Aristotle on Monsters and the Generation of Kinds

In this paper I present an interpretation of a phrase used throughout Aristotle’s Metaphysics: “man begets man.” Basing my interpretation on Aristotle’s account of the generation of animals in general and of monsters (terata) in particular, I argue that the universal genus and the universal species have causal roles to play in the generation of animals. Because the movements in the male sperm of the universal species and the universal genus (though the species and genus do not exist separately) are real, and are actual, not potential, movements, I maintain that the roles of these universals normally precede the further particularization of the developing embryo by the movements in the sperm of the particular father. I show that the roles of the movements of the genus and species are most clear in the case of the generation of monsters. I believe that the often neglected topic of the generation of monsters has important implications for Aristotle’s view of metaphysics and scientific demonstration
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/acpq20037711
 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

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Heidi Northwood (2005). Disobedient Matter. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (2):345-358.
Devin Henry (2006). Aristotle on the Mechanisms of Inheritance. Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):425-455.
John MacFarlane (2000). Aristotle's Definition of Anagnorisis. American Journal of Philology 121 (3):367-383.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

34 ( #95,542 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #147,227 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.