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This paper is an exploratory investigation of the use of analogy in Aristotle's works. The thesis is that Aristotle's analogia is not simply a classification of terms as certain scholars suggest (e.g., Joseph Owens and Harry Wolfson); that it is rather a more or less precise methodological device that Aristotle uses throughout his writings and indicates certain ontological presuppositions on the part of the Stagirite. We will first investigate the etymological background of analogia, and then consider Aristotle's uses of it. On the basis of these considerations, we will attempt to formulate its ontological and historical significance. Finally, we will pursue some speculations and conclusions that arise out of this study.


Thomas Olshewsky, filling in for Eric Havelock, presented “An Inquiry into Aristotle’s Use of Proportionality” to the Society at its meeting with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in Philadelphia in 1966. A revised version was published as “Aristotle’s Use of Analogia” in Apeiron 2 (1968) 1-10.

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