David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):363-376 (2005)
This paper tries to demonstrate that some passages of Pliny's Naturalis historia on metallurgical materials are influenced by the Stoic philosopher Posidonius' view that surfaces possess a physical existence. Indeed, Pliny reports that copper surfaces are material, both acting towards drawing a patina to themselves, and being acted upon; i.e. they are both chemically modified by air and fire, and subject to mechanical removal. Also relatable to Posidonius, namely to his view of the interaction between soul and body, is Pliny's account of lead and tin, which can be united thanks to the action they mutually exert on each other, since each metal holds together both itself and what is outside itself. A further influence from the ‘aetiologist’ Posidonius is also betrayed in the care Pliny exercises in describing not only metal corrosion and soldering, but also their causes. Both the scientific and the philosophical imports of these passages are compared with passages by Plato and Plutarch on metallurgical subjects; they are also discussed in the light of the theories on ‘mixture’ propounded by Aristotle and by the Old Stoics. It is shown that Pliny's account compares favorably with Posidonius' doctrine, whereas it is at striking variance with the other ancient reports. Introduction Philosophical and literary evidence 2.1 Pliny 2.2 Posidonius 2.3 Plato and Plutarch Discussion Conclusion.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
L. A. Moritz (1963). Pliny on Stones D. E. Eichholz: Pliny, Natural History. With an English Translation. Vol. X (Books Xxxvi–Xxxvii). (Loeb Classical Library.) Pp. Xviii + 344. London: Heinemann, 1962. Cloth, 18s. Net. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 13 (02):173-175.
R. Meiggs (1937). Helen H. Tanzer: The Letters of Pliny the Younger, Selected and Edited Together with a Companion to Pliny's Letters. Pp. Xxiv+292; 45 Photographs and Drawings. New York: Stechert, 1936. Cloth, $2. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 51 (04):149-.
A. A. Long (1976). The Fragments of Posidonius L. Edelstein, I. G. Kidd: Posidonius. Volume I: The Fragments. (Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries, 13.) Pp. Liv + 336. Cambridge: University Press, 1972. Cloth, £10. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 26 (01):72-75.
John Crook (1967). Pliny Plain A. N. Sherwin-White: The Letters of Pliny: A Social and Historical Commentary. Pp. Xv+808. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966. Cloth, £5. 5s. Net. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 17 (03):311-314.
E. Paparazzo (2003). Pliny the Elder on the Melting and Corrosion of Silver with Tin Solders: Prius Liquescat Argentum ... Ab Eo Erodi Argentum (HN 34.161). [REVIEW] Classical Quarterly 53 (2):523-529.
S. Hales (2005). Pliny the Elder S. Carey: Pliny's Catalogue of Culture. Art and Empire in the Natural History. Pp. Xiv + 208, Ills, Colour Pls. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Cased, £60. ISBN: 0-19-925913-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 55 (01):145-.
Matthew Nicholls (2005). Pliny's Ethnography T. Murphy: Pliny the Elder's Natural History. The Empire in the Encyclopaedia . Pp. X + 233. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Cased, £50. ISBN: 0-19-926288-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 55 (02):548-.
John F. Healy (1994). The Elder Pliny Mary Beagon: Roman Nature: The Thought of Pliny the Elder. (Oxford Classical Monographs.) Pp. Xi + 259. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Cased, £30. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 44 (01):54-56.
R. O. Moon (1932). Pliny on Chemistry The Elder Pliny's Chapters on Chemical Subjects. Part II. Edited with Translation and Notes by Kenneth C. Bailey. Pp. 287. London: Arnold, 1932. Cloth, 15s. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 46 (06):271-.
Ernesto Paparazzo (2008). Why Take Chemistry Stoically? The Case of Posidonius. Foundations of Chemistry 10 (1):63-75.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #276,630 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?