The Shape of the Statue

The Greek Commentators on Aristotle’s Metaphysics on Forms of Artefacts

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
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  • 1 Munich School of Ancient Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany

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Abstract

This paper discusses the metaphysical status of artefacts and their forms in the ancient commentators on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Specifically, it examines the Peripatetic tradition and Alexander of Aphrodisias to then turn to the commentaries of the late Neoplatonist Asclepius of Tralles, and the Byzantine commentator Michael of Ephesus. It argues that Alexander is the pioneer of the interpretation of artefactual forms as qualities and artefacts as accidental beings. The fortune of this solution goes through Asclepius and Michael to influence Thomas Aquinas.

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