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“Second Natureµ and the Polysemy of “Customµ: At the Roots of Modernity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Custom, ‘First Nature’, Habit, Law, Nature, ‘Second Nature’.

This article provides a historical theoretical reconstruction of the semantic evolution that the phrase ‘second nature’ underwent in the transition from ancient to early modern philosophies of habit. More specifically, the article investigates the link between the expression ‘second nature’ and the evolution of the concept of ‘custom’ in relation to the main meanings that this concept gradually accreted during the centuries: juridical, moral, political and epistemological. The attribution of the expression to Aristotle by the Latin commentators of the corpus aristotelicum starting with the mid-thirteenth century has indeed altered our perception not only of the wealth of the genealogy of the concept of ‘second nature’, but also of the polysemy of that of ‘custom’. The general aim of this article is to provide a contribution to the historical reconstruction of the idea of custom, on which there is scarce scientific literature in the philosophical field.

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