I discuss the argument Aristotle ascribes to Parmenides at Physics 186a23-32. I discuss (i) the reasons why Aristotle considers it as eristic and inconclusive and (i) the solution (lusis) Aristotle proposes against it.
Aristotle is said to have held that any kind of actual infinity is impossible. I argue that he was a finitist (or "potentialist") about _magnitude_, but not about _plurality_. He did not deny that there are, or can be, infinitely many things in actuality. If this is right, then it has implications for Aristotle's views about the metaphysics of parts and points.
On Zeno Beach there are infinitely many grains of sand, each half the size of the last. Supposing Aristotle denied the possibility of Zeno Beach, did he have a good argument for the denial? Three arguments, each of ancient origin, are examined: the beach would be infinitely large; the beach would be impossible to walk across; the beach would contain a part equal to the whole, whereas parts must be lesser. It is attempted to show that none of these arguments (...) was Aristotle’s. Indeed, perhaps Aristotle’s finitism applied to magnitude only, not plurality. (shrink)
It is widely known that Aristotle rules out the existence of actual infinities but allows for potential infinities. However, precisely why Aristotle should deny the existence of actual infinities remains somewhat obscure and has received relatively little attention in the secondary literature. In this paper I investigate the motivations of Aristotle’s finitism and offer a careful examination of some of the arguments considered by Aristotle both in favour of and against the existence of actual infinities. I argue that Aristotle has (...) good reason to resist the traditional arguments offered in favour of the existence of the infinite and that, while there is a lacuna in his own ‘logical’ arguments against actual infinities, his arguments against the existence of infinite magnitude and number are valid and more well grounded than commonly supposed. (shrink)
For many centuries, Aristotle's Physics was the essential starting point for anyone who wished to study the natural sciences. This is the first complete translation since 1930 of Aristotle's key work on science. It presents Aristotle's thought accurately, while at the same time simplifying and expanding the often crabbed and elliptical style of the original, so that it is very much easier to read. A lucid introduction and extensive notes explain the general structure of each section of the book, and (...) shed light on particular problems. (shrink)
Bowin begins with an apparent paradox about Aristotelian infinity: Aristotle clearly says that infinity exists only potentially and not actually. However, Aristotle appears to say two different things about the nature of that potential existence. On the one hand, he seems to say that the potentiality is like that of a process that might occur but isn't right now. Aristotle uses the Olympics as an example: they might be occurring, but they aren't just now. On the other hand, Aristotle says (...) that infinity "exists in actuality as a process that is now occurring" (234). Bowin makes clear that Aristotle doesn't explicitly solve this problem, so we are left to work out the best reading we can. His proposed solution is that "infinity must be...a per se accident...of number and magnitude" (250). (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.07.47). (shrink)
Mitä oleva on? Omaisuus ja elämä pureutuu tähän filosofian peruskysymykseen seuraten kahta länsimaisen filosofian jättiläistä, Aristotelestä ja Heideggeria. Siinä missä Aristoteles kysyy olevaa substantiivina ja tilana, etsii Heidegger olemisen mieltä verbinä ja tapahtumana. Nämä kaksi merkitystä löytyvät myös suomen olla-verbistä: "omistaa jotakin" ja "olla olemassa, elossa". Omaisuus ja elämä antavat peruslähtökohdat olevan tulkitsemiselle. Kirja vie lukijansa filosofian kreikkalaisille juurille ja sen uusimpiin, Heideggerin avaamiin mahdollisuuksiin.
Daniel Graham offers a clear, accurate new translation of the eighth book of Aristotle's Physics, accompanied by a careful philosophical commentary to guide the reader towards understanding of this key text in the history of Western thought. It is the culmination of Aristotle's theory of nature: he explains motion in the universe in terms of a single source and regulating principle, a first `unmoved mover'.
This work is a volume in the series Ancient Commentators on Aristotle, edited by Richard Sorabji. The aim of the series is to make the Greek commentaries available in English. Konstan does an admirable job of this. The translation is extremely careful, clear, and readable. Konstan succeeds in staying close to the text without sacrificing intelligibility. Whenever necessary, he inserts words or phrases in brackets to complete the sense of an accurately translated passage. Konstan also makes use of brackets to (...) give precise citations to fill out Simplicius' references. The footnotes, too, are excellent. There the reader finds information about deviations from Diels's text, about alternative readings, and explanations of renderings into English that might be controversial. In the introduction, Sorabji gives a thumbnail sketch of the philosophical issues raised by Physics 6. Several useful documents are appended to the commentary, namely, a list of all departures from Diels's text, an appendix written by the editor providing a brief survey of the ancient Greek commentators, and a list of the philosophers cited by Simplicius with a onesentence description of each. (shrink)