Title

States and Performances: Aristotle's Test

Keywords

Verbs, Predication, Houses, Aristotelianism, Reason, Entailment, Metaphysics, Sentences, Grammatical aspect

Abstract

In Metaphysics 0 6 Aristotle proposes a division of actions into evepyetoc (actualizations) and XLv~aTL (movements). He divides actions into these two classes in accordance with a linguistic test: is a description of the action in the perfect tense true at the same time as a description in the present tense? This test has been plausibly recast as an entailment relation:1 does the present tense description entail the perfect? I shall call Aristotle's criterion so construed his completeness test. No commentators on the passage since Ryle have been able both to accept the test at face value, namely as a grammatical test, and to accept Aristotle's resulting classification. This I show in ? I. I argue in ? II that the failure to appreciate the eepy?ta-xivto s distinction is based on a double error. In the first place, Aristotle's examples have been misclassified; in the second, the Greek perfect has been mis- translated. When Aristotle's test is understood, his distinction-a different one from that generally attributed to him-can be vindicated. I meet objections and provide a point for Aristotle's theory in ?

Original Publication Citation

"States and Performances: Aristotle's Test,"The Philosophical Quarterly 30 (1980): 117-130.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

1980-4

Publisher

The Philosophic Quarterly

Language

English

College

Humanities

Department

Philosophy

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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