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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front Phil Chin    2012, Vol. 7 Issue (4) : 662-681
Review of Nie Minli’s Being and Substance: On Aristotle’s Metaphysics Z1–9
Lü Chunshan()
School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
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In his new book Being and Substance: A Study of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Z1–9, Nie Minli, taking a holistic perspective, argues that the primary substance—that is, the individual in Categories—is identical to form, which is the primary substance in Metaphysics Z, and that Z3 has finished arguing what the real candidate of substance is and the inserted Z7–9 texts are the “core and key” of the entire book. In spite of his excellent scholarship and masterful interpretation of Metaphysics Z4–6, Z7, Categories 1–5 and Physics Α, Nie offers insufficient textual support for his interpretation of the primary substance in Metaphysics Z and the content of Z3. Although substance is the subject (hypokeimenon) and a “this” (tode ti) in Categories, it is the ultimate subject (hypokeimenon eschaton) and a “this” (tode ti) and separable (choriston) in Metaphysics. As the ultimate subject, substance is form and matter but not the individual. As a “this” (tode ti) and separable (choriston), substance is form; moreover, the primary substance is form. In my view, that form is substance in Z3 serves more as a plan or outline needed to prove in the following than as a definite conclusion. This article also points out that tode ti in Z8, 1033b21 refers to the individual but not the form. Homōnuma in Z9 cannot be understood as “sharing the same name but with different meaning,” but, rather, simply as “having the same name.”

Keywords ultimate subject (hypokeimenon eschaton)      a this (tode ti)      substance (ousia)      form and matter     
Corresponding Author(s): Lü Chunshan,   
Issue Date: 05 December 2012
 Cite this article:   
Lü Chunshan. Review of Nie Minli’s Being and Substance: On Aristotle’s Metaphysics Z1–9[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2012, 7(4): 662-681.
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