David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (2):121-147 (2011)
Central to Aristotle's metaphysics and epistemology is the claim that ‘ aitia ’ – ‘cause’ – is “said in many ways”, i.e., multivocal. Though the importance of the four causes in Aristotle's system cannot be overstated, the nature of his pluralism about aitiai has not been addressed. It is not at all obvious how these modes of causation are related to one another, or why they all deserve a common term. Nor is it clear, in particular, whether the causes are related to one another as species under a single genus, such that there is a univocal definition of ‘ aitia ’ which applies to all of them, or whether Aristotle means to assert that the four causes are homonyms. It is argued here that although there are strong reasons to group the four causes together, there are also powerful considerations on the side of homonymy. It is further argued that the four causes are more closely tied to the ontological theory of categories and predication than is often recognized. As a result, we can reconcile the competing demands of unity and plurality by taking one mode of causation, the formal cause, as basic, and accounting for the other modes with reference to it, in the manner of so-called pros hen homonyms
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nathanael Stein (2012). Causal Necessity in Aristotle. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5):855-879.
Jurgis Brakas (2011). Aristotle's "is Said in Many Ways" and its Relationship to His Homonyms. Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (2):135-159.
J. M. E. Moravcsik (1967). Aristotle. Garden City, N.Y.,Anchor Books.
Julie K. Ward (2008). Aristotle on Homonymy: Dialectic and Science. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2009). Causal Pluralism. In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press. 326--337.
J. M. E. Moravcsik (1968). Aristotle: A Collection of Critical Essays. Melbourne, Macmillan.
Julian Reiss (2009). Causation in the Social Sciences: Evidence, Inference, and Purpose. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (1):20-40.
Christopher John Shields (1999). Order in Multiplicity: Homonymy in the Philosophy of Aristotle. Oxford University Press.
Anton Froeyman & Leen De Vreese (2008). Unravelling the Methodology of Causal Pluralism. Philosophica 81 (1).
Aristotle (1994). Aristotle Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
Anna Marmodoro (2007). The Union of Cause and Effect in Aristotle: Physics III 3. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 32:205-232.
Added to index2011-06-06
Total downloads34 ( #54,044 of 1,099,918 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #33,415 of 1,099,918 )
How can I increase my downloads?