The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

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My discussion is divided into six sections. In the first I provide some background to the form-in-matter problem in Aristotle; the second focusses on Alexander's solution to the problem; in the third, we consider Plotinus' contribution; in the fourth, there's brief treatment of the problem by the commentators on the Categories; and finally in the fifth section I look at what I call the 'Lucius problem' - this pertains directly to the substantial qualities doctrine, and it reveals, I suggest, how Alexander's way of solving the form-in-matter problem contributes to the breakdown of Aristotelian categories. In the sixth section I suggest how the two issues are connected.


John Ellis presented “Alexander and the Breakdown of Aristotle’s Categories” to the Society at its meeting with the Eastern Division in Washington DC, December 1992. A revised version was published as "Alexander's Defense of Aristotle's Categories" in Phronesis 39.1 (1994) 69-89. That version is available on JSOR.

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