Classical Philosophy. Collected Papers: Philosophy Before by Terence H. Irwin

By Terence H. Irwin

First released in 1995. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Aristotle of course gives primacy to living things, and some reasons for his preference will be given in a later chapter. Here, however, I want to focus on what all sortals have in common, namely, that similar particulars are gathered together. That is, while admitting that for Aristotle only some kinds will be natural (with the result that their members are neither said of nor present in a subject), I want in this section to restrict attention to the features of kinds simply in virtue of their being kinds.

1031b28-30) If the thing and its essence are not the same, then its essence must itself be an individual and thus has itself to have an essence, which, because it is not the same as the essence of the thing, is itself another individual, and so on, resulting in regress. Read as an objection to Plato, this argument seems very strange; Aristotle has given us no reason to conclude that a Form and its essence are not identical. But Aristotle uses his argument to lead us to a different conclusion. The argument, he tells us, does not apply to Platonic Forms alone; each primary and self-subsistent thing is one and the same as its essence (1032a4-6; cf.

When Aristotle says in the Physics that only to things to be which is the same do all the 38 SUBSTANCE AND SEPARATION IN ARISTOTLE same properties belong (202bl5-16), his primary concern seems to be to explain away certain cases of referential opacity involving accidental sameness. Whether there are other cases of referential opacity - that is, whether his conditions are sufficient for substitutivity or only necessary - is a question that does not get asked. Yet it may be that it is answered nonetheless in Metaphysics VII 6.

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