Definition and essence in Metaphysics vii 4

Ancient Philosophy 34 (1):75-100 (2014)
Abstract
This paper discusses Aristotle’s notions of essence and definition as they are developed in Metaphysics Z-4, a chapter in which Aristotle seems to hesitate or even to contradict himself about criteria for determining what an essence is. This paper offers a full discussion of Aristotle’s argument and try to show that there is no inconsistency nor hesitation in Aristotle’s approach. Aristotle begins with a more general account of essence and definitions, which is based on merely logical-epistemic requirements, but at 1030a2-17 he introduces a stricter account, which rests on additional criteria concerned with explanatory power of essences and definitions. The two accounts are far from being incompatible with each other. The hierarchy of essences and definitions which Aristotle presents at 1030a17-32 shows that both accounts can be squared with each other. Aristotle’s strategy can be satisfactorily understood from his broader concerns at Metaphysics Z as a whole.
Keywords Definition  Explanation  Essence  Substance  Metaphysics
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DOI 10.5840/ancientphil20143416
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References found in this work BETA
Aristotle on Meaning and Essence.David Charles - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Substance and Predication in Aristotle.A. Lewis Frank - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Aristotle's Metaphysics.S. Marc Cohen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Αριστοτέλης και Χριστιανική Φιλοσοφία.Michael Mantzanas - 2017 - In Apostolos V. Nikolaidis (ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference "Aristotle and Christianity". Athens, Greece: School of Theology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. pp. 219-232.
Paul of Venice on the Definition of Accidents.Luca Gili - 2016 - Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 4:879-890.

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