Contradiction, Being, and Meaning in Aristotle’s Metaphysics Gamma

Journal of Ancient Philosophy 16 (1):27-50 (2022)
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This paper focuses on Aristotle’s discussion of PNC in Metaphysics Gamma and argues that the argument operates at three different levels: ontological, doxastic, and semantic through the invocation of three philosophical personae: the first one can only state what is otherwise unprovable, the second one can only confirm that we should trust PNC, the third one denies PNC and must be silenced. Aristotle cannot prove what is beyond proof. This situation results in a fundamental ambiguity in the figure of the philosopher. The Metaphysics is written from the standpoint of an investigative thinker who admits her puzzlement before a question that will forever remain open and imagines another philosopher who has achieved a god-like insight into the first principles of all things. The path from the first figure to the second one, however, remains an enigmatic leap.

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Pascal Massie
Miami University, Ohio

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References found in this work

Aristotle on Non-contradiction.Paula Gottlieb - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On the Principle of Contradiction in Aristotle.Jan Lukasiewicz & Vernon Wedin - 1971 - Review of Metaphysics 24 (3):485 - 509.
His Dearest Enemy. Heraclitus in the Aristotelian Oeuvre.Christof Rapp - 2017 - In Enrica Fantino, Ulrike Muss, Charlotte Schubert & Kurt Sier (eds.), Heraklit Im Kontext. Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 415-438.

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