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That the fifteen aporiae to whose exposition Aristotle devotes all of Metaphysics B originate from Platonism is widely accepted. However, the text provides no account of how Aristotle constructed these aporiae, and the exact path by which they developed remains shrouded by our lack of knowledge of Aristotle's contemporaries and of the discussions in Plato's Academy. Book B has been a focal point for various, conflicting accounts of Aristotle's development, for scholars assume that the aporiae presented here are problems that troubled Aristotle and remained unsolved when he wrote Metaphysics B. In this paper I shall present an alternative account of the origin of Aristotle's aporiae.


Edward Halper presented “The Origin of Aristotle’s Metaphysical Aporiai” to the meeting of the Society with the American Philological Association in Washington DC December 29, 1985. A revised version was published in Apeiron 21 (1988) 1-27 and reprinted in John P. Anton & Anthony Preus, eds. 1992. Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Volume V: Aristotle’s Ontology. SUNY Press, 151-176.

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