At least since the Neoplatonic commentators, Aristotle's thesis that place is immobile has been considered a serious problem for his theory of place and locomotion. This diagnosis, however, is essentially based on a single passage (212a14-21)-the famous passage on the boat moving in a river-which interpreters find both central and obscure or imprecise, and which has so far resisted a literal reading. I tackle this issue by considering texts hitherto neglected by scholars and propose a new and charitable interpretation, showing the consistency of Aristotle's thesis of the immobility of place with his general theory of change, as well as a fresh reading of R. 212a14-21 that stays close to the text. Further, I argue that there are good reasons to believe that the interpretation I put forward is the most ancient one.

Aristotle’s account of the immobility of place: a cold case / Quarantotto, Diana. - In: PHRONESIS. - ISSN 0031-8868. - 67:4(2022), pp. 421-461. [10.1163/15685284-bja10059]

Aristotle’s account of the immobility of place: a cold case

Diana Quarantotto
2022

Abstract

At least since the Neoplatonic commentators, Aristotle's thesis that place is immobile has been considered a serious problem for his theory of place and locomotion. This diagnosis, however, is essentially based on a single passage (212a14-21)-the famous passage on the boat moving in a river-which interpreters find both central and obscure or imprecise, and which has so far resisted a literal reading. I tackle this issue by considering texts hitherto neglected by scholars and propose a new and charitable interpretation, showing the consistency of Aristotle's thesis of the immobility of place with his general theory of change, as well as a fresh reading of R. 212a14-21 that stays close to the text. Further, I argue that there are good reasons to believe that the interpretation I put forward is the most ancient one.
2022
Aristotle; physics; change; locomotion; place; immobility
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Aristotle’s account of the immobility of place: a cold case / Quarantotto, Diana. - In: PHRONESIS. - ISSN 0031-8868. - 67:4(2022), pp. 421-461. [10.1163/15685284-bja10059]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1668580
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