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Aristotle's Metaphysics AlphaSymposium Aristotelicum$
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Carlos Steel and Oliver Primavesi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639984.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

The Doctrine of Forms under Critique

The Doctrine of Forms under Critique


Metaphysics A 9, 991b9–993a10

(p.297) 10 The Doctrine of Forms under Critique
Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha

Michel Crubellier

Oxford University Press

The second part of Chapter 9 has no exact parallel in Book M, but its subject-matter, as well as many of its arguments, may be found in Books M and N. Moreover, there is no real cut at 991b8-9, and the discussion is continuous. Chapter 9 as a whole is constituted by a list of objections, some of them stated in a very compressed way, to the theory of Forms. These objections seem to have belonged to a comprehensive context of discussions and perplexities about the doctrine of Forms (although this is not crucial for the understanding of each arguments, it is assumed here that the particular state of the doctrine which is discussed in this chapter was Plato's own one). The first subsection of this section considers the problems raised by the concept of Forms as causes, more specifically in relation to the notion that they were, in some way or other, mathematical or quasi-mathematical objects. At lines 992a24 - b18, an intermediary conclusion recapitulates all the difficulties created by the causality of Forms. The very last part of the chapter turns on the general notion of a universal science, in relation to the beginnning of Book A as well as to the theory of science that we know from the Posterior Analytics.

Keywords:   Academy - causality and explanation - doctrine of Forms - (philosophy, of) mathematics - mathematical objects - metaphysics (or ‘wisdom’ or, ‘first philosophy’) - Plato - science – Speusippus

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