Aristotle on exceptions to essences in biology

In Benedikt Strobel & Georg Wöhrle (eds.), Angewandte Epistemologie in antiker Philosophie und Wissenschaft, AKAN-Einzelschriften 11. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. pp. 69-92 (2016)

Authors
Petter Sandstad
Universität Rostock
Abstract
Exceptions are often cited as a counterargument against formal causation. Against this I argue that Aristotle explicitly allows for exceptions to essences in his biological writings, and that he has a means of explaining them through formal causation – though this means that he has to slightly elaborate on his general case theory from the Posterior Analytics, by supplementing it with a special case application in the biological writings. Specifically for Aristotle an essential predication need not be a universal predication. Rather an essential predication is where a property belongs essentially to a species or genus. This essential predication serves a causal and explanatory role, and is not dependent on a corresponding universal predication.
Keywords Aristotle  Exceptions  Essences
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References found in this work BETA

Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Aristotle on the Mechanisms of Inheritance.Devin Henry - 2006 - Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):425-455.
Form and Function: A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology.E. S. Russell - 1916 - Journal of the History of Biology 17 (1):151-151.
Some Varieties of Metaphysical Dependence.E. J. Lowe - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Benjamin Schnieder & Alex Steinberg (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Grounding, Supervenience, Response-Dependence. Philosophia. pp. 193-210.
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Citations of this work BETA

The Formal Cause in the Posterior Analytics.Petter Sandstad - 2016 - Filozofski Vestnik 37 (3):7-26.
Essentiality Without Necessity.Petter Sandstad - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):61-78.
The Logical Structure of Socrates’ Expert-Analogies.Petter Sandstad - 2017 - In Alessandro Stavru & Christopher Moore (eds.), Socrates and the Socratic Dialogue. Leiden: Brill. pp. 319-335.

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