On What There 'Is': Aristotle and the Aztecs on Being and Existence

APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy 18 (1):11-23 (2018)
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A curious feature of Aztec philosophy is that the basic metaphysical question of the “Western” tradition cannot be formulated in their language, in Nahuatl. This did not, however, prevent the Aztecs from developing an account of 'reality', or whatever it is that might exist. The article is the first of its kind to compare the work of Aristotle on ousia (being) and the Aztecs on teotl and ometeotl. Through this analysis, it suggests that both of the Nahuatl terms are fundamental for expressing the basic character of reality as process for the Aztecs. It also defends their notion as prima facia reasonable, despite its wide divergence from Aristotle's view.

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Lynn Sebastian Purcell
State University of New York College at Cortland


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