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Essence and metaphysical necessity in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics Book II

Grant number: 18/21898-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Lucas Angioni
Grantee:Davi Heckert Cesar Bastos
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Aristotle develops a complex philosophy of science in his Posterior Analytics. He thinks that for something to be a scientific knowledge, it needs to bear the adequate kind of relation to the world, and must capture in an adequate manner the causes [aitiai] that ground certain relations in reality. His theory of scientific demonstration seeks to structure how that scientific knowledge should be organized: in sound syllogisms with a predicative explanandum and an aitia, the middle term, which explains properly why the explanandum is in the way it is. I reject purely formal and deductive interpretations of the Aristotelian theory of demonstration, which claim that the demonstration involves no explanatory factor. Rather, I defend that essences are explanatory factor for Aristotle, and this notion of essence is context-dependent. I hold that Aristotle designates essence not only by the terms 'ousia' and 'to ti ên einai', but also by 'to ti esti'. I defend that essence grounds a specific kind of metaphysical necessitation for Aristotle, which differs from logical necessitation and from predicative necessitation. This is the necessitation of a proposition by another in virtue of one explaining appropriately the other (cf. Angioni,2014b). In that respect, some contemporary philosophers, like Kit Fine (1994) and Benjamin Schnieder (2006) have been akin to Aristotle's view.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DAVI BASTOS. A Teoria da Demonstração Científica de Aristóteles em Segundos Analíticos 1.2-9 e 1.13. ARCHAI-REVISTA DE ESTUDOS SOBRE AS ORIGENS DO PENSAMENTO OCIDENTAL, n. 30, p. -, 2020.

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