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Apeiron

A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science

Ed. by Wildberg, Christian / Morison, Benjamin

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2156-7093
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Aristotle on the Good of Reproduction

Myrna Gabbe
Published Online: 2019-06-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2018-0040

Abstract

This paper discusses Aristotle’s theory of reproduction: specifically, the good that he thinks organisms attain by reproducing. The aim of this paper is to refute the widespread theory that Aristotle believes plants and animals reproduce for the sake of attenuated immortality. This interpretive claim plays an important role in supporting one leading interpretation of Aristotle’s teleology: the theory that Aristotelian nature is teleologically oriented with a view solely to what benefits individual organisms, and what benefits the organism is its survival and well–being. This paper challenges the theories that Aristotle takes plants and animals to reproduce for the sake of attenuated immortality, and that he believes survival to be the most basic of goods. It is argued that Aristotle believes reproduction is detrimental to organisms’ health and longevity but nonetheless is central to plant and animal flourishing. It is claimed that, to explain the fundamentality of the reproductive soul function, Aristotle appeals to the eternal and divine.

Keywords: final cause; reproduction; nutrition; survival; immortality

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About the article

Published Online: 2019-06-08


Citation Information: Apeiron, ISSN (Online) 2156-7093, ISSN (Print) 0003-6390, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2018-0040.

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