Graduate Essay Prize Winning Paper of the 47th Annual Meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association
Jeremy Kirby, Florida State University
In an article entitled “Is an Aristotelian Philosophy of Mind Still Credible? A Draft,” Myles Burnyeat suggested that we might do “what the seventeenth century did . . . [with the Aristotelian concept of the mind]…junkit.”1 Burnyeat buttressed this controversial claim, in large part, on the premise that it is difficult to believe that mental facts are not supervenient on physical facts in the wake of post-enlightenment thinking.2 Various valiant attempts to save Aristotle’s philosophy of mind from being junked soon followed. One strategy that found favor among some scholars was that of arguing that Aristotle’s physics really is not in conflict with the idea that mental facts supervene upon physical facts. Scholars such as Michael Wedin and Victor Caston read Aristotle as maintaining a supervenience thesis in Physics 7.3.3
I disagree with the view that ascribes supervenience physicalism to Aristotle. The general strategy for providing support for my view will run as follows: I will first aim to discredit the view that ascribes supervenience physicalism, hereafter (SV), to Aristotle on the basis of Physics 7.3. Thereafter, I will turn to more psychological and biological texts to argue that Aristotle’s central views therein are unfriendly to (SV).4
In his preface to the Loeb edition of the Physics, Vol. 2, a revision of Philip Wicksteed’s translation, F.M. Cornford reports that it was Wicksteed’s opinion that Book VII was not the product of Aristotle but the product of an “acute and competent Aristotelian.”5 In the preface to Book VII itself, Cornford indicates the following:
Simplicius, in his introduction to this Book, remarks that the more important and relevant problems treated in it are discussed in more detail in Book VIII. Some ancient critics accordingly regarded Book VII as superfluous, and Eudemus passed it over. Themestius treats it in summary fashion. Simplicius himself conjectures that Aristotle wrote Book VII at some earlier time and, when he had dealt with some of its topics more fully in Book VIII, allowed it to stand as a sort of introductory study.6
In a similar vein, W.D. Ross, in his commentary on the Physics, maintains that “ . . . here are several indications that the book is not an integral part of the Physics, but is, even if it be by Aristotle, an excrescence of the main plan . . .”7 A legitimate impression to take from these remarks is that there is some reason for the suggestion that Book VII is not an ideal representation of Aristotle’s mature view—whatever that may be. And given such an impression, it seems prima facie surprising that supporters of (SV) have sought to exonerate Aristotle from Burnyeat’s criticisms by appealing to such a text.
In any case, in broad outline of Book VII, Aristotle argues in the first chapter for the claim that whatever is moved is moved by another. In the second chapter, he argues that movement and the moved are always together. In the third chapter, Aristotle elaborates on one of his claims made in the second chapter, namely, that all alteration pertains to sensible qualities. In the penultimate chapter, Aristotle provides a comparison of movements. The final chapter discusses the proportion of movements.
It is worth noting that whether Aristotle endorses (SV) or not in chapter three, his primary goal in the third chapter is not that of establishing (SV). His primary goal is, rather, that of arguing for the claim that all alteration pertains to sensible qualities. In fact, I think it is fair to say that his proposal for satisfying that goal is rather unsatisfying. Cornford8 and Ross9 both rightly maintain that Aristotle does not argue directly for his conclusion, call it C1, that all alteration pertains to sensible qualities. Rather, he supports C1 by refuting what he takes to be the most putatively formidable counterexamples. These putative counterexamples are the cases of shapes and figures, on the one hand, and states of the body or soul on the other. Aristotle does not, as one might initially suspect, argue that shape and figure, and states of the body and soul, in fact pertain to the sensible. Rather, he argues that such things are not in fact alterations. What I take to be a relatively uncontroversial outline of the argument runs as follows.
- The two cases most likely to be thought of as counterexamples to C1 are (a) shapes and figures or (b) states of the body or soul.
- If shapes and figures were alterations, then the resultant would retain the name of the material.
- When shapes are acquired, the resultant does not retain the name of the material.
- Shapes and figures are not alterations.
- If shapes and figures are not alterations, then shapes and figures cannot be counterexamples to C1.
- If something is a perfection or defect, then it is not an alteration.
- States of the body or soul are perfections or defects.
- States of the body or soul are not alterations.
- If states of the body or soul are not alterations, then such states are not counterexamples to C1.
- States of the body or soul are not counterexamples to C1.
Wedin’s Interpretation of 7.3
Because Wedin has been the most recent and outspoken proponent of (SV), I will consider his argument to be representative of the view. He argues as follows. In the course of establishing that all alteration pertains to sensible qualities, Aristotle maintains that somatic states exist in virtue of a particular relation:
And in like manner we regard beauty, strength, and all the other bodily excellences and defects. Each of them exists in virtue of a particular relation and puts that which possesses it in a good or bad condition with regard to its proper affections, I mean those influences that from the natural constitution of a thing tend to promote or destroy its existence.10
In support of C1, Aristotle seems to argue that somatic states are not alterations, they merely exist in virtue of a particular relation. Let this be premise (1) in the following segment of reasoning.
- If x is aφ-state, then x exists in virtue of a particular relation.
Wedin thinks that one can assume, “what seems harmless,” that if x exists in virtue of a particular relation, x is a relative.11 So let this be premise (2):
- If x exists in virtue of a particular relation, then x is a relative.
However, Aristotle seems relatively clear on the point that the states in question are not alterations, and, furthermore, there are not alterations, generations, nor changes of such states.
Since then relatives are neither themselves alterations nor the subjects of alteration or of becoming or in fact any change whatever, it is evident that neither states nor the processes of losing or acquiring states are alterations. (246b10-15)
Thus, premise 3 runs:
3. If x is a relative, then (a) x is not itself an alteration and (b) there is no alteration, generation, or change of x.
Premises 1-3, of course, entail the conclusion that:
- If x is aφ-state, then(a) x is not itself an alteration and (b) there is no alteration, generation, or change of x.
However, conclusion (4) presents a difficulty. For in the lines that follow Aristotle says: It is evident that neither states nor processes are alterations, though it may be true that their becoming (γιγνεσθαι) or perishing (φθειρεσθαι) is necessarily, like the becoming or perishing of a specific character or form, the result of the alteration of certain other things, e.g., hot and cold and dry and wet elements, whatever they may be, on which states primarily depend.12
This issues in the following difficulties. First, Aristotle has just maintained that states of the body and soul are not generated, as this was the conclusion reached in premise (4) above. But just a few lines later he speaks of the generation (γιγνεσθαι) (and destruction) of such states. Whence comes the following apparent contradiction:
(Φ) Aristotle says the φ-states are generated and that φ-states are not generated.
Secondly, the reader finds Aristotle likening φ-states to the case of a “specific character or form” (ειδος). Thus, the generation of φ-states is like the generation of form. And the idea that forms are generated is in direct conflict with what Aristotle has to say in Metaphysics Book VII, chapter 8, namely that form is not generated. Hence, there is a second apparent contradiction:
(Ε) Aristotle says that forms are generated and that forms are not generated.
Wedin, however, has a proposal. Metaphysics Book VII, chapter 8, does seem to allow for accidental generation of form (κατα συμβεβεκος).13 Hence, the tension in (Ε) can be resolved by acknowledging that when, at 246b10-12, Aristotle speaks of the generation of form, his locution is elliptical for “generation of form by accident.” And “generation of form by accident” need not mean the same thing as, one might say, “generation of form simpliciter,” which is clearly unacceptable to Aristotle in Metaphysics Book VII, chapter 8. Of course, the same reasoning goes mutatis mutandis for (Φ). Aristotle likens φ-states to forms, as Wedin sees it, for heuristic reasons:
But the inclusion of form in [the] analogy serves a more important point . . . [than resolution of an apparent contradiction] . . . It stands as a clear case, introduced to explain the less familiar and more difficult case of generation of φ-states. On the clear case, the form is produced when certain matter is organized in a certain way, that is, when matter undergoes alterations of a certain sort. Parity of reasoning . . . would, therefore, lead us to expect that φ-states are also generated.14
Provided one thinks that Wedin’s statements are intelligible here—as I will explain below I do not—one question that springs to mind concerns the nature of the “matter [that] undergoes alterations of a certain sort.” If Wedin is right in claiming that Aristotle believes that form is produced when matter undergoes alterations of a certain sort, we should expect Aristotle to provide some examples of this process. And, as a matter of fact, we find Aristotle saying something that seems to fit into the picture Wedin wants to present. Recall what Aristotle says at 246b10-12:
It is evident that neither states nor processes are alterations, though it may be true that their becoming (γιγνεσθαι) or perishing (φθειρεσθαι) is necessarily, like the becoming or perishing of a specific character or form, the result of the alteration of certain other things, e.g., hot and cold and dry and wet elements, whatever they may be, on which states primarily depend.15
Admittedly, the language in this passage is not unfriendly to (SV). And, given the means by which the problems that arose vis-à-vis (Φ) and (Ε) were dispensed with, a counter-argument to the effect that forms and φ-states are not generated is, seemingly, not at our disposal. Moreover, the reader finds Aristotle claiming that forms and φ-states are “the result of alteration of certain other things, e.g., hot and cold and dry and wet elements.” It is not a lengthy reach, therefore, to say that macrophysical and formal states supervene upon the micorophysical states Aristotle countenances, i.e., the hot and cold and dry and wet.
Accepting Wedin’s proposal has ramifications for psychological and noetic states as well. For Aristotle maintains that these too are relatives. Hence, it seems that these states too will fit into the segment of reasoning I referred to above.16 By analogy, therefore, psychological states and noetic states will be thought to supervene upon the microphysical.
Wedin’s argument is complex. Here is a concise summary of the reasoning he expects of his reader: First, he points to two apparent contradictions in the text. His proposal for resolving these tensions is that form is “in some weak sense” produced according to accident.17 Once it is admitted
that form can be generated, he can run his argument:
- Form is generated by accident (Metaphysics 7.8).
- If form is generated by accident, form must come about solely by material- efficient means, i.e., not by formal/final means.
- Form must come about solely by material-efficient means (1,2).
- If form must come about solely by material-efficient means, alteration at the microphysical level seems like the best candidate for the production of form.
- Alteration at the microphysical level seems like the best candidate for the production of form (3,4).
Furthermore, it seems that this reasoning goes mutatis mutandis for φ-states, psychological states, and noetic states. One can substitute, it seems, any of these terms for form. Aristotle says that φ-states are relatives, form is used to explain the situation with such relatives, and he goes on to say that noetic states18 and psychological states19 are relatives like φ-states.
Is Wedin’s Proposal Acceptable?
In this section I want to address what seems to be a significant circularity in Wedin’s language, in order to object to premise (2) in the argument just given. Consider again what Wedin has said about the analogy drawn between form and physical states.
But the inclusion of form in [the] analogy serves a more important point . . . [than resolution of an apparent contradictions] . . . It stands as a clear case, introduced to explain the less familiar and more difficult case of generation of φ-states. On the clear case, the form is produced when certain matter is organized in a certain way, that is, when matter undergoes alterations of a certain sort. Parity of reasoning . . . would, therefore, lead us to expect that φ-states are also generated.20
Recall that Wedin’s project is to make palatable the idea that Aristotle accepted supervenience physicalism. This means making palatable the idea that Aristotle would accept the view that explanation could, in theory, rely solely on material-efficient causation.
Consider in isolation Wedin’s claim: “On the clear case, the form is produced when certain matter is organized in a certain way, that is, when matter undergoes alterations of a certain sort.”21 I take it that Wedin thinks that forms supervene upon “certain material.” But notice that the matter upon which form supervenes is “organized in a certain way.” What can that which is “organized in a certain way” be if it is not the form of matter? The alterations and matter upon which Aristotle is thought to have form rely are of a “certain sort.” The matter, therefore, which serves as subvenient is, to some extent, informed. Hence, the picture will be something like this: F is produced by material m & form f. Is f produced by alterations of matter of a certain kind, i.e., f & m? If this is the case, and it seems that Wedin’s interpretation is committed to such a picture, there will be forms all the way down. If there is a lowest subvenient domain, there will be matter of a certain sort, i.e., matter that is informed, if it is the kind of matter that can be responsible for its supervenient counterpart. And if this is the case, form will not, therefore, be eliminable at the lowest level at which a target property is said to supervene upon a base property. Therefore, there will be either at least one form that is not generated by certain alterations of certain matter or there will be an infinite regress of subvenient levels. This presents the reason for thinking premise (2) is false.
If form is generated by accident, form must come about solely by material-efficient means.
The material-efficient means, according to Wedin, will be “certain matter” undergoing “alterations of a certain sort”. But that which is “certain matter” has form. So to accept (2) in this way is to accept a falsehood or an infinite regress. The former, needless to say, is unattractive. The latter is not Aristotelian. This is perhaps reason enough to regard (SV) a lost cause.
I will leave aside complex and controversial issues concerning the existence of materia prima. But I do not think doing so presents a deficiency on my part. Either materia prima is of a certain sort or it is not. If it is a certain sort, i.e., has a form, form at the lowest level will be uneliminable. If it is not matter of a certain sort, it is not the kind of thing upon which, on Wedin’s reasoning, other states may supervene.
Another Argument Against Deduction From the Bottom Up
Scholars have long recognized that Aristotle’s views seem unfriendly, indeed hostile, to projects aimed at unifying the sciences such as reduction.22 Teleology, in some form or another, is the virtue of Aristotle’s project from the nonreductionist’s perspective. It is the fly in the ointment from the reductionist’s point of view. In this section, I provide an argument against (SV) that relies on some of Aristotle’s teleological views. The argument to be considered should be prefaced by recalling some citations that illustrate Aristotle’s teleological commitments. For example, in Physics, 200a7-11, Aristotle states the following:
Similarly in all other things which involve production for an end; the product cannot come to be without things which have a necessary nature, but it is not due to these [δια ταυτα] (except as its material (αλλ ́ η ώς υλην)); it comes to be for an end (αλλ ́ ενεκα του).
No doubt, Aristotle countenances material necessity in this passage. But material necessity is given a subordinate role. Material comes to be for the final cause. And this subordinate relation of material necessity to final cause is a recurring theme for Aristotle. Consider Generation of Animals 5.8 789a8-b8:
Once [the front teeth] are formed, they quickly fall out on the one hand for the sake of the better, because what is sharp quickly gets blunted, so that [the animal] must get other new ones to do the work of [tearing off food]; . . . on the other hand they fall out from necessity, because the roots of the front teeth are in the thin part [of the jaw], so that they are weak and easily work loose. . . Democritus, however, neglecting to mention that for the sake of which things [happen in the course of nature], refers to necessity all the things that nature uses—things are indeed necessitated in that way, but that does not mean they are not for the sake of something, and for the sake of what is better in each case. So nothing prevents [the front teeth] from . . . falling out in the way he says, but it is not on account of these factors (δια ταυτα) that they do, but on account of the end (δια τελος): they are causes as sources of motion and instruments of matter.23
In this passage, the reader finds Aristotle explicitly recognizing material necessity—a material necessity that he characterizes as Democritean. Still, material necessity is clearly considered subordinate to final cause. Both the teleological aspect and the material aspect are aspects of rerum natura.24 But the material aspects seem to be at the invitation, moreover, of the teleological. At Physics 2.7, the matter comes to be for the sake of the end. And in Generation of Animals 5.8, the thing comes about δια τελος (because of the end) rather than δια ταυτα (because of these things).
In light of these considerations, it is interesting that Aristotle thinks that final cause, efficient cause, and formal cause, are often the same thing:
(A1) Now the causes being four, it is the business of the physicist to know about them all . . . the matter, the form, the mover, [and the] ‘that for the sake of which.’ The last three often coincide.25
What is more, we read in the De Anima that soul is a paradigmatic example of such a coincidence:
(A2) Soul is the cause of the living body in the three ways we have distinguished . . .
(a) mover . . . (b) the end . . . (c) the essence of the whole living body.26
It is, therefore, abundantly clear that (SV) is vulnerable to an argument by reductio ad absurdum:
- Form is the efficient cause of the living body (1,2).
- Form is generated when material and efficient causes generate a particular substance independently of the form (assuming (SV)).
- A living thing is a particular composite substance.
- A living thing is a particular composite substance whose form is generated by an efficient cause and material cause independently of form (4,5).
- A living thing is a particular composite substance whose form is generated by a formal and material cause independently of form (3,6).
Obviously, to say that form is generated by form and that form is generated independently of form—that is, not generated by form—is contradictory. (SV) is false.
There is a temptation here to say that Aristotle’s description of formal, efficient, and final causes as “coinciding” does not necessarily entail that Aristotle thought, in the case of soul, that formal=final=efficient. One might accept the idea that when Aristotle describes causes as “coinciding,” he means to indicate that they are “temporally and spatially contiguous.” But form, presumably, is not a spatio-temporal entity, so this can be ruled out. One might instead maintain that Aristotle means “copresent,” in some non-spatial way, whatever that means. But to accept this would be a mistake. For Aristotle’s treatment of soul applies to living things. Living things are found in the sublunary realm. Entities belonging to the sublunary realm have material aspects. And material aspects, as well, will be “copresent” in sublunary substances. Aristotle does not say that the last four, i.e., all aitiai coincide. He says the “last three coincide.” To say that the last three coincide, where “coincidence” means “copresence,” when all four aitia are always copresent, is implausibly pleonastic. Aristotle means by “coincidence,” in this context, “identical.”
An Alternative Way of Rendering Consistency
To leave things thus would, however, visit the two previously mentioned contradictions on Aristotle:
(Φ) Aristotle says that φ-states are generated and that φ-states are not generated.
(Ε ) Aristotle says that forms are generated and that forms are not generated.
Can Wedin’s solution to these difficulties be accepted without accepting (SV)? (SV), as we have seen, leads to manifold difficulties. A resolution of these apparent contradictions that does not involve acceptance of the idea of form being generated, even in some “weak sense,” would therefore be preferable. Recall the supervenient-friendly text:
It is evident that neither states nor processes are alterations, though it may be true that their becoming (γιγνεσθαι) or perishing (φθειρεσθαι) is necessarily, like the becoming or perishing of a specific character or form, the result of the alteration of certain other things, e.g., hot and cold and dry and wet elements, whatever they may be, on which states primarily depend.27
If it is permissible to say that form is, in some ontological sense, generated, then the above statement appears, admittedly, supervenient friendly. I have argued, heretofore, that (SV) is in direct conflict with several of Aristotle’s theoretical commitments and should therefore be rejected. Yet one might feel the pull of (SV) in connection with this passage and the resolution of the two apparent contradictions (Φ) and (E).
Fortunately, I think there is a better resolution than that which Wedin offers. Consider, for the moment, the following alternate translation from Cornford and Wicksteed:
It is clear that neither are habits (εξεις) such, not the acquisition or loss of them [i.e., alterations]; though it might be that, just as with the characteristics or forms we have already spoken of, the formation [γιγνεσθαι] and destruction [φθειρεσθαι] of habits may involve the modifications of certain factors, (say) the heat or cold or dryness or moisture of the physical elements, or the proper seats of the habits whatever they may be.28
This translation does, no doubt, take some liberties. And a more literal translation could indeed be given. But the salient point is that γιγνομαι can simply mean “happen.” Aristotle need not be saying that forms are generated. Aristotle, it seems, can simply be saying that forms come to be or happen in the sense of being instantiated. This resolves the apparent difficulty that (Ε) is thought to present. And this is not incompatible with his principle in Metaphysics 7.8 which, in effect, says that forms are not generated in the sense of being produced or born.
At this point, one might be inclined to accept that γιγνομαι is not always used to denote genetic change and still reject the present line of reasoning on the grounds that the same line of reasoning does not apply to φθειρεσθαι. After all, in the passage, φθειρεσθαι is used in connection with γιγνεσθαι, which is Aristotle’s antonym for genesis. However, H. Bonitz indicates that φθειρειν has for a synonym διαλυεσθαι.29 And διαλυω is a word that usually means “to dissolve” or “part.” This meaning dovetails nicely with the above interpretation of γιγνεσθαι (most generally, “comes-to- be”) where γιγνεσθαι is taken in the non-genetic sense. The form need not be undergoing destruction. It is reasonable to assume that Aristotle intended only to say that forms part way with the particulars that instantiate them.
Needless to say, one will need to apply similar reasoning to the case of physical states. Can this be done? What does it mean to instantiate a physical state? This is not, however, a major difficulty, if “matter” is treated as a relative term. And treating “matter” as a relative term has proven to be a useful way of reading Aristotle.30 That which is matter for one thing, e.g., the bronze of the statue, is form for another, e.g., the elements of the bronze. Hence, it makes sense as well to talk of physical states as instantiated. Indeed, according to R.D. Hicks, Aristotle does occasionally use the “state” (hexis) as a synonym for form.31
Still, one might ask what Aristotle means by generation κατα σμβεβεκος (by accident) in Metaphysics 7.8. I think that generation according to accident can be best viewed as a linguistic phenomenon. For example, Aristotle says that the craftsman brings the circle into the matter (presumably, to make a shield). Hence, we say that the craftsman produces the shield. The shield is a circle. Is the relation transitive? Does the craftsman produce the circle? Aristotle answers yes κατα συμβεβεκος. But there can be little doubt from the context that Aristotle is trying to answer “no” to this question. The thesis of the chapter is that form is not generated. What I find interesting is that Aristotle, in Physics 7.3, seems to suggest a way out of this difficulty. Recall that in that chapter Aristotle offered the following argument:
- The two cases most likely to be thought of as counterexamples to C1 are (a) shapes and figures or (b) states of the body or soul.
- If shapes and figures were alterations, the resultant would retain the name of the material.
- When shapes are acquired, the resultant does not retain the name of the material.
- Shapes and figures are not alterations.
Moreover, if shapes and figures are not alterations, shapes and figures cannot be counterexamples to C1.
One example that Aristotle provides, at 245b9-14, in support of premise (3) runs as follows:
In the first place, when a particular formation of a thing is completed, we do not call it by the name of its material: e.g., we do not call the statue ‘bronze’ or the pyramid ‘wax’ or the bed ‘wood,’ . . . but we use a derived expression and call them ‘brazen,’ ‘waxen,’ or ‘wooden,’ ‘respectively’.(note missing)
Thus, in answer to the question, “Does the craftsman make the circle in making the shield?” Aristotle can treat the problem as a mere linguistic difficulty. As things are in rerum natura, the craftsman does not make the shield a circle, but makes it circular. According to ordinary language, sometimes we are inclined to say that since the circle belongs to the shield and the shield is produced by the craftsman, then the circle is “produced” by the craftsman. But this is not to say that a more precise paraphrase is not available. A more precise articulation is to say not that the shield is a circle but that the shield is circular. So there are means more benign, I submit, for dealing with the apparent contradictions than those that Wedin pursues in his defense of (SV).
Aristotle. Aristotle: de Anima. Trans. and Commentary R.D. Hicks. Oxford UP, 1907.
Aristotle. Aristotle: The Physics. Trans. and Commentary F.M. Cornford and P.H. Wicksteed. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1929.
Burnyeat, M. “Is an Aristotelian Philosophy of Mind Still Credible? A Draft.” Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima. Eds. Martha Nussbaum and Amelie Rorty. New York: Oxford UP, 1995. 15-26.
Bonitz, H. Index Aristotelicus. Graz: Academishe Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1955.
Caston, Victor. “Aristotle and Supervenience.” Southern Journal of Philosophy, 31 Supplement (1992): 107-136.
Caston, Victor. “Epiphenomenalisms, Ancient and Modern.” The Philosophical Review 106 (1997): 309- 363.
Cooper, John. “Hypothetical Necessity.” Philosophical Issues in Aristotle’s Biology. Eds. A. Gotthelf and J. Lennox. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987. 243-274.
Cornford, F.M. and P.H. Wicksteed. “Introduction.” Aristotle The Physics. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1929.
Hicks. R.D. Aristotle: de Anima. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1907.
Kim, Jaegwon. Supervenience and Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993.
Lear, Jonathon. The Desire to Understand. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.
McKeon, Richard, ed. The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York: Random House, 1968.
Moravcsik, Julius. “What Makes Reality Intelligible? Reflections on Aristotle’s Theory of Aitia.” Aristotle’s Physics: A Collection of Essays. Ed. Lindsay Judson. New York: Clarendon, 1991. 31- 48.
Nussbaum, Martha. “Saving Aristotle’s Appearances.” Language and Logos: Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Presented to G.E.L. Owen. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983. 267-93.
Ross, W.D. Aristotle’s The Physics, Text with Commentary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1955.
Wedin, Michael. “Content and Cause in Aristotelian Mind.” Southern Journal of Philosophy, 31 Supplement (1992): 49-105.
Wians, William. “Saving Aristotle from Nussbaum’s Phainomena.” Essays in Greek Philosophy V: Aristotle’s Ontology. Eds. Anthony Preus and John P. Anton. Albany: SUNY Press, 1992. 133- 150.
- M. Burnyeat, “Is an Aristotelian Philosophy of Mind Still Credible? A Draft,” Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, eds. Martha Nussbaum and Amelie Rorty (New York: Oxford UP, 1999): 26.
- Burnyeat 23.
- Michael Wedin, “Content and Cause in Aristotelian Mind,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 31, Supplement (1992) 49-105; Victor Caston, “Aristotle and Supervenience,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 31, Supplement (1992):107-135. In line with Jaegwon Kim’s (1984) distinction between strong and weak supervenience (153-176), Wedin reads Aristotle’s putative supervenience as that of the strong variety. Caston argues that Aristotle only allowed for the weak variety of supervenience. However, Caston subsequently recants and reads Aristotle as maintaining the more robust strong supervenience in “Epiphenomenalisms, Ancient and Modern,” The Philosophical Review 106, (1997): 309-363.
- Burnyeat, I believe, overreacts in suggesting that Aristotle’s concept of the mind might be junked. Supervenience does not seem to enjoy the explanatory status that it once held. I will not, however, in this paper, argue that Burnyeat is wrong.
- F.M. Cornford and Phillip Wicksteed, “Introduction,” Aristotle: The Physics (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP,1929): v.
- F.M. Cornford and Phillip Wicksteed, Commentary, Aristotle: The Physics (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP, 1929): 204.
- W.D. Ross, Aristotle’s The Physics: Text with Commentary (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1955): 15.
- Cornford and Wicksteed, Commentary, 228.
- Ross 674.
- Aristotle, Physics 7.3 246b5-10, ed. Richard McKeon, The Basic Works of Aristotle (New York: Random House, 1968). All subsequent references to Aristotle are from the McKeon edition unless otherwise noted.
- Wedin 53. Indeed, I think this is a harmless assumption because Aristotle seems to say as much in the seventh chapter of the Categories.
- Aristotle, 246b10-12. My italics.
- Aristotle, Metaphysics 1033a30.
- Wedin 54.
- Aristotle, Physics, ed. Richard McKeon (New York: Random House, 1968): 246b10-12.
- Aristotle, Metaphysics 247b1-9; 247a4-7, respectively. Cf. premises 1-4 on pp. 5-6.
- Wedin 54.
- Aristotle, Metaphysics 247b1-9.
- Aristotle, Metaphysics 247a4-7.
- Wedin 54. My italics.
- Wedin 54.
- Jaegwon Kim has argued effectively that strong supervenience is nagel-reduction. Supervenience and Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993): 53.
- Tr. John Cooper “Hypothetical Necessity,” Philosophical Issues in Aristotle’s Biology, eds. A. Gotthelf and J. Lennox (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987): 258.
- Aristotle, Physics, 246b10-12. Here, I am following Julius Moravcsik (1991), John Cooper, (1987), William Wians (1992), and others, in rejecting Martha Nussbaum’s (1983) position.
- Aristotle, Physics 2.7 198b 25ff.
- Aristotle, De Anima 415b8-12.
- Aristotle, Physics, 246b12-18. The last clause of this section could be thought of as suggesting a dependency relation supportive of (SV). The Greek, I think, is ambiguous. Compare Ross’s note on the line: “or whatever it may be in which the states directly reside.”
- Aristotle, Physics, trans. F.M. Cornford and P.H. Wicksteed (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP, 1929): 198b 25ff.
- H. Bonitz, Index Aristotelicus (Graz: Academishe Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1955): 816, 55.
- See Jonathon Lear, The Desire to Understand (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999) sections 2.1, 2.2, and 2.4.
- R.D. Hicks, Aristotle: de Anima (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1907): 501. He cites Metaphysics 12, 107a11, 1069b34, 1070b11; 8, 1044b32.