Abstract

abstract:

This paper examines Aristotle's discussion of the priority of actuality to potentiality in geometry at Metaphysics Θ9, 1051a21–33. Many scholars have assumed what I call the "geometrical construction" interpretation, according to which his point here concerns the relation between an inquirer's thinking and a geometrical figure. In contrast, I defend what I call the "geometrical analysis" interpretation, according to which it concerns the asymmetrical relation between geometrical propositions in which one is proved by means of the other. His argument as so construed is ultimately based on the asymmetrical relation between the corresponding geometrical facts. Then I explore this ontological priority in geometry by drawing attention to a parallel passage, Posterior Analytics II.11, 94a24–35, where Aristotle explains the relation between the same geometrical propositions in connection to material causation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 371-397
Launched on MUSE
2021-07-22
Open Access
No
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