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Priority in Aristotle's Metaphysics$
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Michail Peramatzis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588350

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588350.001.0001

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Natural Form, Mathematical Form, and Platonist Errors

Natural Form, Mathematical Form, and Platonist Errors

(p.55) 4 Natural Form, Mathematical Form, and Platonist Errors
Priority in Aristotle's Metaphysics

Michail Peramatzis

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 addresses the negative issue of what, in Aristotle's view, natural forms should not be understood as: their essence is not like that of mathematical or Platonist forms. After comparing mathematical with natural forms, Chapter 4 asks how to differentiate between them, and how to determine the types of matter (if any) which are essential to natural forms but not essential to mathematical entities. The contrast between the objects studied by mathematical sciences and those examined by physics suggests that, while mathematical form is essentially independent of all perceptible types of matter (collectively), natural form should not be conceived in this fashion. Not only higher‐level mathematical branches but also applied/subordinate mathematical sciences deal with abstract mathematical forms which are essentially independent of matter, while physics studies forms which are essentially non‐abstract and non‐mathematical.

Keywords:   natural form, mathematical form, Platonism, Platonist form, essence, matter, perceptible matter, physics, abstraction, subordinate sciences, applied sciences

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