The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

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The oxymoronic phrase ‘intelligible matter’ occurs three times in Aristotle. In two passages it has the same meaning; in the third the meaning seems radically different. This gives the impression that the Aristotelian language of metaphysics is distressingly slack. This paper argues, against the nearly unanimous voice of two millennia of commentaries, that ‘intelligible matter’ has the same meaning in all three loci. In doing so it develops a capital distinction that tightens up the apparatus of Aristotelian metaphysics.


John Thorp presented “Intelligible Matter in Aristotle” to the Society at its meeting with the Pacific Division in San Francisco in 2010.

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