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Aristotle’s Theory of Wholes


Roberto Poli


Pages 56 - 61



Aristotle wrote about parts and wholes interspersed in most of his works, which shows that the problem was a source of constant concern to him. The resulting theory was historically successful: indeed, its influence lasted for more than twenty centuries (Henry 1991). However, none of the best-established reconstructions of Aristotle’s thought published in the last 200 years has contained a chapter explicitly dealing with his theory of parts and wholes.




1Department of Philosophy, University of Trento



1 Albertazzi, L., (2006), Immanent Realism. Introduction to Franz Brentano, Dordrecht: Springer.

2 Aristotle Metaphysics, Physics, Topica, Parts of Animals from Loeb Classical Library.

3 Henry, D.P., (1991), Medieval Mereology, Grüner: Amsterdam-Philadelphia.

4 Poli, R., (1998), “Qua-theories”, in L. Albertazzi (ed), Shapes of Forms. Kluwer: Dordrecht, 245-256.

5 Poli, R., (2004), “Approaching Brentano’s Theory of Categories”, in A. Chrudzimski and W. Huemer, eds., Phenomenology and Analysis. Essays in Central European Philosophy, Ontos Verlag: Frankfurt, 285-321.

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