Classical Quarterly 37 (02):382- (1987)

Donald Morrison
Rice University
The topic of degrees of being in Aristotle is almost universally ignored. A very few scholars do discuss the topic or make use of it in passing. This situation mightbe explained by a scholarly consensus that Aristotle did have a doctrine ofdegrees of being, but this doctrine is too uninteresting to be worth much discussion. Conversation with a number of scholars from several countries has convinced me, however, that a rather different consensus lies behind the current silence. It turnsout that many experts in the subject deny that Aristotle believed in degrees of being.No one, to my knowledge, has defended this denial in print. But the reason forsilence is not that the topic is dull, but that it is scandalous. Both defenders andopponents of the view that Aristotle had a doctrine of degrees of being tend, in conversation, to find the topic embarrassing. Our contemporary metaphysical prejudices areso opposed to degrees of being that people find themselves unable to make anysense of such a doctrine. As a result, one group of scholars is embarrassed on Aristotle's behalf at the suggestion that he might have held such a senseless doctrine.Another group, less sure of where the philosophical truth lies, finds itself in theinterpretative embarrassment of being unable to explain and motivate the doctrine. So bothgroups avoid the subject
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800030585
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The Notion of Homonymy, Synonymy, Multivocity, and Pros Hen in Aristotle.Niels Tolkiehn - 2019 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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