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|Title: ||Aristotle's essences as subject and actuality|
|Authors: ||Mannick, Paul David|
|Supervisors: ||Kidd, I. G.|
|Issue Date: ||1984|
|Abstract: ||The question which seeks the essence of something,
(ti ēn einai), according to the argument of this thesis,
was fashioned by Aristotle because of ambiguity or
'homonymy' inherent in the nature of universal predicates.
However successful the conceptual analysis of universals
may be as such, their meaning or significance cannot be
fully fixed or determined except as a function of the
subjects to which they are applied. The distinction
between understanding a universal predicate as such and
understanding its application to a particular subject
may be roughly expressed as that between the ability to
recognize the presence of an attribute in a subject and
the knowledge of what the predicate says about the subject.
It is in order to transform knowledge of the first kind
into knowledge of the second that the 'essence-question'
It is shown that the Aristotelian notion of an
essence (to ti ēn einai) is explained through the notions
of a subject (ypokeimenon) and of an actuality (energeia).
Aristotelian 'essences' express the actuality or activity
of a substance conceived from the 'categorical' point of
view as the subject of qualities and universal predicates
in general. An 'essence', insofar as the term applies
to sensible substances, is the being of something as the
subject of qualities and material predicates, i.e.
universal predicates in general. Entailed is the denial
that an essence in Aristotle's sense is constituted by
attributes, characteristics, or universal predicates of
any sort whatsoever. The argument exploits the distinction
drawn by Aristotle on a number of occasions in the
Metaphysics between material substrata of a substance and
the subjects of qualities. The development of the
position hinges on an analysis of matter and form in
terms of the relations of potentiality and actuality
conceived as contemporaneous modes of existence.|
|Appears in Collections:||Classics Theses|
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