Part of Aristotle’s solution to the puzzle raised by the unity of definition in Metaphysics Z.12 relies on the idea that a differentia presupposes the genus it differentiates. However, when reflecting on the nature of intermediaries between contraries in Metaphysics I.7, Aristotle seems to think that contrary differentiae do not presuppose the genus they differentiate. Given the importance of differentia for defining substances, the existence of a tension in Aristotle’s views about differentia within the Metaphysics is unwelcome. In this paper, I explore different ways to resolve the tension in Aristotle’s views about differentia in Z.12 and I.7.
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Workshop in Ancient Philosophy Convenors: Ursula Coope, Simon Shogry and Luca Castagnoli