Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 30, November 2007

Filosofia e Espaço Público

António Pedro Mesquita
Pages 141-181

Ει Εστιν. Hipóteses de Existência em Aristoteles?

First, there will be as close and detailed an analysis as possible of the first two chapters of the second book of Posterior Analytics, which constitute the canonical place of the controversy, in Order to determine the meaning that should be restored there to the clause εἰ ἔστιν. After this, we will try to corroborate the conclusion we arrive at concerning the clause mentioned above by applying it to the subsequent passages of the same book where this question is raised again, either implicitly or explicitly. Finally, an examination will be made of the rest of the passages of the Aristotelian corpus, where the critic has found the occurrence of the alleged “hypothesis of existence”, chiefly in the second book of the Prior Analytics, in order to verify if such passages also offer the possibility of a reading consistent with that offered by the first two chapters initially studied. The conclusion will be that no traces of existential concern are found in any of the places searched, nor in general, in any of the connected texts within the Aristotelian corpus, and that the reading of the clause εἰ ἔστιν and of the corresponding scientific hypotheses from an existential angle are the result of a modern contamination whose origin will be diagnosed.