Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology

Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology

by Allan Gotthelf
     
 

Aristotle's biological works -- constituting over 25% of his surviving corpus and for centuries largely unstudied by philosophically oriented scholars -- have been the subject of an increasing amount of attention of late. This collection brings together some of the best work that has been done in this area, with the aim of exhibiting the contribution that close study… See more details below

Overview

Aristotle's biological works -- constituting over 25% of his surviving corpus and for centuries largely unstudied by philosophically oriented scholars -- have been the subject of an increasing amount of attention of late. This collection brings together some of the best work that has been done in this area, with the aim of exhibiting the contribution that close study of these treatises can make to the understanding of Aristotle's philosophy.

The book is divided into four parts, each with an introduction which places its essays in relation to each other and to the wider issues of the book as a whole. The first part is an overview of the relationship of Aristotle's biology to his philosophy; the other three each concentrate on a set of issues central to Aristotelian study -- definition and demonstration; teleology and necessity in nature; and metaph themes such as the unity of matter and form and the naturisubstance.

Over three-quarters of the essays are newly written, and much of the rest has been significantly revised. Although the book is addressed primarily to students of Aristotle's Philosophy, its ext ensive attention to the whole of his biological works should make it of interest to historians and philosophers of biology as well.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521310918
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/28/1987
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
476
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

Notes on contributorsvii
Prefacexi
Introduction1
IBiology and philosophy: an overview
Introduction5
1The place of biology in Aristotle's philosophy9
2Aristotle's biological universe: an overview21
3Empirical research in Aristotle's biology53
IIDefinition and demonstration: theory and practice
Introduction65
4Aristotle's use of division and differentiae69
5Divide and explain: the Posterior Analytics in practice90
6Definition and scientific method in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and Generation of Animals120
7First principles in Aristotle's Parts of Animals167
IIITeleology and necessity in nature
Introduction199
8Aristotle's conception of final causality204
9Hypothetical necessity and natural teleology243
10Teleology and necessity275
IVMetaphysical themes
Introduction287
11Aristotle's biology was not essentialist291
Appendix 1Note on the aporia in Metaphysics Z302
Appendix 2The snub306
12Logical difference and biological difference: the unity of Aristotle's thought313
13Kinds, forms of kinds, and the more and the less in Aristotle's biology339
14Animals and other beings in Aristotle360
15Aristotle on bodies, matter, and potentiality392
16Aristotle on the place of mind in nature408
List of works cited424
Index locorum431
General index453

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