The Nature of Place and the Place of Nature in Plato’s Timaeus and Aristotle’s Physics


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Emma R. Jones
University of Oregon
Abstract
I offer a comparison between Plato’s discussion of χώρα in the Timaeus at 48A–53C and Aristotle’s discussion of τόπος in Physics Book IV, arguing that the two accounts have more in common than has been suggested by Continental scholars. Τόπος and χώρα both signal what I call the impasse of place as the question of that which cannot be reduced to either the sensible or the intelligible, and which grounds such categories. Identifying this impasse reveals Plato’s and Aristotle’s accounts of “place” as strikingly dissimilar from the Newtonian category of Absolute Space; and it also suggests new ways of thinking the relationships between bodies, motion, place and nature.
Keywords Ancient Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1085-1968
DOI epoche20121626
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