Aristotle on Ontological Priority

Hikmet Unlu

Abstract: There are several passages in the Metaphysics where Aristotle explains ontological priority in terms of ontological dependence, but there are others where he seems to adopt a teleological conception of ontological priority. It is sometimes maintained that the latter priority too must be construed in terms of the former, or that the priorities in question are not both endorsed (or simultaneously endorsed) by Aristotle. The goal of this paper is to show otherwise; I argue that what is at issue are two distinct priorities that Aristotle simultaneously endorses.

Keywords: Aristotle, ontological priority, ontological dependence, separation, substance.