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Aristotle on the Matter of FormA Feminist Metaphysics of Generation$
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Adriel M. Trott

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474455220

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474455220.001.0001

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Craft and Other Metaphors

Craft and Other Metaphors

(p.212) 7 Craft and Other Metaphors
Aristotle on the Matter of Form

Adriel M. Trott

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines Aristotle’s numerous uses of analogies to craft in his account of generation to argue that Aristotle uses these analogies to explain specific aporiai rather than to assign nature a structure of craft. The tool analogy explains how semen takes over the form from the male parent, but Aristotle’s use of further analogies such as building points to how the semen’s formal activity is like the act of building, an activity of animating, which itself animates the embryo. Aristotle’s account of the tool in other contexts points to how semen does the work of the male parent’s soul while enabling the generation of a new being with its own soul. Other images such as the earth and sun, the rennet, and the good householder, in the last part of the chapter, point to other models that Aristotle offers for explaining the work of semen specifically and generation in general.

Keywords:   Craft analogy, semen, building, carpenter, rennet, good householder

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