By Roger French
В этом исследовании автор показывает, что древнее естествознание было собранием и представлением историй и феноменов, достойных упоминания философами, популяризаторами или торговцами чудесами. В этой книге исследуются отношения между физическим миром, богами, греческой философией и целями тех, кто выражал весьма различные понятия о «природе». Основное внимание автора уделено «Истории животных» Аристотеля, «Естественной истории растений» Теофраста, «Географии» Страбона, а также, в некоторой степени, «Естественной истории» Плиния Старшего. Одна из основных тем книги - то, как к естествознанию относились различные общества: греки, римляне, евреи и христиане.Образцы сканов:
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Final cause. This was the enduring feature of Aristotelian natural philosophy. In addition to these two, Aristotle identified an efficient cause (the bricklayer in the ANCIENT NATURAL HISTORY 17 Plate 2 The owl of Athena, symbolising wisdom. ) case of the house) and a formal cause (the design the house must follow if it is to achieve its final cause). We shall see how these principles were put into practice when looking in more detail at the natural books. Here we must note that these causes relate directly to 18 ARISTOTLE AND THE NATURES OF THINGS another great Aristotelian principle, that of form and matter.
It seemed then that reason was only one part of the soul and that in all of its other actions the soul required a material body. This, says Aristotle,111 is why the study of the soul belongs to the study of physis, ‘nature’. 32 ARISTOTLE AND THE NATURES OF THINGS So Aristotle is drawing into his realm what his predecessors had thought belonged to some other field of study. Aristotle further explains that a traditional natural philosopher would discuss, let us say, ‘anger’ in some such terms as the boiling of blood round the heart, while it would be the dialectician who would call anger some affection of the soul such as the need to return pain for pain received.
We shall see that it is only later, in the animal books, that he is prepared to question even first principles if only the amount of empirical and observational knowledge was great enough. But Aristotle does not rely solely on demonstration in any strict sense to persuade his audience, and depends instead on the natural instinct to see an argument as a battle in which there will be a victor. It is a hollow triumph if the opponent does not turn up for the battle: a win by default, says Aristotle, acknowledging that his own argument will be stronger if others are heard and defeated.