An Approach to Aristotle's Physics : With Particular by David Bolotin

By David Bolotin

Preserving that Aristotle's writings concerning the wildlife include a rhetorical floor in addition to a philosophic middle, David Bolotin argues during this e-book that Aristotle by no means heavily meant a lot of his doctrines which were demolished by way of sleek technology. hence, he provides a couple of "case experiences" to teach that Aristotle intentionally misrepresented his perspectives approximately nature--a proposal that used to be ordinarily shared through commentators on his paintings in past due antiquity and the center a while. Bolotin demonstrates that Aristotle's actual perspectives haven't been refuted by way of glossy technological know-how and nonetheless deserve our so much critical realization.

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If, moreover, one holds that the world as a whole emerged through chance, it becomes all the harder to see how there could be a purpose behind the internal development of particular natural beings. And some of Aristotle's philosophic predecessors had in fact argued that there was none. Aristotle recasts their argument in the form of a perplexity, as follows. Zeus does not cause rain, the argument begins, in order to make the crops grow, any more than it rains in order to damage the crops on some poor farmer's threshing-floor; rather, the rain falls by necessity as the evaporated moisture rises and then cools, and it just happens to be advantageous or harmful for human beings.

For instance, Newton's first law of motion (the law of inertia) requires us first to imagine a body that is always at rest or else moving aimlessly in a straight line at a constant speed, even though we never see such a body, and even though according to his own theory of universal gravitation it is impossible that there can be one. This fundamental law, then, which begins with a claim about what would happen in a situation that never exists, carries no conviction except insofar as it helps to predict observable events.

25. At Physics 225a27-29, Aristotle does not say, as it might appear, that there is coming to be only by concomitance from what is not. What he says, rather, is that even on this supposition (a supposition which he himself has encouraged in book one, and which he might not wish openly to undermine), it is still that which is not that comes to be. 26. An acorn, for instance, does not remain as part of an oak tree, nor does air remain as part of the water that has been formed from it (d. On Coming into Being and Perishing 319b14-18).

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