deal. Others believe that the effect of his thought on humanity is the reason behind the non-progress of science. Whatever ones opinion is, his thoughts have a wonderful force in stimulating and positively affecting the people's thinking. His philosophy is the greatest philosophy which the world has ever witnessed or which may ever witness., if it couldn’t solve some of the problems of philosophy, it at least, makes the world more rational than before. He is the founder of the philosophical language in describing a large number of philosophical terms which are still in use nowadays. Moreover his books and platonic dialogues are considered encyclopedias in providing a basis for philosophy even before Socrates. For theses among other reasons, I am choosing Aristotle as a subject for research and concentrating on natural philosophy. The critical side deals with the criticism of natural philosophers. In order to fully understand Aristotle, we should understand his predecessors. Their virtue is undeniable. Without them, Aristotle's and Plato's genius would never be in this ideal shape. In addition to that, they are philosophers and scientists who mixes between science, philosophy, morality and politics in a complementary form. They are a source of illumination to the human thinking in general. Without them humanity could never have got rid of mythology. This is the code of life, for many generations should pass before the rare genius could attain a prominent idea. When Tales formulates the philosophical question, where does the world come from? This is a decisive moment in human thinking similar to the coming moments, the one Parmenides, and Protagoras statement: man is the norm for all things. Pre-Socrates philosophers are all considered glowing points in drawing Aristotle's philosophy. Thus my book is entitles (Aristotle's criticism of Pre-Socratic Natural Philosophy) which means the concentration on the critical operation through which the natural side of the previous philosophers appears. The nature of the title forces me to deal with Aristotle's ideas from every point of view. Thus the book proceeds according to structure and criticism and the construction of Aristotle's philosophy. Because the title is comprehensive and limited simultaneously, I have chosen the critical subjects in the lights of the natural philosophy. I have divided the book into four chapters with fourteen sections in addition to the implemented parts included in every section purporting to cover every part of criticism looking for comprehensiveness. I have found it obligatory to mention something about Aristotle's view in criticism, in addition to a precise delimitation of nature and its subjects. This is the subject of the first chapter. The second chapter deals with the principles of natural body, i.e., the principles dealt with pre-Aristotle philosophy and then these three principles (Hyle, form ,and Non-being). After delaminating these sides, it is possible to deal with the details (Movement, Place, Time, Vacuum and Infinite) which are natural concepts for the third chapter. As a complementation to the natural sides, the chapter four deals with two topics , Universal and corruption, and theory of elements. This book, in my own opinion, is comprehensive to the majority of natural philosophers and it focuses on the argument of Aristotle's criticism to the views of natural philosophers before Socrates together with the discussion of the Aristotelian alternative from these points of view. Aristotle sometimes tends to praise the previous philosophers. This does not mean the non-conformity between what he wants to say and what they described. When he, for example, says that the previous philosophers realized the material defect in Thales idea that water is the origin of all things but Thales’ water is not like Aristotle's Hyle, it is completely different thing. Finally I have viewed the index of Arab Library, and was unable to trace a book which is especially oriented in this subject i.e. writings on Aristotle's criticism to natural philosophy before Socrates. Therefore I have been stimulated to write about a very new subject. This subject fills a gap in Arab studies. (shrink)
Aristotle presents four causes in Posterior Analytics 2.11, but where we expect matter we find instead the confusing formula, ‘what things being the case, necessarily this is the case’, and an equally confusing example. Some commentators infer that Aristotle is not referring to matter, others that he is but in a non-standard way. I argue that APo. 94a20-34 presents not matter, but determination by general features or facts, including facts about something’s genus. The closest connection to matter is Aristotle’s view (...) that the relation between genus and species is analogous to that between matter and a hylomorphic compound. (shrink)
In fragments of the lost Protrepticus, preserved in Iamblichus, Aristotle responds to Isocrates’ worries about the excessive demandingness of theoretical philosophy. Contrary to Isocrates, Aristotle holds that such philosophy is generally feasible for human beings. In defense of this claim, Aristotle offers the progress argument, which appeals to early Greek philosophers’ rapid success in attaining exact understanding. In this paper, I explore and evaluate this argument. After making clarificatory exegetical points, I examine the argument’s premises in light of pressing worries (...) that the argument reasonably faces in its immediate intellectual context, the dispute between Isocrates and Aristotle. I also relate the argument to modern concerns about philosophical progress. I contend that the argument withstands these worries, and thereby constitutes a reasonable Aristotelian response to the Isocratean challenge. (shrink)
The definition of soul in De Anima ii 1 is usually thought to be inadequate, since Aristotle ends the chapter by saying the account has been sketched in outline and begins ii 2 by explaining the proper way to define. I argue instead that this is Aristotle’s considered definition of soul. I do so by examining the transitional material between ii 1 and ii 2, explaining the meaning of ‘in outline’ and how the examples of proper definitions that show the (...) cause—squaring in De Anima and thunder from Posterior Analytics—correspond to the definition of soul given in ii 1. (shrink)
Más allá de las críticas de Aristóteles a la noción platónica de participación, existen algunos usos de este término que merecen ser atendidos en la obra aristotélica, en tanto suponen no solo una herencia platónica sino también una resignificación en un plexo conceptual diverso. Este trabajo explora el uso aristotélico de la noción de participación como finalidad no intencional en el argumento que sostiene que uno de los modos de alcanzar la inmortalidad es la procreación, para mostrar cómo se puede (...) compatibilizar la adopción de la terminología platónica de la participación con el entramado causal aristotélico. (shrink)
El objetivo de este trabajo es analizar la relación entre la concepción de la sabiduría y el uso de metáforas lumínicas presentes en los fragmentos 8b y 8c de Sobre la filosofía. Al hacer esto, nos interesa establecer si el uso de esta metáfora responde a la utilización que Aristóteles hace de términos perceptuales en otras obras, como la Física, la Metafísica, Sobre el alma y el Protréptico. El objetivo de este análisis es examinar si, al hacer uso de la (...) metáfora lumínica en estos fragmentos, Aristóteles supone la distinción entre “lo más más conocido en sí” y “lo más conocido para nosotros”, presentada en las obras arriba mencionadas como “lo más claro en sí” y “lo más claro para nosotros”, esto es, en términos perceptuales. (shrink)
how does one inquire into the truth of first principles? Where does one begin when deciding where to begin? Aristotle recognizes a series of difficulties when it comes to understanding the starting points of a scientific or philosophical system, and contemporary scholars have encountered their own difficulties in understanding his response. I will argue that Aristotle was aware of a Platonic solution that can help us uncover his own attitude toward the problem.Aristotle's central problem with first principles arises from the (...) fact that they cannot be demonstrated in the same way as other propositions. Since demonstrations proceed from prior and better-known principles, if the principles themselves were in need of... (shrink)
Once upon a time in the twentieth century, it was considered good sense by some to think that Aristotle began his De anima with a series of very Aristotelian theories about the soul, and that the function of its first book was to eristically taunt his predecessors for failing to appreciate hylomorphism, or patronizingly praise them for getting the odd bit right. Jason Carter deserves our thanks for showing how wrong-headed this reading of Aristotle is. His book begins with the (...) much more sensible assumption that the review of previous δόξαι in DA I plays an important and even constitutive role for theses at the core of Aristotle's theory of soul and living things, prominent among them these two: that the soul... (shrink)
The subject of this paper is the issue of human speech in Aristotle, especially in his work Categories. Its primary goal is to elaborate an interpretation of Aristotle’s statements about human speech as a quantity (Cat. 4b20–b39, 5a15–b2) that would allow them to fit reasonably into the whole of Aristotle’s theory of language. The structure of the paper is as follows. In the first part a certain approach to the question of the reconstruction of Aristotle’s theory of language is proposed. (...) The second part, by means of the introduction of the criteria of separability and ontological priority of the first substance, creates a framework for the subsequent analysis of the two basic classifications, which constitute the main theme of Categories. The third part supplies its own interpretation of the ontological status of human speech in the context of the classification schemes in Categories, and this, in the fourth part, is inserted into the greater whole of Aristotle’s theory of language. (shrink)
Aristotle tells us that the Nicomachean Ethics is an “inquiry” and an “investigation” (μέθοδος and a ζήτησις). This paper focuses on an under-appreciated way that the work is investigative: its employment of an exploratory investigative strategy—that is, its frequent positing of, and later revision or even rejection of, merely preliminary positions. Though this may seem like a small point, this aspect of the work’s methodology has important consequences for how we should read it—specifically, we should be open to the possibility (...) that some contradictions in the text are the result of his employment of this investigative strategy. In the paper, I describe this investigative strategy, discuss what motivates Aristotle to employ it in the work, and go through three contradictions that are plausibly identified as examples of its use—specifically, his claims that courageous people do and do not fear death, that friendship is and is not mutually recognized goodwill, and that virtuous people do and do not choose noble actions for their own sake. (shrink)
The main aim of my paper is to analyse Aristotle’s theory of language in the context of his Physics I.1 and via an analysis and an interpretation of this part of his Physics I try to show that (i) the study of human language (logos) significantly falls within the competence of Aristotle’s physics (i.e. natural philosophy), (ii) we can find the results of such (physical) inquiry in Aristotle’s zoological writings, stated in the forms of the first principles, causes and elements (...) of the human speech (logos) and (iii) the analogies (Phys. 184b13-14) made by Aristotle at the very end of the first chapter make better sense if we consider them in the broader context in which Aristotle recognizes language as a complex natural phenomenon we are born into and which has to be not only biologically, but also socially developed through our lives. Hence, I aim towards a more naturalistic reading of Aristotle’s views on language. (shrink)
This volume is the first in English to provide a full, systematic investigation into Aristotle's criticisms of earlier Greek theories of the soul from the perspective of his theory of scientific explanation. Some interpreters of the De Anima have seen Aristotle's criticisms of Presocratic, Platonic, and other views about the soul as unfair or dialectical, but Jason W. Carter argues that Aristotle's criticisms are in fact a justified attempt to test the adequacy of earlier theories in terms of the theory (...) of scientific knowledge he advances in the Posterior Analytics. Carter proposes a new interpretation of Aristotle's confrontations with earlier psychology, showing how his reception of other Greek philosophers shaped his own hylomorphic psychology and led him to adopt a novel dualist theory of the soul–body relation. His book will be important for students and scholars of Aristotle, ancient Greek psychology, and the history of the mind–body problem. (shrink)
In Physica I,8 Aristotle endeavors to show that a long-term Eleatic puzzle about coming-to-be can be resolved by appealing to his own ontological principles of change (substratum, privation, and form). In this paper, I posit that the key to Aristotle’s resolution lies in the introduction of aspectual distinctions within numerical unities. These distinctions within the terminus a quo and the terminus as quem of coming-to-be made it possible for Aristotle to maintain, while answering the puzzle, that there is no coming-to-be (...) ex nihilo and, at the same time, that the product of coming-to-be is something that did not exist before; i.e. that there is coming-to-be. Finally, I suggest that this resolution could be seen as an interesting case of the application of conceptual tools developed in the Sophistici Elenchi, and I analyze the advantages of this resolution over the Platonic resolution of a similar sort of Eleatic problem. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the role of some peculiar elements of Aristotle's dialectical development —namely, those emerging in the Sophistical Refutations (SE)— in the analysis and discussion of the Eleatic thesis in Physics I, 2-3. The paper adresses some of Aristotle's preliminary thoughts (Phys. I, 2) (which are read as methodological considerations), and some remarks against Melissus' argument (Phys. I, 3), in order to find connections between such claims and passages of SE, as well as the (...) Topics. -/- . (shrink)
This paper focuses on Aristotle’s methodology of science and its application to the study of the human soul. My aim is to contrast two significantly different methodological approaches and to formulate two pairs of premises that Aristotle employs in two clearly differentiated and independent fields of study, namely in his zoological works and in the works of practical philosophy. Acknowledging these principles, as I suggest, may shed a new light on the methodological difficulties that Aristotle indicates in the introductory chapters (...) of his De anima. (shrink)
In the last few years, a new paradigm of the knowledge of the divinity in Aristotle has emerged, affording the possibility of understanding him as efficient cause. In that case, if God is efficient cause and gives rise to teleology, this must have some existential significance for man. We can ask ourselves therefore whether the knowledge of metaphysics can offer some orientation also for ethics. Yet if this were true, the need would arise to deepen the question of how much (...) the gods love men and what would the nature of their relationship be to natural justice. Given that man is born and lives thanks to the divinity, the conclusion is that two consequences follow: a response of religious thanksgiving is needed but also, that since the will of the divinity desires the good for man, the human search for happiness is the same as the fulfillment of the divine law. All this is explained, to a certain extent, in the context of the friendship between man and the divine. (shrink)
Aristotle on Method and Metaphysics is a collection of new and cutting-edge essays by prominent Aristotle scholars and Aristotelian philosophers on themes in ontology, causation, modality, essentialism, the metaphysics of life, natural theology, and scientific and philosophical methodology.
This essay pursues an interpretation of epagôgê in Aristotle in order to challenge the current claims in the scholarship that Aristotle’s method of discovery is, on the one hand, empirical or, on the other hand, a priori. In contrast to these claims, this essay offers a reading of the Analytica in conjunction with the Physics in order to propose the following: if we are to think through Aristotle’s method of discovery, we must first unhinge ourselves from the oppositional paradigm of (...) empirical contra conceptual. Through the example of Aristotle’s inquiry into nature, it is shown that Aristotle’s method of discovery is, at once, one intimately betrothed to “conceptual” (or, more properly, “dialogical”) resources, while also subtended by a comportment itself wakeful and perceptive of the being undergoing inquiry. (shrink)
A fundamental and familiar feature of Aristotle’s natural philosophy is his use of the concept of physis as an explanatory principle of the development and growth of certain kinds of things. Natural things are those that possess within them an original principle of continuous movement towards some completion. Nature is thus said to belong among the causes which are for the sake of something or are purposeful. The concept is crucial, Aristotle argues, if one is to be able to explain (...) the motion and phenomena that constitute life and development in the world. Lacking this concept, as the earlier philosophers did, natural science is seriously incomplete and inadequate. (shrink)
I come not to clarify Aristotle’s defence of the principle of non-contradiction, but to put it in its proper context. I argue that remarks in Metaphysics IV.3 together with the argument of IV.4, 1006a11-31 show that Aristotle practises Plato’s method of dialectic in his defence of PNC. I mean this in the strong sense that he uses the very methodology described in the middle books of the Republic and, I claim, illustrated in such dialogues as Parmenides, Sophist and Theaetetus.
22 page Critical Notice of Herophilus: The Art of Medicine in Early Alexandria by Heinrich von Staden. Sections IV and V deal with the question of Herophilus' views in epistemology and his relation to skepticism.