Aristotle's Ontology of Change

E-book – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-4190-2

Cloth Text – $99.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-4189-6

Paper Text – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-4188-9
Publication Date
April 2020
Page Count
216 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Aristotle's Ontology of Change

Mark Sentesy

This book investigates what change is, according to Aristotle, and how it affects his conception of being. Mark Sentesy argues that change leads Aristotle to develop first-order metaphysical concepts such as matter, potency, actuality, sources of being, and the teleology of emerging things. He shows that Aristotle’s distinctive ontological claim—that being is inescapably diverse in kind—is anchored in his argument for the existence of change.
Aristotle may be the only thinker to have given a noncircular definition of change. When he gave this definition, arguing that change is real was a losing proposition. To show that it exists, he had to rework the way philosophers understood reality. His groundbreaking analysis of change has long been interpreted through a Platonist lens, however, in which being is conceived as unchanging. Offering a comprehensive reexamination of the relationship between change and being in Aristotle, Sentesy makes an important contribution to scholarship on Aristotle, ancient philosophy, the history and philosophy of science, and metaphysics.

About the Author

MARK SENTESY is an assistant professor of philosophy at Penn State University. 

“Mark Sentesy's book presents an original and comprehensive reexamination of Aristotle's concept of change and of the relation of change to being. Sentesy demonstrates that Aristotle's concept of change is instrumental in leading to his analyses of such metaphysical concepts as matter, potency, actuality, and teleology. Sentesy's work is groundbreaking and opens a new horizon within which Aristotle's thought can be reanimated in a way that is both rigorous and comprehensive.” —John Sallis, author of Being and Logos: Reading the Platonic Dialogues

“Change is at the core of Aristotle’s ontology. Originally the idea goes back to Plotinus, and in modern times it provides a basic assumption for phenomenologically inspired interpreters like Eugen Fink, Walter Bröker, Pierre Aubenque, and Wolfgang Wieland. Mark Sentesy joins this interpretative tradition, but he does it in an original and creative way. He offers a very compelling reconstruction of all the main aspects in Aristotle’s view of the connection between change and being.” —Alejandro G. Vigo