Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
In This Section

Apeiron

A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science

Ed. by Wildberg, Christian / Morison, Benjamin

4 Issues per year

Online
ISSN
2156-7093
See all formats and pricing
In This Section
Volume 46, Issue 1 (Jan 2013)

Issues

Aristotle’s Critique of Platonist Mathematical Objects: Two Test Cases from Metaphysics M 2

Emily Katz
  • Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Email:
Published Online: 2013-01-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2012-0012

Abstract

Books M and N of Aristotle’s Metaphysics receive relatively little careful attention. Even the scholars who do give detailed analyses of the arguments in M-N dismiss many of them as hopelessly flawed and biased, and find Aristotle’s critique to be riddled with mistakes and question-begging. This assessment of the quality of Aristotle’s critique of his predecessors (and of the Platonists in particular), is quite widespread. The series of arguments in M 2 (1077a14-b11) that targets separate mathematical objects is the subject of particularly strong criticism by Annas and Ross. Two related arguments in this series (1077a14-20 and 1077a24-31) will serve as cases in point. The principal charges made against these arguments (that Aristotle misunderstands or misrepresents his opponents’ views, and that he engages in question-begging because he presupposes his own metaphysical views) are frequently made against Aristotle’s critique of Platonist positions more generally. Thus if, as I argue, these charges are false for our two test case arguments, then there is good reason to think that they might also be false when they are leveled against the other arguments in this M 2 series. And, although presenting an argument for this is beyond the scope of this paper, I would suggest that these two charges are more often than not false when applied to Aristotle’s critique of Platonist mathematical views in M-N and beyond.

Keywords : Aristotle; Metaphysics; Book M; Book 13; Mathematics

About the article

Published Online: 2013-01-01

Published in Print: 2013-01-01


Citation Information: Apeiron, ISSN (Online) 2156-7093, ISSN (Print) 0003-6390, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2012-0012.

Export Citation

© 2013 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co.. Copyright Clearance Center

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in