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This paper argues that focusing on Aristotle’s theory of generation as primarily ‘hylomorphic’ can lead to difficulties. This is especially evident when interpreting the association between the male and sentient soul at GA 2.5. If the focus is on the male’s contribution as form and the female’s as matter, then soul becomes divided into nutritive from female and sentient from male which makes little sense in Aristotle’s biological ontology. In contrast, by seeing Aristotle’s theory as ‘archēkinētic’, a process initiated by the male, the development of nutritive and sentient capacities emerges as intertwined, neither capacity originating in only one sex.

In: Phronesis


The Republic presents the characters of the philosopher and the tyrant as similar. Strongly focused by indiscriminate erotic motivation, both defy convention and lack familiar emotional responses, which make them appear to be mad. This essay argues that Plato put forward these parallels partly in order to defend Socrates from the charge of corrupting the young, partly to present a possible way to overthrow the current regime and partly to show the ineffectiveness of democracy. The very best leaders may look like tyrants; it is only through proper philosophical education that their true natures can be discerned.

In: Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought