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Physics

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Making Room For Matter, David Ebrey Apr 2012

Making Room For Matter, David Ebrey

The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

Socrates rejects material causes in the Phaedo, in sharp contrast to Aristotle, who gives them a fundamental role in his account of the natural world. Why do they disagree about this? It is sometimes suggested that Socrates rejects material causation because he requires causes to be rational or to be teleological. You might think, then, that Aristotle can have material causes because he does not have any such requirement. In this paper I argue for a different explanation. Plato and Aristotle ultimately disagree about material causation because of a difference in their causal frameworks: Socrates thinks that each change has ...


On The (In)Consistency Of Aristotle's Philosophy Of Time, Tiberiu Popa Apr 2007

On The (In)Consistency Of Aristotle's Philosophy Of Time, Tiberiu Popa

The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

Aristotle’s mind-dependence theory of time is considerably more than an eccentric afterthought formulated in a short passage, as many believe; rather, it is firmly anchored in Physics IV, especially in Ch. 11. A number of formulations that may seem purely epistemic or propaedeutic in nature do in fact have ontological significance, pointing to the fact that time’s existence hinges crucially on our capacity to perceive change. Aristotle seems to be echoed in crucial respects by contemporary theories of time, notably by A. Grünbaum’s.


To Hou Heneka And Continuous Change, Christopher Mirus Dec 2004

To Hou Heneka And Continuous Change, Christopher Mirus

The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

Beginning with Aristotle’s statement in Physics II.2 that motion must be continuous to be for the sake of an end, I argue that properly understood, continuity is actually a sufficient condition for the goal- directedness of any motion in Aristotle’s teleology. I establish this conclusion first for the simple motions discussed in Physics V-VI, and then for complex changes such as the generation and development of a living thing. In both steps of the argument, the notion of καθ’ αυτό agency serves as a key link between continuity and goal-directedness. The understanding of Aristotle’s teleology that ...


A Quarrel Between The Ancients And The Moderns: Aristotle's Realism And Modern Skepticism, Michael Bowler Mar 2004

A Quarrel Between The Ancients And The Moderns: Aristotle's Realism And Modern Skepticism, Michael Bowler

The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

For Aristotle, the object as perceived and the subject as perceiving can only be understood with respect to the activity of perception itself and the unity it brings about between the perceived object and perceiving subject. This is a complex unity that requires further analysis and refinement. This unity is the ground of Aristotle’s “realism” with regard to perception. However, if this unity is dissolved into an external, synthetic connection between two dissimilar things only one of which we have access to, then it is at best problematic and perhaps impossible for us to discover anything about the other ...


Nous As The Ground Of Aristotle's Metaphysics?, John J. Cleary Dec 1993

Nous As The Ground Of Aristotle's Metaphysics?, John J. Cleary

The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

This paper explores the implications of Aristotle's puzzling suggestions that the possibility of first philosophy somehow depends on whether part of the soul is separable from material body. My Conjecture1 is that for Aristotle the science of metaphysics depends on a special activity of nous that grasps die self-identical essences which are objects of first philosophy, as distinct from physics and mathematics. From Aristotle's perspective, of course, it is the existence of such essences that makes metaphysics possible, but it is arguable that without a corresponding mode of cognition this would not be a human science. It is ...


Aristotle's Doctrine Of Elements, L. Shannon Dubose Dec 1974

Aristotle's Doctrine Of Elements, L. Shannon Dubose

The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

In his studies of nature, Aristotle pursues a series of connected inquiries. He elicits a series of sets of elements; none of the steps is abandoned in favor of later ones. Each set of elements discovers primary constituents of an appropriate sort. Substratum, form, and privation are the most fundamental for the study of generable objects.