Definitional Priority and Definitionally Primary Items

Michail Peramatzis

in Priority in Aristotle's Metaphysics

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588350
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728877 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies Series

Definitional Priority and Definitionally Primary Items

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Chapter 2 sets out the notion of definitional priority as a relation of asymmetric independence in definition. It also examines Aristotle's view of what is definitionally prior to what. In the Metaphysics he insists that form is definitionally prior to matter and compounds: ‘definition is of the universal form’. Chapter 2 disambiguates this claim on the basis of the distinction between universal form as the only proper definiendum and universal form as the ultimate definiens. While matter and compounds can play the role of legitimate definiendum, only form is the fundamental item in terms of which everything else is ultimately defined.

Keywords: definition; definitional priority; asymmetric independence; form; matter; compound; universal; definiens; definiendum

Chapter.  8475 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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