Download Ancient Natural History by Roger French PDF

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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We cannot afford to spend too much space in a work on ancient natural history to Aristotle’s work on the soul. It is certainly true that the soul was for him ‘the principle of animal life’, but this is much what we are looking at in studying the natures-of-animals in the later animal books (see below). 105 He both praised the nobility of the knowledge and warned against the difficulty of procuring it in a passage which is a direct counterweight to a famous passage (we shall also meet it below) in which he praises the certainty of knowledge derived from direct observation of animals, despite the apparent lack of charm of such knowledge.

Above all, the advantage of including a discussion of living things in a text on meteorology is that Aristotle can fully articulate his doctrine of change as end-directed. That this is Aristotle’s purpose becomes clear towards the end of the work. It is by making comparisons with living organisms and particularly animals that Aristotle can illustrate his fundamental physical principles better than he can in things where matter predominates over form. 90 Here ‘essence’ as definition is equivalent to the nature of the thing, and Aristotle is pointing out that natural things exist in a scale determined by the greater involvement of form with matter.

When the natural heat of a moist body is overcome by external heat, says Aristotle,91 the result is putrefaction. In contrast, when the natural heat of an object perfects the passive qualities, most often the Cold and the Moist, then true concoction occurs. This is the process by which a thing becomes itself, that is, by which its ‘nature’ is expressed. Aristotle is arguing in a characteristic way for a process between opposites. Corruption and generation are opposites. The action of the Hot on the Cold in concoction is an action of opposites and is akin to the action of the male on the female in generation and to the action of form on matter.

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