Does Aristotle ever use a collective term (such as `mode') for ἐντελέχεια and δύναμις?

2 Answers 2


You can see :

and the review by Daniel P.Maher.

It seems that we have a (not rare in A) case of "multiplicity" of meaning :

The general schema relates energeia and dunamis, which is "potentiality" here, but "capacity" at the lower level. Thus, in the commentary, "capacity" and "potentiality" mark whether Makin has in mind dunamis in the use coordinated with change or dunamis in the schematic use coordinated with actuality. In this light, the introduction seems to have understated the distinction between the two translations of dunamis [footnote #6 : On page xxxv, Makin says the term dunamis is "already overworked, referring both to a capacity and to a potentiality," which seems to imply two distinct meanings.] In the commentary Makin works out interesting distinctions among many kinds of capacity: active and passive, rational and non-rational, innate capacities and those acquired by learning and by teaching. These many senses of "capacity" are ordered in a "focal analysis" around the primary type, the "active capacity" [...]. Whether "potentiality" at the schematic level is only an extension of the very same notion encountered at the level of capacity-change may be disputed, but it is helpful to recognize the distinct usage of "capacity" and "potentiality."


According to Heidegger, the relevant collective term appears to be eidos, form or essence. However, since energeia is regarded as prior to dynameis the former would be more relevant to the question of 'mode'.

In Greek thought energeia means “standing in the work,” where “work” means that which stands fully in its “end.” But in turn the “fully-ended or fulfilled” [das “Vollendete”] does not mean “the concluded,” any more than telos means “conclusion.” Rather, in Greek thought telos and ergon are defined by eidos; they name the manner and mode in which something stands “finally and finitely” [“endlich”] in its appearance. ...

Aristotle says this in his own way in a sentence we take from the treatise that deals explicitly with entelecheia (Meta. , 8, 1049 b 5): fanerin oti proteron energeia dynameis estis: “Manifestly standing-in-the-work is prior to appropriateness for....”

continues at : https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/10011/5154

Also in the linked PDF:

M. Heidegger: On The Essence and Concept of Physis in Aristotle's Physics, page 24

Aristotle characterizes uhl as to dunamei. Dynameis means the capacity, or better, the appropriateness for.... The wood present in the workshop [281] is in a state of appropriateness for a “table.”

So dunameis as 'capacity' appears to have much less to do with 'mode' than energeia.

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