Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology

Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology

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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 nature of substance.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139237926
  • 9781139237925

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; Part I. Biology and Philosophy: An Overview: Introduction; 1. The place of biology in Aristotle's philosophy D. M. Balme; 2. Aristotle's biological universe: an overview Montgomery Furth; 3. Empirical research in Aristotle's biology G. E. R. Lloyd; Part II. Definition and Demonstration: Theory and Practice: Introduction; 4. Aristotle's use of division and differentiae D. M. Balme; 5. Divide and explain: the Posterior Analytics in practice James G. Lennox; 6. Definition and scientific method in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and Generation of Animals Robert Bolton; 7. First principles in Aristotle's Parts of Animals Allan Gotthelf; Part III. Teleology and Necessity in Nature: Introduction; 8. Aristotle's conception of final causality Allan Gotthelf; 9. Hypothetical necessity and natural teleology John M. Cooper; 10. Teleology and necessity D. M. Balme; Part IV. Metaphysical Themes: Introduction; 11. Aristotle's biology was not essentialist D. M. Balme; 12. Logical difference and biological difference: the unity of Aristotle's thought Pierre Pellegrin; 13. Kinds, forms of kinds, and the more and the less in Aristotle's biology James G. Lennox; 14. Animals and other beings in Aristotle L. A. Kosman; 15. Aristotle on bodies, matter, and potentiality Cynthia A. Freeland; 16. Aristotle on the place of mind in nature William Charlton; Index locorum; General index.
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Review quote

'This excellently planned and produced anthology is the proper answer to a long-felt need for the study of Aristotle's biological work ... Particular attention is paid to the relationship of biology as a distinct inquiry and a set of principles to the broader philosophical problems of scientific knowledge and logic ... Highly recommended for advanced students and specialists.' J. P. Anton, Choice 'The collection represents some of the finest work currently being done on Aristotle's philosophy, and its comprehensive scope and unified theme will make the book most valuable to all who are interested in Aristotle's philosophy or the history and philosophy of biology.' Mary Louise Gill, Isis 'The book will be essential reading for anyone working on substance, form, definition, teleology, etc. for a long time to come ...'. Malcolm Schofield, Phronesis 'Indeed the whole book is a mine of good things; Gotthelf, Lennox, and the other contributors deserve our congratulations and encouragement.' John Rist, Phoenix 'It is obvious that Aristotelian studies has gained a new vitality, and the book is ... a shining example of how the philosophy of science can enlighten the general history of ideas.' Gunnar Erikson, Lychnos (translated)
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