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Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology$
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Allan Gotthelf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287956.001.0001

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The Place of the Good in Aristotle's Natural Teleology

The Place of the Good in Aristotle's Natural Teleology

Chapter:
(p.45) 2 The Place of the Good in Aristotle's Natural Teleology
Source:
Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology
Author(s):

Allan Gotthelf

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287956.003.0002

The analysis of Aristotle's natural teleology elsewhere in this book makes no defining reference to the good. While natural ends are inevitably good, they need not and should not, as many interpreters think, be defined in terms of the good. NE I appears to define good in terms of end. And a consideration of Aristotle's use of normative or value‐oriented categories of language for ‘that for the sake of which’ — the good, the better, the well, and the divine — shows that they are all to be understood ‘naturalistically’, in terms of the actualization of an ‘irreducible potential for form’, which need not be defined normatively.

Keywords:   Aristotle, teleology, biology, the good, the divine, Parts of Animals

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