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Aristotele’s usage of ›Principle of Motion‹ and the two Definitions of Nature in PHYSICS II,1

Fritsche, Johannes

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, Bd. 52 (2011), Iss. 0: S. 8–33

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Fritsche, Johannes


It has been discussed whether in his two defi nitions of nature in Physics II, Aristotle means a mover, a passive principle or both kinds of principles. I arguethat he means a mover. I discuss several occurrences of the expression archê kinêseôs (›principle of motion‹) in particular in Aristotle’s Metaphysics IX andPhysics (especially 255 b 29–31). Aristotle means most often a mover, sometimes»the time/site of the beginning of the motion« and never a passive principle.Finally, I briefl y discuss the status and function of the two defi nitions of nature within the context of Physics II and the entire Physics.


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Johannes Fritsche: Aristotele’s usage of [...] (›Principle of Motion‹) and the two Definitions of Nature in PHYSICS II, 1 7