Doing and Being: An Interpretation of Aristotle's by Jonathan Beere

By Jonathan Beere

Doing and Being confronts the matter of ways to appreciate crucial recommendations of Aristotle's philosophy: energeia and dunamis. whereas those phrases look ambiguous among actuality/potentiality and activity/capacity, Aristotle didn't intend them to be so. via a cautious and unique examining of Metaphysics Theta, Beere argues that we will resolve the matter through rejecting either "actuality" and "activity" as translations of energeia, and through figuring out an analogical notion of energeia. This process allows Beere to figure a hitherto disregarded connection among Plato's Sophist and Aristotle's Metaphysics Theta, and to offer enjoyable interpretations of the key claims that Aristotle makes in Metaphysics Theta, the declare that energeia is earlier in being to ability (Theta eight) and the declare that any everlasting precept has to be completely sturdy (Theta 9).

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Additional info for Doing and Being: An Interpretation of Aristotle's Metaphysics Theta

Sample text

Thus the notion of energeia allows Aristotle to achieve a ‘one-state’ resolution to the Battle. Plato, through the Eleatic Visitor, advocates a conception of the totality of being on which it is to this extent unified: one part—the heavenly, intelligible, non-bodily part—has being in its own right, and another part—the earthly, perceptible, bodily part—has being in virtue of the other part. The difference between them is radical. They are not only realms of different kinds of beings, but realms of different kinds of being—what it is to have being at all is different.

Is clearly the lectio difficilior, and it is easy to see why a scribe or editor would have written χρησιμωτάτη for it. The reverse corruption is more difficult to explain. The manuscript evidence clearly favors χρησίμη, and thus we should read χρησίμη if we can. But can χρησίμη be construed in a way that is remotely plausible? ” The phrase might refer to what Aristotle now plans to say in book Theta. Clearly the discussion of dunamis kata kin¯esin is useful for that. If it were in no way useful, then it would not be there at all.

8 (2) Still 9 , the ‘capable,’ too, will at the same time be clear to us as we make distinctions [about energeia ], 10 that we call ‘able’ not only that which is naturally such as to change something else or to be changed by something else (whether simply or in a certain way), but also in another way. (3) It is because of this that, in making our inquiry, we discussed these [other senses of capacity] too. 6 1048a25–30) 11 Aristotle here reminds us of the overall strategy proposed in Theta 1. But he also gives us a morsel of further information about why the discussion takes the form it does.

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