Multiplicity and unity of being in Aristotle

Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (2):185–207 (2001)
I. In analytic philosophy, so-called 'univocalism' is the prevailing interpretation of the meaning of terms such as 'being' or 'existence', i.e. the thesis that these terms have only one meaning (see Russell, White, Quine, van Inwagen). But some analytical philosophers, inspired by Aristotle, maintain that 'being' has many senses (Austin, Ryle). II. Aristotle develops an argument in favour of this last thesis, observing that 'being' and 'one' cannot be a single genus, because they are predicated of their differences (Metaph. B 3). III. But 'being' for Aristotle has also a unity, i.e. 'focal meaning', which coincides with substance (Metaph. Γ 2), and substance has not only an ontological priority, but also a logical priority, in respect to the other beings, as was shown by G. E. L. Owen. IV. This 'focal meaning' cannot be identified with primary substance, i.e. with the unmovable mover, as some interpreters pretend, because this latter has only an ontological, not a logical, priority in respect to the world. V. The impossibility of this interpretation results from Aristotle's rejection of an essence and a substance of being (Metaph. B 4), i.e. the rejection of what the Christian philosophers called esse ipsum subsistens
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.0066-7372.2003.00027.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Julie Ward (2009). Aristotelian homonymy. Philosophy Compass 4 (3):575-585.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

86 ( #38,845 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.