Elenchos 32 (1):21-54 (2011)

Gabriela Rossi
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
In this paper I address some aspects of the discussion of Aristotle against materialism. I take as a starting point the inaugural sentence of Phys. 2.4, where Aristotle refers to the endoxon that there are things which are (einai), and things which become or are generated (gignesthai) by chance. In the first place, I show that Aristotle would have ascribed to the materialists (especially Empedocles) the opinion that things like animals and plants can be (and not only become) by chance. I shall argue that, in fact, this thesis implies that it is not only the compound that is generated, but also the form or eidos of the living being. To this extent, I propose that there are strong reasons for Aristotle to reject that living beings may be by chance, and to circumscribe chance to that which becomes or is generated. In other words: chance can occur within processes of generation but has nothing to do with the causes and principles of those processes. Thus, this repositioning of chance within the sole field of what becomes is closely connected to the causal priority of the eidos in the processes of generation.
Keywords Aristotle  Chance  Materialism  Natural Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/elen-2011-320102
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

La concepción del mundo como un problema de sentido" Azar, carácter y destino".Víctor Granado Almena - 2010 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 43:233-250.
Sherrington.Larry Azar - 1986 - Philosophia 16 (2):249-254.
The Elusive One.Larry Azar - 1967 - Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 16:104-115.
Darwinism Defended.Larry Azar - 1986 - New Scholasticism 60 (2):232-235.
Esse in the Philosophy of Whitehead.Larry Azar - 1963 - New Scholasticism 37 (4):462-471.
Whitehead: Challenging a Challenge.Larry Azar - 1966 - The Thomist 30 (1):80-87.
Orden, desorden, azar.Je Bolzan & Ol Larre - 1994 - Sapientia 49 (193-94):327-336.
Life, Atoms, Chance.Larry Azar - 1969 - New Scholasticism 43 (1):185-187.
Philosophy Today. By L. Azar and F. Centore.Lee C. Rice - 1969 - Modern Schoolman 46 (4):382-383.
Heredity Versus Evolution.Larry Azar - 1971 - Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 20:152-165.
From Aristotle to Darwin and Back Again.Larry Azar - 1986 - Philosophical Studies 31:442-443.
Los enigmas del azar.Nicholas Rescher - 1999 - A Parte Rei 5:2.


Added to PP index

Total views
169 ( #51,165 of 2,330,440 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #48,511 of 2,330,440 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes