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date: 29 June 2022

p. 599. Ideal and Achievementlocked

p. 599. Ideal and Achievementlocked

  • Jonathan Barnes

Abstract

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.

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