Workshop in Ancient Philosophy (Thursday - Week 3, HT19)

Workshop in Ancient Philosophy


'The Aporia of Physics III.3: Aristotle on the Sameness of Action and Affection'
In Physics III.3 Aristotle responds to a problem or puzzle (aporia) his definition of change (kinêsis, metabolê) faces. Commentators, in turn, are puzzled about Aristotle’s supposed solution to it. Briefly put, Aristotle’s solution rests upon claiming that an agent’s action or activity is “one” (mia, hen) and “the same” (to auto) change or affection the patient undergoes. However, spelling out precisely what this relevant form of sameness amounts to turns out to be quite puzzling. This paper suggests a way of reading Aristotle’s proposed solution according to which Aristotle’s arguments only commit him to the claim that different words may refer to the same change or activity, even if they mean different things.


If you would like to join the speaker for dinner after the seminar, please email the chair by Tuesday 29th January.

Workshop in Ancient Philosophy Convenors: Prof Ursula Coope, Dr Karen Margrethe Nielsen, and Dr Luca Castagnoli