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Title: The demonstrative structure and methodology of the Aristotelian science of being qua being
Author: Fraser, K. A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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The dissertation contends that the Aristotelian science of being qua being falls under the rubric of 'demonstrative' science, as defined in the Posterior Analytics. This argument is set forth in response to a well-entrenched interpretation, which regards the science of being as a special variant of dialectical inquiry, and not a proper science. The central interpretative crux underlying this debate about the 'scientific' status of ontology is the problem of the homonymy of being (τò óν). According to the doctrine of the Posterior Analytics, the principles and properties investigated in a single science must fall under the ambit of a single genus of entities. But it has appeared to the majority of commentators that this condition of homogeneity cannot be met by the science of being. Beings, for Aristotle, are heterogeneous; they all under a multiplicity of categories. These categories do not have a generic unity, but are connected only in virtue of their shared dependency on the primary category, viz. oν́σíα. Commentators insist that this πρòζέν structure of relations cannot be identified with the strictly homogeneous structure of apodeictic science. In response, the dissertation argues that the homogeneity of apodeictic science has been badly misconstrued, and is in need of more careful explication. The properties, which depend upon, and are demonstrated of the subject genus of a science are not themselves members of the genus. On the contrary, they are a heterogeneous collection of entities, connected to the single subject genus in virtue of diverse modes of dependency. This is precisely the situation envisioned by Aristotle with regard to the πρòζέν structure of the categories. Thus the explanatory structure of the science of being qua being is basically in accord with the structure of apodeictic science. The thesis goes on to consider precisely how the articulation of the categorical structure can be seen as a project for apodeictic science. It considers also the vexed issue of the relation of the science of being qua being to theology. Ultimately, a unified conception of 'first philosophy' is set forth, in which the whole structure of being and substance is shown to be grounded, demonstratively, in the divine essence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available