What is living? Aristotle and the metaphysical problem of biological processes


Manuel Cruz Ortiz de Landázuri


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 68, Issue 158, 2019, pages 461-483




Aristotle distinguishes in Book IX of Metaphysics two kinds of acts: on the one hand the processes, that take place in time and are not perfect; on the other hand the perfect activities, in which the end is the activity itself and therefore do not require a temporary process for its realization. In this way Aristotle says that living is a perfect activity. Now, it is clear that life is composed of biological processes that require time. In this article I try to clarify how the processes can be part of a perfect activity and for this reason I try to clarify the role of the soul as a form that gives order to matter, which is developed in processes.

Key words:

activity, form, matter, process, soul.


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