Unformatted text preview: aition ? Part of Aristotle’s point is that there is no one answer to this question. An aition is just whatever one can cite in answer to a “why?” question. And what we give in answering a “why?” question is an explanation. So an aition is best thought of as an explanation than as a cause. 4. Even so, that’s not enough. First, Aristotle thinks that you can ask what the aitia of this table are, and it’s not clear what sense, if any, it makes to ask for an explanation of the table. Second, he thinks that, in some sense, a carpenter is an aition of a table, and it’s not clear in what sense, if any, a carpenter (or anything like a carpenter) could be an explanation of anything . Here perhaps Ackrill’s “explanatory factor” is a more illuminating translation of aition . That is, an aition is something that plays a role as an explanatory factor in the explanation of something. But, as we’ll see, there are many kinds of explanations....
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- Fall '09
- Metaphysics, Causality, Aristotle’s doctrine