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Change, Agency and the Incomplete in Aristotle

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Aristotle’s most fundamental distinction between changes and other activities is not that of Metaphysics Θ.6, between end-exclusive and end-inclusive activities, but one implicit in Physics 3.1’s definition of change, between the activity of something incomplete and the activity of something complete. Notably, only the latter distinction can account for Aristotle’s view, in Physics 3.3, that ‘agency’—effecting change in something, e.g. teaching—does not qualify strictly as a change. This distinction informs De Anima 2.5 and imparts unity to Aristotle’s extended treatment of change in Physics 3.1-3.

Affiliations: 1: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, 80359 MunichGermany


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