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Aristotle on Nature, Human Nature and Human Understanding

Mor Segev
From the journal Rhizomata

Abstract:

Aristotle is committed to three propositions which seem to be mutually inconsistent: (1) He thinks that natural phenomena occur either always or for the most part. Natural phenomena, and a fortiori the core properties determining the nature of an entire species, cannot be rarities; (2) He states that theoretical understanding is an essential, dominant component of human nature; (3) He observes that human theoretical understanding is rare. I evaluate possible alternative ways of solving the inconsistency, and show that they all involve considerable difficulties.

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Article Note

An earlier version of this article was presented at the University of Western Michigan in March, 2016. I would like to thank the audience present there for the helpful discussion, and especially Ashley Atkins and James Martin. I am also grateful to Victor Caston, Brad Inwood, and my anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions.

Published Online: 2017-12-6
Published in Print: 2017-12-1

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