What really characterizes explananda: Prior Analytics I.30

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In Prior Analytics I.30, Aristotle seems too much optmistic about finding out the principles of sciences. For he seems to say that, if our empirical collection of facts in a given domain is exhaustive or sufficient, it will be easy for us to find out the explanatory principles in the domain. However, there is a distance between collecting facts and finding out the explanatory principles in a given domain. In this paper, I discuss how the key expression in the sentence at 46a25 should be interpreted: “the true characteristics of things” (“τῶν ἀληθῶς ὑπαρχόντων τοῖς πράγμασιν”). I argue that, on a more accurate interpretation of the expression, Aristotle’s point would cease to look like a piece of naïve or even silly optimism.
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Archival date: 2020-04-19
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