Single Idea 634

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / b. Nomological causation]

Full Idea

If we allow Forms or numbers, they will not be the cause of anything, or, if that is too strong, they will at any rate not be the cause of any movement.

Gist of Idea

Pure Forms and numbers can't cause anything, and especially not movement


Aristotle (Metaphysics [c.324 BCE], 1075b23)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Metaphysics', ed/tr. Lawson-Tancred,Hugh [Penguin 1998], p.388

A Reaction

This is Benacerraf's famous observation (1973) that we can't accept a platonic account of numbers because, lacking causal powers, they are unknowable.