A Noção Aristotélica de Matéria

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I discuss some of Aristotle’s scattered remarks from which one can construct his conception of matter. Aristotle seems to oscillate between two conceptions: one in which matter is the principle of becoming, another in which matter is a constituent element with no contribution for processes of becoming. Sometimes Aristotle takes matter as a thing independent in itself, and the correlated form is a feature that does not contribute to the matter’s essence, nor is a necessary condition for its existence. But sometimes Aristotle takes matter as a constituent element the existence of which depends on the whole thing it is the matter of. These different approaches to matter seem to suggest an inconsistent theory of matter. However, I argue that, quite to the contrary, Aristotle has a consistent theory about matter. One of my main points is to distinguish contexts in which Aristotle is indeed talking about matter in general from contexts in which he uses the term “matter” to refer to a given thing that was previously taken as matter and to talk about that thing not qua matter, but qua the thing it is.
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Archival date: 2013-12-07
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