In Theory and Practice in Aristotle's Natural Science. Cambridge, UK: pp. 61-76 (2015)

David Ebrey
Humboldt-University, Berlin
According to most scholars, in the Parts of Animals Aristotle frequently provides explanations in terms of material necessity, as well as explanations in terms of that-for-the-sake-of-which, i.e., final causes. In this paper, I argue that we misunderstand both matter and the way that Aristotle explains things using necessity if we interpret Aristotle as explaining things in terms of material necessity. Aristotle does not use the term “matter” very frequently in his detailed discussions of animal parts; when he does use it, he typically identifies blood as matter. I argue that this is because blood is, for Aristotle, what properly nourishes and grows the other parts of the body and he views nourishment and growth as types of coming-to-be. The second half of the paper turns to necessity as a cause in the Parts of Animals. I argue that in the Parts of Animals Aristotle is not interested in distinguishing between what Aristotle elsewhere treats as very different types of necessity.
Keywords Aristotle  Aristotle's BIology  Blood  Matter
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Four-Eighths Hephaistos: Artifacts and Living Things in Aristotle.Kathrin Koslicki - 1997 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 14 (1):77 - 98.
Necessidade, Teleologia e Hilemorfismo em Aristóteles.Lucas Angioni - 2006 - Cadernos de História E Filosofia da Ciéncia 16 (1):33-57.
Necessitarianism and Teleology in Aristotle's Biology.Robert Friedman - 1986 - Biology and Philosophy 1 (3):355-365.
A Noção Aristotélica de Matéria.Lucas Angioni - 2007 - Cadernos de História E Filosofia da Ciéncia 17 (1):47-90.
Matter and Aristotle’s Material Cause.Christopher Byrne - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):85-111.


Added to PP index

Total views
278 ( #37,884 of 2,498,540 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
20 ( #42,703 of 2,498,540 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes