Chapter

Aristotle's Concept of Place

Benjamin Morison

in On Location

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780199247912
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199247919.003.0006

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies

 Aristotle's Concept of Place

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Aristotle's final definition of the proper place of something is: the first immobile limit of the surrounding body. Something's surroundings can be specified in a more or less precise way, but everything is surrounded by the universe. The limit at which a body is in contact with its surroundings should be defined with reference to the limit at which the whole universe is in contact with the body; this limit is the body's proper place and can be picked out in a variety of ways. This interpretation solves the traditional problems of the immobile boat on the moving river water, and the rotation of the universe. Aristotle's concept of place is not straightforwardly either an absolute conception of place, or a relative one. He provides the metaphysical underpinning necessary for an understanding of how things are somewhere.

Keywords: absolute place; immobile; limit; proper place; relative place; rotation; somewhere; surroundings; universe

Chapter.  19280 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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