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The Feminine SymptomAleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos$
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Emanuela Bianchi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262182

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262182.001.0001

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Necessity and Automaton

Necessity and Automaton

Aleatory Matter and the Feminine Symptom

(p.51) Chapter Two Necessity and Automaton
The Feminine Symptom

Emanuela Bianchi

Fordham University Press

This chapter undertakes an investigation of the various meanings of necessity in Aristotle, and further pursues the notion that aleatory matter might harbor its own source of motion. Aristotle’s definitions of necessity in the Physics and Metaphysics to the biological texts, discovering that in the philosophical texts there are two major modes of necessity – on the one hand simple and hypothetical necessity, that both issue from telos or final cause, and on the other a disagreeable compulsion or bia that disrupts teleological processes. However in biological contexts these two modes are often seen to function in conjunction with one another. Automaton as the spontaneous source of such compulsion in nature is investigated at length, in an intertextual and etymological study and as it appears in Aristotle. The Metaphysics uniquely acknowledges the ontological force of automaton, and it is further explored in the context of spontaneous generation. Its coinciding with simple or teleological necessity in nature is analyzed according to the logic of the feminine symptom.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Necessity, Teleology, Compulsion, Matter, Automaton, Reproduction, Symptom, Spontaneity, Gender

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