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Title: Two in nature - one in substratum : an Aristotelian metaphysical model for ontologically dependent entities
Author: Marmodoro, Anna
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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My research topic is the ontology of causation in Aristotle, with a view to also making a contribution to contemporary philosophy. I offer a new interpretation of Aristotle’s account of causation and perception. I argue that Aristotle understands the causal link in terms of a single complex entity which involves essentially two interdependent natures (e.g. an activity that grounds teaching and learning). Internally, such an entity has the same metaphysical structure as a line that grounds two vectors with opposite directions. But the causal entity, as opposed to the line and vectors, is itself ontologically dependent on the two substances that are in causal interaction. This is because the entity’s two natures are the realisation of two interdependent potentialities of the two substances (e.g. for teaching and learning). Aristotle builds a causal bridge between substances out of mutually realised potentialities of the two substances. Their mutual realisation binds them together into a net of ontological dependencies which delineates the boundary of the causal entity. In my thesis I describe the multifarious ontological dependencies and argue that Aristotle has made a unique contribution to the history of the analysis of causation by offering an ontological account of it in terms of potentiality-actuality and ontological dependence. Furthermore, Aristotle puts in use his theory of causation to account for the metaphysical status of what we call after Locke secondary properties, e.g. colours, sounds, etc. I reconstruct Aristotle’s theory of secondary properties in the light of my understanding of his two-in-one metaphysical model. I put Aristotle’s theory of causation as applied to his theory of perception to the test of whether it gives philosophical gains in contemporary philosophy in the field of the philosophy of mind. I engage with David Chalmers’ arguments against Primitivism – which is a new contemporary account of the metaphysics of colours. Primitivism is the account of colours philosophically most alike to Aristotle’s own one. I put forward my own original position on the metaphysics of colours.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available