Metaphysics: Books M and N (Clarendon Aristotle Series) by Aristotle, Julia Annas

By Aristotle, Julia Annas

M and N, the final books of the Metaphysics, are Aristotle's purely sustained enterprise into the philosophy of arithmetic. This quantity contains the entire textual content of M and N in addition to one hundred seventy pages of statement that supply a transparent advent for college kids. concentrating on the books' carrying on with philosophical curiosity, Annas offers a useful consultant to this unjustly ignored a part of Aristotle's inspiration.

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Extra info for Metaphysics: Books M and N (Clarendon Aristotle Series)

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We briefly survey all three. The topic begins here with a thought experiment, echoing the experiment of Deduction 2 in which the One itself was conceived in separation from the being that it has (143a). Here we are asked to grasp in imagination (“let’s see as follows” (hōde idōmen) at 158b8) the unlimited multitude of 44 45 Verity Harte (2002) esp. ch. 3, “A New Model of Composition”) has shown that Plato is here escaping from the grip of a conception of the whole as identical with its parts, a conception presented in the Theaetetus as the source of paradox and puzzles.

Deduction 7 continues with this fantastic description of the apparent properties of a world without structure. The masses seem to have a beginning and an end, but “whenever you grasp any bit of them in thought as being a beginning, middle or end, before the beginning another beginning always appears, and after the end another end remains . . So all being that you grasp in thought (dianoia) must, I take it, be chopped up and dispersed, because surely, it would always be grasped as a mass (onkos) without the One .

So all being that you grasp in thought (dianoia) must, I take it, be chopped up and dispersed, because surely, it would always be grasped as a mass (onkos) without the One . . ” (165a7–c3, trans. after Gill-Ryan). The reliance on vision in the thought experiment suggests again that this indefiniteness is related to the world of sense perception, whose deceptiveness is only partially overcome by conceptual thought (noein). The whole picture of a world whose structure is only apparent is presented here in a highly comic spirit.

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