Aristotle on ontological priority

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Aristotle's ambitions for ontology extend beyond determining what beings there are: he also thinks there is an order among the beings, i.e. that some things are prior in being to others. I argue that priority in being is a causal relation: one thing is prior in being to another when it is a cause of being for the latter. My causal view gives us new interpretive resources for understanding how Aristotle's apparently diverse claims about what is prior in being to what are unified: in each case, what is prior in being is a cause of being for what is posterior in being, but different prior entities make different causal contributions to the being of different posterior entities. My causal view also gives us insight into how Aristotle came to accept the claims about priority in being that he does. It allows us to draw on Aristotle's criticisms of his predecessors' views about the causes and principles of being, as well as on Aristotle's statement of the puzzles that must be solved in first philosophy, to see what philosophical pressures shaped Aristotle's view.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2017
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Meadows, Katherine
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Philosophy.
Primary advisor Code, Alan Dodd, 1951-
Thesis advisor Code, Alan Dodd, 1951-
Thesis advisor Bobonich, Christopher
Thesis advisor Netz, Reviel
Advisor Bobonich, Christopher
Advisor Netz, Reviel


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Katherine Meadows.
Note Submitted to the Department of Philosophy.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2017.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2017 by Katherine Helena Meadows
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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