Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology

Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology

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Description

This volume presents an interconnected set of sixteen essays, four of which are previously unpublished, by Allan Gotthelf-one of the leading experts in the study of Aristotle's biological writings. Gotthelf addresses three main topics across Aristotle's three main biological treatises. Starting with his own ground-breaking study of Aristotle's natural teleology and its illuminating relationship with the Generation of Animals, Gotthelf proceeds to the
axiomatic structure of biological explanation (and the first principles such explanation proceeds from) in the Parts of Animals. After an exploration of the implications of these two treatises for our understanding of Aristotle's metaphysics, Gotthelf examines important aspects of the method by which Aristotle
organizes his data in the History of Animals to make possible such a systematic, explanatory study of animals, offering a new view of the place of classification in that enterprise. In a concluding section on 'Aristotle as Theoretical Biologist', Gotthelf explores the basis of Charles Darwin's great praise of Aristotle and, in the first printing of a lecture delivered worldwide, provides an overview of Aristotle as a philosophically-oriented scientist, and 'a proper verdict' on his
greatness as scientist.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 163 x 241 x 30mm | 838g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199287953
  • 9780199287956
  • 940,212

Table of contents

PART I: TELEOLOGY, IRREDUCIBILITY, AND THE GENERATION OF ANIMALS (GA) ; PART II: FIRST PRINCIPLES AND EXPLANATORY STRUCTURE IN THE PARTS OF ANIMALS (PA) ; PART III: METAPHYSICAL THEMES IN PA AND GA ; PART IV: STARTING A SCIENCE: THEORETICAL AIMS OF THE HISTORY OF ANIMALS (HA) ; PART V: ARISTOTLE AS THEORETICAL BIOLOGIST
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Review quote

For scholars approaching Aristotle's biological treatises for the first time, the value of this book is found in the comprehensive way of understanding Aristotle's work that emerges from the collection of Gotthelf's best contributions. For scholars already familiar with Gotthelf's work, the value comes in the chapters published for the first time and from the fact that this work collects together the various parts of Gotthelf's interpretation in the way Gotthelf
himself thinks these parts fit together. That the book includes an impressive list of references and indexes (locorum, names, and subjects) further increases its value as a reference for those engaging with Aristotleas biological treatises. * Byron J. Styles, Mind * for those who are new to Aristotle's biology this book is an exceptional resource. It contains a wealth of interesting and provocative ideas on everything from the nature of teleological causation, to the relation between Aristotle's scientific theory and practice, to an analysis of the concepts of form, essence and substance, to a discussion of Darwin's views on Aristotle as a biologist . . . there is much to be praised in this excellent collection. While it will
likely be of interest mostly to Aristotle specialists, it tackles issues of a much broader historical significance in an engaging and delightful way. * David Henry, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Allan Gotthelf

Allan Gotthelf is Anthem Foundation Distinguished Fellow for Research and Teaching in Philosophy at Rutgers University, and Emeritus Professor of philosophy at the College of New Jersey. From 2003 to 2012 he was Visiting Professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. He was a junior fellow at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies in 1979-80 and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, in 2001. Since 1985 he
has been life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. He has published widely on Aristotle's biological works, and his work on Aristotle has recently been celebrated by some of the foremost scholars of Aristotle's in Being, Nature, and Life in Aristotle: Essays in Honour of Allan Gotthelf (2010).
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