Dissertation, Boston College (2013)

Mark Sentesy
Pennsylvania State University
This project sets out to answer the following question: according to Aristotle, what does movement contribute to or change about being? The first part works through the argument for the existence of movement in the Physics. This argument includes distinctive innovations in the structure of being, notably the simultaneous unity and manyness of being: while material and form are one thing, they are two in being. This makes it possible for Aristotle to argue that movement is not intrinsically related to what is not: what comes to be does not emerge from non-being, it comes from something that is in a different sense. The second part turns to the Metaphysics to show that and how the lineage of potency and activity the inquiry into movement. A central problem is that activity or actuality, energeia, does not at first seem to be intrinsically related to a completeness or end, telos. With the unity of different senses of being at stake, Aristotle establishes that it is by showing that activity or actuality is movement most of all, and that movement has and is a complete end. Thus, it is movement that leads Aristotle to conclude that substance and form are energeia, and that unity of being is possible
Keywords Movement  Being  Physics  Metaphysics
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