Uses of Aporia in Aristotle’s Natural Science, a Case Study: Generation of Animals

In The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy (2017)
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Abstract
This chapter is an examination of the way aporiai are employed in Aristotle’s scientific account of animal reproduction, and how they are resolved. I argue that – surprising as it may be, given what Aristotle says in Metaphysics B about the importance of going through aporiai – there seems to be nothing of much significance about his use of them, at least if we assume that genuine cases of aporiai are being tracked by use of aporia-language. I demonstrate this negative thesis by systematically going through the examples. There seems to be no common purpose for which they are raised, they have no single type of structure, and they are not caused by any one sort of difficulty.
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Archival date: 2019-03-16
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