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Bäck, Allan

Aristotle's Theory of Parts


ISBN: 978-3-88405-567-0

Price: €14.80 (including 19 % tax)


At first glance Aristotle does not make parts and wholes fundamental in his theory: we think rather of substance and accident, matter and form, potentiality and actuality. However, in the course of investigating the structure of substances, he came to make some distinctions about types of parts. These distinctions, coupled with his remarks on parts elsewhere came to form the basis of standard medieval doctrine of parts and wholes and his own account of the structure of substance. In general Aristotle views parts as respects or aspects of objects. In the Sophistical Refutations, he discusses fallacious inferences involving parts and wholes chiefly when he discusses the fallacy of secundum quid ad simpliciter. (On the origin of this fallacy, cf. Plato, Sophist 256 a 11-b 4; 257 a 4-5, and Simplicius, in Phys. 238,22-239,7) Here there is an  inference from asserting a predicate of a subject in a certain respect to asserting it without qualification. He gives the examples: ‘Αn Ethiopian is white with respect to his teeth; therefore an Ethiopian is white’ (167 ...


 


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