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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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The Next Principle’ The Next Principle’ Metaphysics A 3–4, 984b8–985b22

The Next Principle’ The Next Principle’ Metaphysics A 3–4, 984b8–985b22

(p.105) 4 The Next Principle’ Metaphysics A 3–4, 984b8–985b22
Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha

Gâbor Betegh

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the way Aristotle describes in A 3–4 (984b8–985a29) the reasons and motivations, which, on his interpretation, lead his predecessors to introduce a new type of principle that could function as the efficient cause. By bringing in parallel texts from Physics I and On the Parts of Animals I, it is argued that, for Aristotle, the trajectory of the discovery of the truth is after all less deterministic than what the language of Metaphysics A 3 might suggest. The paper aims to show, moreover, that what is discovered is not so much new types of Aristotelian causes but rather distinctions among types of principle.

Keywords:   contraries, Nous/mind, cosmos/cosmic order, final cause, material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, homoiomers, agent causation, Eros, chance and spontaneity, dualism (of principles), atomists

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