Are Aristotle's energeiai states or events?

In Georg Meggle (ed.), Analyomen 2. Pro­cee­dings of the 2nd Conference „Perspectives in Analytical Philosophy". Berlin: de Gruyter. pp. 369-375 (1997)
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In 'Metaphysics IX.6' (1048b 18-35) Aristotle presents a test to distinguish between "kinesis" and "energeia," based on relations between the perfective and the imperfective aspect of the verb. This passage has been interpreted as drawing a linguistic distinction between classes of verbs (e.g., stative verbs) by means of a linguistic criterion (Ackrill, Graham). But such an interpretation is in conflict with the text. Aristotle's test must, therefore, be understood as a metaphysical criterion between items in the world (rather than lingual items) by means of a metaphysical criterion, exploiting properties of these items. These items are events, and 'Metaphysics IX.6' exhibits Aristotle's awareness to certain topics discussed in modern event ontology.

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Ludger Jansen
PTH Brixen College


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