The Continuity of Substantial Change in Aristotle´s Physics

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The Continuity of Substantial Change in Aristotle´s Physics

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Title: The Continuity of Substantial Change in Aristotle´s Physics
Author: De Ribera Martin, Ignacio
Abstract: In the Aristotelian sublunary world, in which substances are composites of matter and form, subject to change and in time, nature reveals itself as the internal and primary principle of all kinds of natural change. In living animals, this principle is the soul. Aristotle regards substantial change (generation and corruption) as one of the kinds of natural change. Despite their specificity, Aristotle presents all kinds of change as having some general common features: all changes are from something to something, in time, and continuous. The dissertation addresses whether and how substantial change can be continuous, providing a comprehensive account, addressing important issues raised against the continuity of substantial change, and offering a new and illuminating synthesis between Aristotle's theoretical account of generation in the Physics and his biological account in the Generation of Animals. The dissertation thus fills a lacuna in contemporary Aristotelian scholarship.The dissertation begins discussing the unity between Aristotle's science and his philosophy of nature, and locating substantial change as one kind of natural change. After briefly describing Aristotle's view of the process of generation, the dissertation explains the two key marks of continuity (divisibility and unity) and their implications for the understanding of the incomplete nature of a change. It also addresses some difficulties raised by Aristotle's account of continuity that are common to any change.Finally, the dissertation focuses on the explanation of the continuity of generation in particular, putting together Aristotle's `philosophical' account of the Physics and his `scientific' account in the Generation of Animals, and addressing the major objections against the continuity of generation for living things.From the careful analysis of relevant passages, it appears that Aristotle considered generation as a continuous natural change, and that, in spite of its specificity (it is a change, not a motion), it can be regarded as well as a continuous change. That generation is a continuous change can be demonstrated from the nature of matter and from the nature of time, both of which are continuous.
Description: Degree awarded: Ph.D. Philosophy. The Catholic University of AmericaThis dissertation can be viewed by CUA users only.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1961/10247
Date: 2012-06-01


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