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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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Platonist Ontological Priority

Platonist Ontological Priority

(p.212) 9 Platonist Ontological Priority
Priority in Aristotle's Metaphysics

Michail Peramatzis

Oxford University Press

Chapter 9 discusses an argument advanced in the Eudemian Ethics, 1217b10–15, which claims that Platonist Forms are thought to be ontologically prior to their perceptible instances. It is shown that Aristotle understands Platonist ontological priority as asymmetric existential independence. Platonist Forms are conceived as ontologically prior to their perceptible instances in that they exist (or can exist) without their perceptible instances existing but not the other way about. If this is correct, Aristotle cannot be favouring the existential construal of ontological priority. Hence, Aristotle's own notion of ontological priority, the one which applies to his substantial forms, must be distinct from the Platonist, existential construal of this notion.

Keywords:   Plato, Platonist Forms, perceptibles, instances of forms, asymmetric independence, existential priority, ontological priority

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