Capacity and Potentiality: Aristotle’s Metaphysics Θ.6–7 from the Perspective of the De Anima

Topoi 31 (2):209-220 (2012)

Authors
Thomas Johansen
University of Oslo
Abstract
The notion of a capacity in the sense of a power to bring about or undergo change plays a key role in Aristotle’s theories about the natural world. However, in Metaphysics Θ Aristotle also extends ‘ capacity ’, and the corresponding concept of ‘activity’, to cases where we want to say that something is in capacity, or in activity, such and such but not, or not directly, in virtue of being capable of initiating or undergoing change. This paper seeks to clarify and confirm a certain view of how Aristotle wishes us to see the relationship between the two uses of ‘ capacity ’ and ‘activity’. To that end, I consider also Aristotle’s employment of the terms in the De Anima, which sheds light on the key examples which direct the discussion in Metaph. Θ
Keywords Capacity  Activity  Fulfilment  Change  Body-soul relationship  Instrument  Teleology
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-011-9115-6
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References found in this work BETA

De Anima II 5.Myles F. Burnyeat - 2002 - Phronesis 47 (1):28-90.
The Assimilation of Sense to Sense-Object in Aristotle.Hendrik Lorenz - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 33:179-220.
De Anima II 5.M. F. Burnyeat - 2002 - Phronesis 47 (1):28 - 90.

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