On the Essence of Substance as the Individual: Aristotle and Tanabe


Hajime Tanabe, the Kyoto- School philosopher of modern Japan, attempts to interpret Aristotle's ontology as being involved in the logic of self-identical being without self-negative conversion in action from his own dialectical perspective. For Tanabe, the eternal essence or Form is to be mediated by the dynamic character of matter, i.e., the temporality pertinent to the changing movement. For Aristotle, however, the essence or pure activity as the principle of being is devoid of such a dynamic mediation, but is rather regarded as the past being, i.e., what it should be originally and eternally. In other words, for Aristotle, evil and matter are the lacks of goodness and the eternal Form that are identical with the essence of the individual substance. Evil is to be self-negatively mediated to goodness in free action through conversion in Tanabe's perspective. Movement pertaining to matter is not simply an incompletion of pure activity, but is rather self-negatively converted into the activity as the transcendent principle of the dialectical unification of time and eternity, matter and Form, evil and Goodness. The individual existence has freedom to unify the self-contradistinctive opposed moments, i.e., subjective action and objective being in a way of mutually negating conversion. The difference between Tanabe and Aristotle lies in that for Tanabe practice is relevant to the future, whereas for Aristotle contemplation is concerned with eternity as invariable and imperishable being since the past. While Aristotle's logic is confined to the self-identity of being in contemplation, Tanabe's logic is structured by the triadic elements of individuality, species as the relative universal, and genus as the absolute universal in terms of the negative conversion in action.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

13 (#775,530)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

On the Essence of Substance as the Individual.Makoto Ozaki - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 7:185-189.
The Historical Origins of the Philosophies of Nishida and Tanabe.Makoto Ozaki - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 8:201-207.
Aristotle on the Identity of Substance and Essence.Edwin Hartman - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (4):545-561.
Individual and Essence in Aristotle's Metaphysics.S. Marc Cohen - 1978 - Paideia (Special Aristotle Edition):75-85.
Issues in Aristotelian Essentialism.Angela F. Curran - 1992 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations