Substance, Definition, and Essence

David Charles

in Aristotle on Meaning and Essence

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199256730
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597183 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies

 Substance, Definition, and Essence

Show Summary Details


Aristotle's approach to the definition of composite substances in the central books of the Metaphysics follows the explanation‐involving pattern set out in the Posterior Analytics. The definition of such substances draws on resources based in his account of teleological causation The relevant Forms provide the basis of answers to both the questions, ‘What is F?’ and ‘Why is F as it is?’. Neither question can be answered satisfactorily in isolation. Aristotle's explanation‐involving account of definition is seen to be at work throughout his discussion in the central books of Metaphysics.

Keywords: actuality; Aristotle; definition; explanation; Form; interdependency; Metaphysics; potentiality; substance

Chapter.  18351 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.