Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (3):449-469 (2020)

Evan Rodriguez
Idaho State University
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...
Keywords Aristotle  dialectic  first principles  Aristotle's Topics  Aristotle's Analytics  Plato  Plato's Parmenides  Plato's Sophist
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2020.0047
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