Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 29 June 2022

p. 599. Ideal and Achievementlocked

p. 599. Ideal and Achievementlocked

  • Jonathan Barnes


Some scholars have disputed that Aristotle was a system-builder. For them, Aristotle’s philosophy is ‘aporetic’: it consists in posing, and developing solutions to, particular puzzles. This anti-systematic interpretation of Aristotle’s thought is widely accepted. However, although systematization is not achieved in the treatises, it is an ideal, ever present. ‘Ideal and achievement’ points out that Aristotle’s system is a design for completed sciences, not the activities of the scientific researcher. Since the treatises are not definitive presentations of an achieved science, we should not expect to find an orderly succession of axioms and deductions. Aristotle was a systematic thinker; his surviving treatises present a partial, unfinished sketch of his system.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.