Definition and essence in Metaphysics vii 4

Ancient Philosophy 34 (1):75-100 (2014)
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I discuss Aristotle's treatment of essence and definition in Metaphysics VII.4. I argue that it is coherent and perfectly in accord with its broader context. His discussion in VII.4 offers, on the one hand, minimal criteria for what counts as definition and essence for whatever kind of object, but also, on the other hand, stronger criteria for a primary sort of definition and essence—and thereby it serves the interest of book VII in pointing to the explanatory power of the essence of composite substances.
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