From Hmolpedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In existographies, Aristotle (2339-2277 BE) (384-322 BCM) (IQ:200|#4) (ID:3.15|62) (Cattell 1000:6) (RGM:9|1,350+) (PR:7|65AE / philosopher:1) (Murray 4000:3|CS / 2|B / 1|WP) (Becker 160:9|11L) (Becker 139:2|19L) (Stokes 100:9) (Perry 80:3|Li) (Glenn 20:1) (Cardano 12:2) (Durant 10:3) (GPE:#) (GPhE:#) (GCE:#) (EPD:FM) (TR:568) (LH:54) (TL:622|#6) was a Greek encyclopedic philosopher and general poly-intellectual, noted for []


Potential and actuality

Aristotle, in his commentary on Parmenides’ conception of ‘being’ and ‘non-being’, as the two alternatives of existence, argued that ‘potentiality’ was a third alternative.[1] In this direction, Aristotle developed the dual concept of “potential and actuality”[2] as two categories existence possibilities.

In 1914, Hans Driesch, in his The History and Theory of Vitalism, attempted to expand on Aristotle's potential and actuality theory, as follows:

“Whenever anything is produced by nature or by art, according to Aristotle, there arises something which is potentially (δυναμει οv) through something which is in actuality (εντελεχεια οv). The question is as to the words dynamis and entelechy. By dynamis is not really meant what in modern terminology would be called ‘potentiality’ or ‘potential energy’, at least not that only, and in any case not in the passage to which we have drawn attention. The concept is much wider: by dynamis the statue is already contained in the block of marble, and indeed it is in this sense, as we shall see later on, that Aristotle uses the word in our passage. Entelechy is that which ‘is’ in the highest sense of the word, even if it is not strictly a realized thing; in this sense the statue, before it is realized, exists in the mind of the sculptor. We can see that the concept of entelechy rather than that of dynamis corresponds, though not completely, to the modern concept of the potential.”
— Hans Driesch (1914), The History and Theory of Vitalism (pgs. 13-14)


Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Aristotle:

“As a physicist, Aristotle displayed what we should consider some of the worst attributes of a modern physical investigator—indistinctness of ideas, confusion of mind, and a confident use of language, which led to the delusive notion that he had really mastered his subject, while he had as yet failed to grasp even the elements of it. He put words in the place of things, subject in the place of object. He preached Induction without practicing it, inverting the true order of inquiry by passing from the general to the particular, instead of from the particular to the general.”
John Tyndall (1874), “Atheistic Materialism” (pgs. 14-15), BAAS Address[3]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Aristotle:

“But ‘actuality’ is so spoken of in two ways, first as knowledge is and second as contemplation is. It is clear then that the soul is actuality as knowledge is; for both sleep and waking depend on the existence of soul, and waking is analogous to contemplation, and sleep to the possession but not the exercise of knowledge. Hence, the soul is the first ‘actuality’ of a natural body which has life ‘potentially’.”
— Aristotle (c.320BC), On the Soul (§:421a22) [4]

End matter


  1. Pearce, Jonathan. (2019). “Criticizing the Idea of Potential and Actuality in Natural Law Philosophy” (Ѻ),, category: Non-religious, Oct 18.
  2. Potential and actuality – Wikipedia.
  3. Tyndall, John. (1874). “Atheistic Materialism (txt) (pregnant, pg. 3), Address, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Belfast. Longmans.
  4. (a) Aristotle. (350BC), On the Soul (De Anima) (translator: J.A. Smith) (txt). Oxford, 1956.
    (b) Aristotle. (322BC). The Complete Works of Aristotle, Volume One (editor: Jonathan Barnes) (§:On the Soul, pgs. 641-92). Princeton, 1995.

Further reading

  • Aristotle. (350BC). Physics (translators: Robert Hardie and Russell Gaye) (txt). Publisher, 1930; Oxford, 1954.
  • Aristotle. (322BC). The Complete Works of Aristotle, Volume One (editor: Jonathan Barnes). Princeton, 1995.
  • Aristotle. (322BC). The Complete Works of Aristotle, Volume Two (editor: Jonathan Barnes). Princeton, 1995.

External links

Theta Delta ics T2.jpg