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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A016-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 16, 2024, from

Article Summary

Archē, or ‘principle’, is an ancient Greek philosophical term. Building on earlier uses, Aristotle established it as a technical term with a number of related meanings, including ‘originating source’, ‘cause’, ‘principle of knowledge’ and ‘basic entity’. Accordingly, it acquired importance in metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of science, and also in the particular sciences. According to Aristotle’s doctrine of scientific principles, all sciences and all scientific knowledge are founded on principles (archai) of a limited number of determinate kinds.

Citing this article:
McKirahan, Richard. Archē, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A016-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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