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Aristotle's Physics AlphaSymposium Aristotelicum$
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Katerina Ierodiakonou, Paul Kalligas, and Vassilis Karasmanis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830993

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830993.001.0001

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The Route to Solving the Eleatic Puzzle

The Route to Solving the Eleatic Puzzle

Physics I 8

Chapter:
(p.286) 9 The Route to Solving the Eleatic Puzzle
Source:
Aristotle's Physics Alpha
Author(s):

Mariska Leunissen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198830993.003.0010

This chapter analyses Aristotle’s solution to the infamous ‘old Eleatic problem’ about coming to be and passing away. According to Aristotle, the ‘old philosophers’ got off track due to their inexperience and concluded that since nothing can come to be from what is, since it already is, and since nothing can come to be from what is not, there is no generation at all and also no plurality of things. Aristotle’s solution involves making the right kind of conceptual distinctions, first, in terms of what it means for something to come to be from what is or from what is not qua what it is or qua what it is not, and second, by distinguishing coming to be in an accidental and in an absolute way. Aristotle concludes by solving again the same problem via a different method, namely by distinguishing between coming to be in actuality and in potentiality.

Keywords:   becoming, being, underlying nature, method, Eleatics, actuality, potentiality

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