Aristotelian Accidents

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I argue, firstly, that the accounts of 'accident' in Aristotle's Met. V 30 and in Top. I 5 cannot be used to elucidate each other: the Metaphysics passage tries to disentangle the uses of a Greek word, the Topics passage introduces technical terms for Aristotle's semantics. I then argue that the positive definition in Top. I 5 is to be understood in the following way: X is an accident of Y iff X belongs to Y and if there is a Z such that X can belong to Z and also not belong to Z. Thus, being white is an accident of snow. I finally argue that certain shortcomings in the Topics account lead Aristotle to redefine accident in the Posterior Analytics.
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First archival date: 2020-01-06
Latest version: 2 (2020-01-07)
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