Christopher Shields

in Order in Multiplicity

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253074
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598401 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies


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Shields argues that Aristotle is correct to argue for application of the homonymy to goodness, although it is only a partial success, as certain of Aristotle's arguments to this end are not good. Shields places Aristotle's discussion of the homonymy of goodness into its proper context, which is as an anti‐Platonic manoeuvre.

Shields examines Aristotle's argument for the homonymy of goodness in Nicomachean Ethics 6, and also some interpretations of it, and he denies that it can be successfully defended, since it fails to establish non‐univocity. Other arguments are more successful while only establishing non‐univocity; in fact, Aristotle fails to offer a compelling argument for the thesis that goodness is a core‐dependent homonym. However, Shields draws on Aquinas's argument for the homonymy of goodness, and since Aristotle holds premises analogous to those of Aquinas's argument, we may attribute to Aristotle the homonymy of goodness, but in a more limited sense than is usually thought to be the case.

Keywords: anti‐Platonic; Aquinas; core‐dependent homonym; goodness; homonymy; non‐univocity

Chapter.  9460 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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