Aristotle’s mathematical cyclists

Adriane Rini


Quine objected to Aristotelian essentialism and he objected to modal logic generally. Quine is unable to make sense of a view he attributes to Aristotle — that properties can apply by necessity to things independently of how they are described. Aristotle scholars have considered ways Aristotle might answer Quine’s objections to essentialism, but their focus is metaphysical issues and they say little about modal logic. This paper looks at examples from Aristotle which make Quine’s point about mathematical cyclists and then shows that Aristotle, qua modal logician, is aware of Quine’s problems.

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