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An Absurd Accumulation: Metaphysics M.2, 1076b11-36

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The opening argument in the Metaphysics M.2 series targeting separate mathematical objects has been dismissed as flawed and half-hearted. Yet it makes a strong case for a point that is central to Aristotle’s broader critique of Platonist views: if we posit distinct substances to explain the properties of sensible objects, we become committed to an embarrassingly prodigious ontology. There is also something to be learned from the argument about Aristotle’s own criteria for a theory of mathematical objects. I hope to persuade readers of Metaphysics M.2 that Aristotle is a more thoughtful critic than he is often taken to be.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Michigan State UniversitySouth Kedzie Hall, 368 Farm Lane, Room 503, East Lansing, MI


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