Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2005

A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Augustin Riška
Pages 159-168

An aristotelian theory of power (metaphysical reflections)
A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

In this essay I investigate the interplay between actual and potential properties of a thing within an Aristotelian conceptual framework. A minimal formal treatment of such interplay is proposed, outlining the actual or possible causal impact of these properties with respect to the changes of a thing in question. I also mention the historically interesting controversy between Aristotle and the Megarians concerning the relationship between power and act, as well as Hintikka’s application of the Principle of Plenitude. The essay ends with certain suggestions for treating the problems of actual and potential properties by means of dispositions and contrary-to-fact conditionals.