Capacities and the Eternal in Metaphysics Θ.8 and De Caelo

In: Phronesis
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  • 1 Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina901 Sumter St., Byrnes 401, Columbia sc
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The dominant interpretation of Metaphysics Θ.8 commits Aristotle to the claim that the heavenly bodies’ eternal movements are not the exercises of capacities. Against this, I argue that these movements are the result of necessarily exercised capacities. I clarify what it is for a heavenly body to possess a nature and argue that a body’s nature cannot be a final cause unless the natural body possesses capacities that are exercised for the sake of its nature qua form. This discussion yields a better understanding of what capacities are, what explanatory work capacities do, and what it is to possess a nature.

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