Apeiron 51 (3):279-323 (2018)

Mark Sentesy
Pennsylvania State University
This paper reconstructs the relationship between the now, motion, and number in Aristotle to clarify the nature of the now, and, thereby, the relationship between motion and time. Although it is clear that for Aristotle motion, and, more generally, change, are prior to time, the nature of this priority is not clear. But if time is the number of motion, then the priority of motion can be grasped by examining his theory of number. This paper aims to show that, just as numbers are generated by the soul, time is not presupposed by motion, but emerges through the soul’s articulation of motion. Time is co-constituted by the soul and motion. The now is the key to understanding both the contribution of motion and soul to the being of time. The now is part of the soul’s articulation of motion, and sets the stage for an act that distinguishes a unit from its underlying motion. The now, then, sets up an abstraction by which the soul generates the temporal number from motion. Reconstructing this account of abstraction allows us to formulate more strongly Aristotle’s claim to the ontological dependence of time on motion. The paper then gives a systematic overview of the relationships between the now and number in order to address the question of whether the now might be extended. It closes with an examination of the possibility that motion depends on time, and how universal time is possible.
Keywords Aristotle  abstraction  mathematics  metaphysics  motion  physics  time
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1515/apeiron-2017-0043
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References found in this work BETA

Time Without Change.Sydney Shoemaker - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (12):363-381.
Chronos in Aristotle’s Physics.Chelsea Harry - 2015 - Dordrecht: Springer International Publishing.
Aristotle on Identity and Persistence.John Bowin - 2008 - Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 41 (1):63-88.
Aristotle on Time.Gwilym El Owen - 1976 - In Peter K. Machamer & Robert G. Turnbull (eds.), Motion and Time, Space and Matter. Ohio State University Press. pp. 3-27.

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Citations of this work BETA

Aristotle's Ontology of Change.Mark Sentesy - 2020 - Chicago, IL, USA: Northwestern University Press.

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