The ambiguity of makesAristotle’s point may be put this way: if we ask “what makessomething so-and-so?” we can give four very different sorts of answer -each appropriate to a different sense of “makes.” Consider the following sentences: 1.The table is made ofwood. 2.Having four legs and a flat top makesthis (count as) a table. 3.A carpenter makesa table. 4.Having a surface suitable for eating or writing makesthis (work as) a table. Aristotelian versions of (1) -(4): 1a. Wood is an aitionof a table.2a. Having four legs and a flat top is an aitionof a table.3a. A carpenter is an aitionof a table.4a. Having a surface suitable for eating or writing is an aitionof a table.These sentences can be disambiguated by specifying the relevant sense of aitionin each case: 1b. Wood is what the table is made out of. 2b. Having four legs and a flat top is what it is to be a table. 3b. A carpenter is what producesa table.
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