Priority in Nature or in Substance

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

Priority in Nature or in Substance

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Chapter 8 discusses priority in nature or substance as introduced in Metaphysics Δ.11. It argues that Aristotle's formulation of this notion need not be taken in the existential way in which an item can exist independently of another but not conversely [PIE]. There is a different conception which is theoretically legitimate and will prove useful. Something can be without another thing but not vice‐versa in that the first can be what it essentially is without the second (being what it essentially is), while the converse is not the case [PIB]. This modal formulation could be directly grounded on the non‐modal, essentialist causal notion of making something the (type of) thing that it essentially is (but not vice‐versa).

Keywords: priority in nature; priority in substance; existential priority; modality; essential priority; essentialism; making something what it is

Chapter.  5074 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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