Roger French's Ancient Natural History PDF

By Roger French

ISBN-10: 0203974166

ISBN-13: 9780203974162

ISBN-10: 0415088801

ISBN-13: 9780415088800

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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Additional resources for Ancient Natural History

Example text

This is the discipline of nature and Aristotle comes as close as he ever does to ‘nature’ in an abstract sense. There are a number of things to note about this. ‘Principle’ is arche, with a main meaning of ‘beginning’36 and we can again see that Aristotle means that that out of which things grow is related to their essence: the nature of a thing. Aristotle’s term is phusis—or more traditionally physis—and the person who investigates it is physikos. Aristotle names only those of earlier generations, upon his disagreements with whom he builds his own version of the discipline.

For him the natural world was a collection of natures-of-things, each a principle governing the development and behaviour of the individual thing. That is, there was no external set of principles by which natural things developed or interacted, no wisdom of a maternal Nature. ’24 This is fundamentally important for the present book. It requires a mental effort to remember that Aristotle does not use anything comparable to our general term ‘nature’; and one of the themes of this book is to show how such a meaning arose.

It has been argued25 that this was seen by Aristotle as presenting a dualism between the conscious rationality and will of the demiurge and the mechanical necessity of matter. Aristotle’s view of nature as immanent, local and not conscious avoided this. Of course, Aristotle is treating the natural world ‘philosophically’ in not admitting the gods as causes of changes and to a certain extent this aligns him with the old philosophers. So in restoring purpose to the world Aristotle could not turn back to the gods and had to find a natural cause of change.

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Ancient Natural History by Roger French

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