Download Being, Nature, and Life in Aristotle: Essays in Honor of by James G. Lennox PDF

By James G. Lennox

This quantity of essays explores significant hooked up issues in Aristotle's metaphysics, philosophy of nature, and ethics, particularly issues regarding essence, definition, teleology, task, potentiality, and the top stable. the amount is united by means of the idea that every one facets of Aristotle's paintings have to be studied jointly if anyone of the components of suggestion is to be absolutely understood. a number of the papers have been contributions to a convention on the collage of Pittsburgh entitled 'Being, Nature, and existence in Aristotle', to honor Professor Allan Gotthelf's many contributions to the sphere of old philosophy; a number of are contributions from those that have been invited yet couldn't attend. The participants, all longstanding neighbors of Professor Gotthelf, are one of the such a lot finished students within the box of historical philosophy this present day.

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28 This is meant to show that they perfectly well understand the notion of luck and correctly avoid applying it to familiar purposive processes, yet they misapply it when it comes to the origin of the cosmos. By the close of chapter 6, Aristotle has developed his own account of luck (tuch¯e) and the fortuitous (to automaton),29 which for present purposes I shall not keep distinct. Luck is an accidental moving cause. As I understand him, the lucky outcome always has a per se cause: for example, collecting a debt has as its per se cause the antecedent desire, or need, to collect the debt.

The causal processes of nature make more sense in their own right and exhibit teleology in a higher degree, but the causal processes of craft make more sense to us, because all of us have practised a craft or witnessed one at close quarters. Aristotle therefore uses a miscellany of craft-related examples to demarcate the four causes (Ph. 3), before moving on to their application to nature. In a craft, it is normal for the practitioner to impose some form on pre-existing matter, for example a sculptor on bronze.

In particular, it has been claimed that the doctrine of the Analytics that each science deals with a unique genus (and its proper attributes) is rejected in the Metaphysics. Whether or not this is so, however, it is clear that in the Metaphysics itself, for the reasons just given, Aristotle holds that, as the study of what is qua being, the subject matter of metaphysics does not overlap with that of natural science. It is also arguable that Aristotle there in fact accepts and even argues for the view that like the other sciences metaphysics too deals with its own special genus, so that in this respect metaphysics does not at all depart from this requirement for an autonomous science in the Analytics.

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