Aristotle on the subject matter of geometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


I offer a new interpretation of Aristotle's philosophy of geometry, which he presents in greatest detail in Metaphysics M 3. On my interpretation, Aristotle holds that the points, lines, planes, and solids of geometry belong to the sensible realm, but not in a straightforward way. Rather, by considering Aristotle's second attempt to solve Zeno's Runner Paradox in Book VIII of the Physics, I explain how such objects exist in the sensibles in a special way. I conclude by considering the passages that lead Jonathan Lear to his fictionalist reading of Met. M3,1 and I argue that Aristotle is here describing useful heuristics for the teaching of geometry; he is not pronouncing on the meaning of mathematical talk.
Translated title of the contributionAristotle on the subject matter of geometry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239 - 260
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Science and Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'Aristotle on the subject matter of geometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this