My Ph.D. dissertation is the outcome of a research project concerning the concepts of part and whole in Aristotle. The aim of the work was to establish a unified theory underlying the use of these concepts. The results I’ve reached are the following: (i) Aristotle’s mereology turned out to be very far from the extensional mereology which is most often carried on nowadays, being both structure-based and ontologically committed. (ii) There are explicit arguments, in Aristotle, showing the insufficiency of a logical approach, according to which the part-whole relation would be reduced to set-inclusion. The most important of these arguments is to be found in Categories, 7. (iii) The core of Aristotle’s mereology is embedded in the general theory of continuous change (Physics, V-VI) and is based on the notion of contrariety: any non-accidental change takes place per parts and has a terminus ad quem and a terminus a quo, which are contraries; moreover, any change is continuous and therefore has virtually infinite intermediates, though they may be singled out/carry a name or not. Now, any intermediate step corresponds to a sub-change, which goes from the starting-point (or from the previous intermediate) to the intermediate itself. Since any one of these changes displays the same structure per parts, any one of them has a beginning and an end as far as some components of the subject-in-motion are (assumed as) indivisible – and the same holds for the change of the whole. (iv) The range of movement corresponds to the genus of the subject in motion and is based on its natural possessions, expressed as differentiae in the definition of its species (this point is based on Metaphysics, X). The species of a genus correspond to the intermediates steps of the change; their definition is the result of the composition of the parts of the definition of the contraries. The contraries stand at the extreme opposite sides of a genus. This composition is based on the relationship between the parts of the concrete subject and determines which are the parts of the genus, from a logical point-of-view (i.e. sub-classes). (iv) Such a mereology requires a metaphysical foundation, which should guarantee for the non-accidental unity of the parts of the formula (and, correspondingly, the parts of the subject). This can be found in Aristotle’s theory of substance (mainly in Metaphysics, VII). The way metaphysics offer a foundation for mereology is the following: it is shown which constraints should be posited on ontology in order to satisfy the definibility criterion for substancehood. The basic requirement is this: a substance must have a centralized part-whole structure, built around a master-part, whose identity and permanence conditions are the same as those of the whole. (v) The ontology which satisfies this requirement, in Aristotle’s intention, is the biological one. In other words, the Aristotelian scientist is supposed to produce and carry on in detail an analysis of living things as centralized part-whole structures. Such a biology can be actually found in Aristotle’s scientific treatises: the basic architecture of biology is given by mereological and comparative analyses and taxonomy does not represent but the consequence of proper analysis. The techniques I utilized were basically of analytical nature, with the help of lexicographic and exegetic methodologies.
|Titolo:||CONTORNI A CONTRASTO. I CONCETTI DI PARTE E TUTTO IN ARISTOTELE|
|Data di pubblicazione:||28-gen-2011|
|Parole Chiave:||Aristotele ; Aristotle ; mereologia ; mereology ; parte ; part ; tutto ; whole ; metafisica ; metaphysics ; filosofia della biologia ; philosophy of biology|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-FIL/07 - Storia della Filosofia Antica|
|Citazione:||CONTORNI A CONTRASTO. I CONCETTI DI PARTE E TUTTO IN ARISTOTELE / E. Rini ; tutor: Ferruccio Franco Repellini. - Milano : Università degli studi di Milano. Universita' degli Studi di Milano, 2011 Jan 28. ((23. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2010.|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.13130/rini-enrico_phd2011-01-28|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|