David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phronesis 53 (s 4-5):373-405 (2008)
In this paper I examine Aristotle's account of sexual difference in Generation of Animals, arguing that Aristotle conceives of the production of males as the result of a successful teleological process, while he sees the production of females as due to material forces that defeat the norms of nature. My suggestion is that Aristotle endorses what I call the "degrees of perfection" model. I challenge Devin Henry's attempt to argue that Aristotle explains sex determination exclusively with reference to material necessity (in particular, levels of "vital heat" in the male semen), for Aristotle's notion of "sufficient" or "deficient" vital heat is itself teleological. If, as Aristotle is aware, male and female embryos appear with approximately equal frequency in most species, how, in light of Physics II, can he conceive of the former as in accordance with nature, and the latter as somehow contrary to nature? My proposal is that Aristotle's notion of what happens usually (ως επì τò πoλυ) is bifurcated: the usual need not be more frequent.
|Keywords||EMBRYOLOGY TELEOLOGY ARISTOTLE SEXUAL DIFFERENCE GENERATION OF ANIMALS|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James G. Lennox & Robert Bolton (eds.) (2010). Being, Nature, and Life in Aristotle: Essays in Honor of Allan Gotthelf. Cambridge University Press.
Mariska Leunissen (2010). Explanation and Teleology in Aristotle's Science of Nature. Cambridge University Press.
Christopher E. Cosans (1998). Aristotle's Anatomical Philosophy of Nature. Biology and Philosophy 13 (3):311-339.
Aristotle (2002). Aristotle: On the Parts of Animals. Clarendon Press.
Mariska Leunissen (2007). The Structure of Teleological Explanations in Aristotle: Theory and Practice. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 33:145-178.
Devin Henry (2009). Aristotle’s Generation of Animals. In Georgios Anagnostopoulos (ed.), A Companion to Aristotle. Blackwell-Wiley.
Mariska Leunissen & Allan Gotthelf (2010). What's Teleology Got to Do with It? A Reinterpretation of Aristotle's Generation of Animals V. Phronesis 55 (4):325-356.
Devin Henry (2007). How Sexist is Aristotle's Developmantal Biology? Phronesis 52 (3):251-69.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads53 ( #36,823 of 1,679,341 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #111,749 of 1,679,341 )
How can I increase my downloads?