Aristotle and Rational Discovery: Speaking of Nature

In this lively and original book, Russell Winslow pursues a newinterpretation of logos in Aristotle. Rather than a reading ofrationality that cleaves human beings from nature, this newinterpretation suggests that, for Aristotle, consistent and dependable rational arguments reveal a deep dependency upon nature. To this end,the author shows that a rational account of a being is in fact subjectto the very same principle that governs the physical motion andgeneration of a being under inquiry. Among the many consequences of this argument is a rejection of both of the prevailing oppositionalclaims that Aristotle’s methodological procedure of discovery is one resting on either empirical or conceptual grounds: discovery reveals amore complex structure than can be grasped by either of these modern modes. Further, Winslow argues that this interpretation of rationaldiscovery also contributes to the ethical debates surrounding Aristotle’s work, insofar as an ethical claim is achieved throughreason, but is not thereby conceived as objective. Again, the demand for agreement in ethical/political decision will be disclosed assuperseding in its complexity both those accounts of ethical decision as subjective (for example, “emotivist” accounts) and those asobjective (“realist” accounts).