El azar segun Aristoteles: estructuras de la causalidad accidental en los procesos naturales y en la accion

Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag (2011)
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This work is the first monograph devoted to the interpretation of Aristotle’s theory of chance in Physics II 4-6 and its implications and projections in other treatises, including an original and comprehensive account of the Aristotelian conception of chance, of accidental causality in the realm of nature, and of accidental causality in the realm of human action. One of the main interpretative issues around Aristotle’s discussion of chance is its relation to the four causes and to teleology. In this sense, it is particularly difficult to find the common features which fortune (tyche) and spontaneity (automaton) share. This work, offers such an interpretation of Aristotle’s general concept of chance (i.e. common to fortune and spontaneity), which shows clearly its relation with his theory of causality (Phys. II 3), with teleology, and with the application of this theory to the study of nature. It also shows how fortune and spontaneity can be interpreted consistently with this general characterization of chance, and how the specific differences between them can be accounted for paying attention to the different structures of causality in the realm of nature and in the realm of human action. Regarding the specific concept of spontaneity (automaton), a crux interpretum, the book offers one of the few independent discussions this issue in Aristotelian literature, and proposes a sub-classification in two kinds of spontaneity based on an analysis of Aristotle’s different examples and characterizations: ‘mixed spontaneity’ (which shares some features with fortune), and ‘pure spontaneity’ (which takes place strictly in the realm of nature). These different structures had not been recognized in specialized literature before. The problem of chance has projections into Aristotle’s natural philosophy, as well as into Aristotle’s theory of action and practical philosophy. This ample perspective of Aristotle’s work, and of the different explanatory models and ontological structures therein involved, constitutes an interesting groundwork for future developments in some or many of these realms of investigation.



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Gabriela Rossi
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Citations of this work

La excepción y la regla. Monstruosidades y anomalías en los comienzos de la Modernidad.Silvia Manzo - 2021 - In Carolina J. Fernández & Mariano Pérez Carrasco (eds.), Per philosophica documenta. Estudios en honor de Francisco Bertelloni. Buenos Aires, CABA, Argentina: pp. 261-294.
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