The Next Principle’ The Next Principle’ <i>Metaphysics</i> A 3–4, 984<sup>b</sup>8–985<sup>b</sup>22

Gâbor Betegh

in Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639984
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743337 | DOI:

Series: Symposia Aristotelia

The Next Principle’ The Next Principle’ Metaphysics A 3–4, 984b8–985b22

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This chapter examines the way Aristotle describes in A 3–4 (984b8–985a29) the reasons and motivations, which, on his interpretation, lead his predecessors to introduce a new type of principle that could function as the efficient cause. By bringing in parallel texts from Physics I and On the Parts of Animals I, it is argued that, for Aristotle, the trajectory of the discovery of the truth is after all less deterministic than what the language of Metaphysics A 3 might suggest. The paper aims to show, moreover, that what is discovered is not so much new types of Aristotelian causes but rather distinctions among types of principle.

Keywords: contraries; Nous/mind; cosmos/cosmic order; final cause; material cause; formal cause; efficient cause; homoiomers; agent causation; Eros; chance and spontaneity; dualism (of principles); atomists

Chapter.  18791 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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