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Home arrow Philosophia Contributions to Philosophy arrow Homeomerous and Automerous _From Handbook of Mereology
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Johann Seibt

Homeomerous and Automerous _From Handbook of Mereology


ISBN: 978-3-88405-616-5

Price: €9.80 (including 19 % tax)


The ancient Greek adjective ‘ὁµοιοµερής’ (homoeomerēs) – literally: ‘of like parts’ – and the associated noun ‘ὁµοιοµέρεια’ (homoeoméreia) – literally: ‘likepartedness’ – seem to have their first systematic use in Aristotle. Mourelatos (1998, p.336f) notes, however, that both “occur – probably tendentiously, under the influence of Aristotle’s usage – also in our ancient sources for a pre-Aristotelian philosopher, Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, with reference to the constituent “things” (chremata) involved in the latter’s scheme of universal mixture”. The Greek terms are transliterated into English as 'homoeomerous' (or simplified as 'homeomerous' or even 'homomerous') and 'homoeomery' (or 'homeomereity'), respectively. Aristotle does not offer an explicit definition of homeomereity. But the central elucidations of the term put focus on the synonymy of whole and parts: (H0) A whole is homeomerous just in case its parts “have the same name” as the whole (Parts of Animals, 655 b 23). Homeomereity thus states a semantic relationship between a whole and its parts that is inferentially relevant. Besides this logical sense, the term ‘homeomerous’ also has a complex systematic meaning within Aristotle’s theory of matter – “the homeomerous bodies are made up of the elements, and all the works of nature in turn of the homeomerous bodies as matter” (Meteorology, 389 b 26). Aristotle observes that the kinds of parts of a substance depend on the perspective of division; we can consider an animal as a whole composed of elements (fire, water, earth, air), or as a whole composed of “homeomerous parts”, e.g., “flesh, bone, blood”, or finally as a whole composed of “anhomeomerous parts, viz. face, hand, foot” (Parts of Animals 640 b 20). The focus of the present article …




 





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