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2015 | Diametros 45 | 19-34

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Changing Kinds: Aristotle and the Aristotelians

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Aristotle is routinely blamed for several errors that, it is supposed, held 'science' back for centuries - among others, a belief in distinct, homogenous and unchanging species of living creatures, an essentialist account of human nature, and a suggestion that 'slavery' was a natural institution. This paper briefly examines Aristotle's own arguments and opinions, and the perils posed by a contrary belief in changeable species. Contrary to received opinion even amongst some of his followers, Aristotle was not a species essentialist and his ethical theory, properly expanded, provides arguments against bioengineering human and other species without a clear view of what should count as beauty.






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  • Department of Philosophy The University of Liverpool


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Special Topic – Aristotelian Recources of Bioethics

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