Chapter

Second thoughts on some Presocratics Second thoughts on some Presocratics Metaphysics A 8, 989<sup>a</sup>18–990<sup>a</sup>32

Oliver Primavesi

in Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639984
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743337 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639984.003.0008

Series: Symposia Aristotelia

Second thoughts on some Presocratics Second thoughts on some Presocratics Metaphysics A 8, 989a18–990a32

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In chapter A 8, Aristotle looks once more into the theories of Empedocles, Anaxagoras and the so-called Pythagoreans, this time in order to evaluate their views on principles for his own search for wisdom. In the case of Empedocles, Aristotle acknowledges the realization of both the material and the moving cause but he criticises the division of the former into four elements and of the latter into the two forces of love and strife. Although Anaxagoras theory about a primal mixture appears to be untenable, the opposition between nous and mixture contains a potential modernity that foreshadows Plato's theory of principles. The so-called Pythagoreans, on the one hand, correctly include intelligible causes into their theory, but, on the other, apply them insufficiently.

Keywords: Presocratics; Aristotle on Empedocles; Aristotle on Anaxagoras; Aristotle on the Pythagoreans

Chapter.  18097 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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