Being Measured

Truth and Falsehood in Aristotle's Metaphysics

By Mark R. Wheeler

Subjects: Aristotle, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Ancient Greek Philosophy
Hardcover : 9781438476858, 364 pages, December 2019
Paperback : 9781438476841, 364 pages, July 2020

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Introduction: Stating the Puzzles
The Knots
My Approach to the Metaphysics

Part I. Philosophical Wisdom and Truth

1. The Demands of Philosophical Wisdom
The Divine Science
Hitting the Barn Door
Being, Truth, and Causality
The Beta Test
Part II. Truth and the Logical Axioms

2. What "Truth" and "Falsehood" Signify
The Canonical Definition of Truth in Context
Kinds of Definition
Arguing for the Axioms
Aristotle's Fundamental Philosophical Semantics
Aristotle's Opponents
The Nominal Definition of "Truth"
What the Nominal Definitions Entail

3. The Nominal Definition of "Truth" and the Axioms
Truth and the Law of the Excluded Middle
Simple Assertions and Contradictory Pairs
Intermediate Assertions and LNC
The Elenctic Argument at 1011b23−29 and the Nominal Definitions
Part III. Truth and Being

4. The Being of Truth
Truth is a Kind of Being
Being True is not Being a Kind of Object
Matthen's Proposal
Being a True Assertion
Truth and the Other Kinds of Being

5. Aristotle's Homonymous Truth Bearers
The Homonymous Kinds of Truth and Falsehood
True and False Assertions
True and False Things
Aristotle's Core Kind of Truth and Falsehood

6. The Genus of Truth
Identifying the Genus
The Category of the Genus of Truth
An Outstanding Problem: True Definitions of Essences

7. The Activity of Truth
True Assertions about Simples
The Core Kind of Truth Redux
The Power and Activity of Truth
Part IV. Truth and Measurement

8. Truth, Oneness, and Measurement
The Extension of the Term "One"
The Intension of the Term "One"
Metaphysics Δ 6 on Oneness and Measure

9. The Ground of Truth
The Measure and the Measured
Aristotle's Measure Doctrine
Aristotle's Metrical Account of the Correspondence Relation
Aristotle's Asymetrical Measurement Relation

Conclusion: The Subsequent Free Play of Thought

Index Locorum

Advances an interpretation of Aristotle’s theory of truth in terms of accurate measurement.


On the basis of careful textual exegesis and philosophical analysis of Aristotle's Metaphysics, Mark R. Wheeler offers a groundbreaking interpretation of Aristotle's theory of truth in terms of measurement. Wheeler demonstrates that Aristotle's investigation of truth and falsehood in the Metaphysics is rigorously methodical, that Aristotle's conceptions of truth contribute to the main lines of thought in the treatise, and that the Metaphysics, taken as a whole, contributes fundamentally to Aristotle's theory of truth. Wheeler provides not only an excellent introduction to the main problems in the theory of truth but also provides contemporary truth theorists with a rigorous explanation of Aristotle's theory of truth.

Mark R. Wheeler is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs at San Diego State University. He is the coeditor (with William A. Nericcio) of 150 Years of Evolution: Darwin's Impact on Contemporary Thought and Culture.


"The book's scholarship is impeccable. " — CHOICE

"Wheeler's book constitutes a major contribution to the scholarship on Aristotle's theory of truth and falsehood. The book offers much in terms of how to read the Metaphysics itself, and Wheeler's interpretation will strike some as defending a rather controversial and complex thesis centered around the idea that the Metaphysics ought to be read as a more systematically and philosophically unified document with the articulation of a robust theory of truth at the center of the entire work. Wheeler offers much food for thought. " — Blake Hestir, author of Plato on the Metaphysical Foundation of Meaning and Truth