Aristotle's Metaphysics: Books M and N

By Aristotle; Julia Annas | Go to book overview

as M-N. In particular, both Plato and Aristotle have a theory of number that is irredeemably pre-Fregean in approach; despite the fact that Aristotle makes statements suggestively like some of Frege's, he completely lacks the precise notions necessary for a definition like Frege's. Further, drawing specious modern parallels can lead (and has led) to presenting Plato with highly technical theories without, or even against, good evidence. Hence, while I have made use of modern ideas to elucidate what is going on in M-N, I have tried to avoid tempting but unsound parallels and misleading comparisons in detail.

In M-N Aristotle discusses Plato's ideas at length, but he has in mind not the dialogues but teaching and discussion in the Academy. He is attacking theories with which his lecture audience was familiar, but which are no longer directly available to us. In order to understand what Aristotle is getting at in M-N it is therefore necessary to have some reconstruction of those of Plato's theories that are discussed in M-N. I shall now go on to present such a reconstruction, together with an account of Aristotle's own position and, more briefly, those of other Academy members. Any such attempt takes us into well-mined fields of speculation.1 In the case of Plato and the Academy the problems are complicated by the fact that our chief source is Aristotle, who not only criticizes Plato but has to some extent recast Plato's thought in his own terms in so doing. This has led to blanket dismissal of Aristotle's reports as biased and worthless,2 and also to underestimation of the importance of M-N; there has been surprisingly little serious attempt to examine Aristotle's own ideas and the basis of his criticism of Plato. It is clear from M-N, however, that there was lively controversy in the Academy

____________________
1
Our evidence for the unwritten doctrines is fragmentary and confusing, and has formed the basis of contradictory and extreme theories. According to Cherniss ((1), (2)), Plato did not have systematic philosophical teaching in the Academy, but merely gave one unsuccessful lecture. According to recent German scholars, the unwritten doctrines are the true heart of Plato's philosophy, and the dialogues can only be fully understood as imperfect reflections of them. See Krämer (1), (2), (3), Gaiser (1), (2), Gadamer and Schadewaldt, Wippern; and cf. also Findlay.
2
Cherniss's extreme position, that Aristotle's reports of 'unwritten doctrines' are simply misunderstood or polemical projections from the ideas in Plato's dialogues, has been attacked by Krämer, ch. 4 and Findlay, Appendix II.

-2-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aristotle's Metaphysics: Books M and N
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • NOTES ON THE TRANSLATION 89
  • METAPHYSICS BOOK M 91
  • Chapter 1 91
  • Chapter 2 92
  • Chapter 3 94
  • Chapter 3 96
  • Chapter 3 99
  • Chapter 3 102
  • Chapter 3 110
  • Chapter 3 114
  • METAPHYSICS BOOK N 116
  • Chapter 2 118
  • Chapter 2 122
  • Chapter 2 124
  • Chapter 2 126
  • Chapter 2 128
  • THE RELATION OF M 4-5 to A 6 and A 9 131
  • NOTES ON THE TEXT 133
  • Notes 136
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 220
  • GLOSSARY 223
  • INDEXES 225
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 232

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.