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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 23, Issue 1, Fall 2018

James Oldfield
Pages 47-57
DOI: 10.5840/epoche2018718119

Truth, Touch, and the Order of Inquiry in Aristotle’s Metaphysics

A surprising feature of Aristotle’s thought is the fact that he does not offer a single, extended account of truth. He makes passing references to the meaning of truth in various texts, and his comments at times seem hard to reconcile. A preponderance of these comments occur in the Metaphysics, where he seems to adopt two quite different models for thinking about truth: truth is on the one hand a kind of touching or contact, and on the other a matter of joining or dividing subjects and predicates correctly. This paper proposes a reading that reconciles these two models with one another, one that assigns to each model its appropriate place in what Aristotle thinks of as the process of inquiry, a process exemplified by the text of the Metaphysics itself.