Nature, Change, and Agency in Aristotle's Physics: A by Sarah Waterlow

By Sarah Waterlow

This exam of Aristotle's suggestion of average substance and its implications for switch, technique, business enterprise, teleology, mathematical continuity, and everlasting movement illustrates the conceptual strength of Aristotle's metaphysics of nature in addition to its clinical obstacles and inner tensions.

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Extra info for Nature, Change, and Agency in Aristotle's Physics: A Philosophical Study

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124 Here I wish only to suggest that Aristotle's premisses include so to speak a systematic built-in tension, not to say contradiction. On the one hand, Aristotle holds, in conformity with his biological tenets and with the continuity-thesis they imply, that certain animals, being intelligent, to some extent partake of the divine too (d. g. GA 3. 10, 761"5 on the divine in bees); indeed, the construal of the scala naturae as continuous is the basis even for the radical thesis that' all things have by nature something divine in them' (EN 7.

12O Specifically, more vital heat brings about greater perfection, greater motive power and (accordingly) larger size and mobility (GA 2. ), greater strength (GA 1. 19, b 726 34), and fuller developed offsprings (GA 2. I, 732"25-733°16). This general claim gets substance from our preceding analyses which in fact reveal Aristotle's theoretical grounds for holding that the scale of being-and this means: the scale of soul functions -depends upon vital heat as the fundamental underlying factor. 2).

As is well known, Aristotle in fact repeatedly and explicitly states that the scale of being is continuous throughout, from the inanimate to the highest forms of life. ) implies that the scale of being is discrete. A particularly interesting aspect of this question concerns man's place on the scale of being: did Aristotle consider man as unique or as (only) the most perfect of the animals? The question concerns primarily man's intelligence and in fact Aristotle's statements on this are not quite consistent: at times he says of man that he is the most intelligent among the animals, whereas at other times he stresses that man is the only animal haVing an intellect.

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