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By Stephen Makin

Stephen Makin provides a transparent and actual new translation of an influential and much-discussed a part of Aristotle's philosophical process, observed through an analytical and important statement concentrating on philosophical concerns. In ebook Theta of the Metaphysics Aristotle introduces the thoughts of reality and potentiality--which have been to stay crucial to philosophical research into the fashionable era--and explores the excellence among the particular and the potential.

Part of the Clarendon Aristotle sequence.

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Additional info for Aristotle: Metaphysics Theta: Translated with an Introduction and Commentary

Sample text

Matters are more complex, however. Aristotle does not say simply that a capacity is an origin of change in something else. He says that it is an origin of change in something else or in itself qua something else (Θ1, 1046a 10–11, Θ8, 1049b 6–7), while something’s nature is an origin of change in itself qua itself (Θ8, 1049b 9–10; Phys. 1, 192b 21–7: a nature is an origin of changes in what possesses it non-accidentally). In order to see the significance of these qualifications, consider examples in which we appeal to features of A to explain changes in A.

The changes (treatment) which Candy’s medical skill explains when she treats herself just happen to be changes in Candy; the way in which her medical skill explains the treatment does not appeal to the fact that it occurred in Candy. In this case Candy’s medical skill is an origin of change in Candy but considered as something else, and an origin of change like that is a capacity. Then the second type of case: suppose that food goes into Candy’s mouth, Candy grows as a result, and we explain that by reference to Candy’s physiology.

Substances like these have limited life spans. They come into existence, and are resilient to some changes but vulnerable to others: a dog is born, changes colour and size, but is killed by extreme changes of temperature. And the ways in which animals and plants come into existence and perish are not inexplicable mysteries, but can be explained in natural ways. There is a problem as to how perishable things like these could possibly be substances. It is very appealing to suppose that something which comes into and goes out of existence in naturally explainable ways must have material components.

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