The problems involved in understanding the Aristotelian notion of an ἀρχή arise from the widely accepted view that Aristotle’s theory of knowledge is torn between irreconcilable empiricist and rationalist tendencies. I argue that several puzzling features of the Aristotelian ἀρχή are clarified when it is understood as akin to the Urphänomen, which plays a central role in the scientific thought of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. More broadly, I argue that the apparent conflict in Aristotle’s theory of knowledge is resolved by seeing that Aristotle is neither an empiricist, nor a rationalist, but a “rational empiricist” akin to Goethe
Keywords Ancient Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1085-1968
DOI 10.5840/epoche201318119
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