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International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 55, Issue 2, June 2015

Mark K. Spencer
Pages 145-164
DOI: 10.5840/ipq201542032

Aristotelian Substance and Personalistic Subjectivity

Many personalists have argued that an adequate account of the human person must include an account of subjectivity as irreducible to anything objectively definable. The personalists contend that Aristotle lacks such an account and claim that he fails to meet three criteria that a theory of the human person must fulfill in order to have an account of subjectivity as irreducible. I show first that some later Aristotelians fulfill these criteria, and then that Aristotle himself also does so. He describes four characteristics of human subjectivity that are considered crucial by many personalists. I do this through an interpretation of Aristotle’s accounts of substantial actualities, nous, friendship, and beauty.

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