Are Potency and Actuality Compatible in Aristotle?


Authors
Mark Sentesy
Pennsylvania State University
Abstract
The belief that Aristotle opposes potency (dunamis) to actuality (energeia or entelecheia) has gone untested. This essay defines and distinguishes forms of the Opposition Hypothesis—the Actualization, Privation, and Modal—examining the texts and arguments adduced to support them. Using Aristotle’s own account of opposition, the texts appear instead to show that potency and actuality are compatible, while arguments for their opposition produce intractable problems. Notably, Aristotle’s refutation of the Megarian Identity Hypothesis applies with equal or greater force to the Opposition Hypothesis. For Aristotle, then, potency and actuality are compatible.
Keywords Potency  Actuality  Activity  Aristotle  Metaphysics  Physics  Identity  Difference  Ontology  Movement
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Reprint years 2018
ISBN(s) 1085-1968
DOI 10.5840/epoche20171219102
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References found in this work BETA

Change in Aristotle's Physics 3.Andreas Anagnostopoulos - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 39:33-79.
Substance, Being, and Energeia.Louis Aryeh Kosman - 1984 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 2:121-149.

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Energeia and Dunamis.Stephen Makin - 2012 - In Christopher Shields (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aristotle. Oup Usa. pp. 400.

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