Genesis and the priority of activity in Aristotle's metaphysics IX.8

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This paper clarifies the way Aristotle uses generation (γένεσις) to establish the priority of activity (νέργεια) in time and in being. It opens by examining the concept of genetic priority. The argument for priority in beinghood has two parts. The first part is a synthetic argument that accomplishment (τέλος) is the primary kind of source (ρχή), an argument based on the structure of generation. The second part engages three critical objections to the claim that activity could be an accomplishment: (i) activity appears to lack its own structure; (ii) activity is different in kind from the object it accomplishes; and (iii) activity is external to its accomplishment. Aristotle responds to these objections by analyzing the structure of generation. In the course of the argument, Aristotle establishes that beinghood and form are activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Pages43-70
Number of pages28
Edition1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 6 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy
Number1
Volume34
ISSN (Print)1059-986X
ISSN (Electronic)2213-4417

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Classics
  • Philosophy

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    Sentesy, M. (2019). Genesis and the priority of activity in Aristotle's metaphysics IX.8. In Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy (1 ed., pp. 43-70). (Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy; Vol. 34, No. 1). Brill Academic Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1163/22134417-00341P05