Natural Form, Mathematical Form, and Platonist Errors

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

Natural Form, Mathematical Form, and Platonist Errors

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Chapter 4 addresses the negative issue of what, in Aristotle's view, natural forms should not be understood as: their essence is not like that of mathematical or Platonist forms. After comparing mathematical with natural forms, Chapter 4 asks how to differentiate between them, and how to determine the types of matter (if any) which are essential to natural forms but not essential to mathematical entities. The contrast between the objects studied by mathematical sciences and those examined by physics suggests that, while mathematical form is essentially independent of all perceptible types of matter (collectively), natural form should not be conceived in this fashion. Not only higher‐level mathematical branches but also applied/subordinate mathematical sciences deal with abstract mathematical forms which are essentially independent of matter, while physics studies forms which are essentially non‐abstract and non‐mathematical.

Keywords: natural form; mathematical form; Platonism; Platonist form; essence; matter; perceptible matter; physics; abstraction; subordinate sciences; applied sciences

Chapter.  20458 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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