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Devin Henry [18]Devin M. Henry [1]
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Profile: Devin Henry (University of Western Ontario)
  1. Devin Henry, Optimality and Teleology in Aristotle's Natural Science.
    In this paper I examine the role of optimality reasoning in Aristotle’s natural science. By “optimality reasoning” I mean reasoning that appeals to some conception of “what is best” in order to explain why things are the way they are. We are first introduced to this pattern of reasoning in the famous passage at Phaedo 97b8-98a2, where (Plato’s) Socrates invokes “what is best” as a cause (aitia) of things in nature. This passage can be seen as the intellectual ancestor of (...)
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  2. Devin Henry (forthcoming). The Failure of Evolution in Antiquity. In Georgia Irby (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Ancient Science, Medicine and Technology. Wiley-Blackwell.
    The intellectual history of evolutionary theory really does not begin in earnest until the late seventeenth/early eighteenth century. Prior to that, the idea that species might have evolved over time was not a serious possibility for most naturalists and philosophers. There is certainly no substantive debate in antiquity about evolution in the modern sense. There were really only two competing explanations for how living things came to have the parts they do: design or blind chance. Ancient Greek Atomism, for example, (...)
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  3. Devin Henry & Karen M. Nielsen (eds.) (forthcoming). Bridging the Gap Between Aristotle's Science and Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
  4. Devin Henry (2012). A Sharp Eye for Kinds: Plato on Collection and Division. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 41 (January):229-55.
    This paper focuses on two methodological questions that arise from Plato’s account of collection and division. First, what place does the method of collection and division occupy in Plato’s account of philosophical inquiry? Second, do collection and division in fact constitute a formal “method” (as most scholars assume) or are they simply informal techniques that the philosopher has in her toolkit for accomplishing different philosophical tasks? I argue that Plato sees collection and division as useful tools for achieving two distinct (...)
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  5. Devin Henry (2012). Definition (D.) Charles (Ed.) Definition in Greek Philosophy. Pp. X + 556. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Cased, £60. ISBN: 978-0-19-956445-3. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 62 (1):78-80.
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  6. Devin Henry (2011). Aristotle's Pluralistic Realism. The Monist 94 (2):197-220.
    In this paper I explore Aristotle’s views on natural kinds and the compatibility of pluralism and realism, a topic that has generated considerable interest among contemporary philosophers. I argue that, when it came to zoology, Aristotle denied that there is only one way of organizing the diversity of the living world into natural kinds that will yield a single, unified system of classification. Instead, living things can be grouped and regrouped into various cross-cutting kinds on the basis of objective similarities (...)
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  7. Devin Henry (2011). A Sharp Eye for Kinds: Collection and Division in Plato's Late Dialogues. In Michael Frede, James V. Allen, Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson, Wolfgang-Rainer Mann & Benjamin Morison (eds.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
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  8. Devin Henry (2009). Aristotle’s Generation of Animals. In Georgios Anagnostopoulos (ed.), A Companion to Aristotle. Blackwell-Wiley.
    A general article discussing philosophical issues arising in connection with Aristotle's "Generation of Animals" (Chapter from Blackwell's Companion to Aristotle).
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  9. Devin Henry (2008). Aristotle on Definition (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (3):pp. 478-480.
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  10. Devin Henry (2008). Organismal Natures. Apeiron (3):47-74.
  11. Devin Henry (2007). Aristotle on Teleology, by Monte Ransome Johnson. Ancient Philosophy 27 (1):191-200.
  12. Devin Henry (2007). How Sexist is Aristotle's Developmantal Biology? Phronesis 52 (3):251-69.
    The aim of this paper is to evaluate the level of gender bias in Aristotle’s Generation of Animals while exercising due care in the analysis of its arguments. I argue that while the GA theory is clearly sexist, the traditional interpretation fails to diagnose the problem correctly. The traditional interpretation focuses on three main sources of evidence: (1) Aristotle’s claim that the female is, as it were, a “disabled” (πεπηρωμένον) male; (2) the claim at GA IV.3, 767b6-8 that females are (...)
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  13. Devin M. Henry (2007). Brill Online Books and Journals. Phronesis 52 (3).
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  14. Devin Henry (2006). Aristotle on the Mechanisms of Inheritance. Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):425-455.
    In this paper I address an important question in Aristotle’s biology, What are the causal mechanisms behind the transmission of biological form? Aristotle’s answer to this question, I argue, is found in Generation of Animals Book 4 in connection with his investigation into the phenomenon of inheritance. There we are told that an organism’s reproductive material contains a set of "movements" which are derived from the various "potentials" of its nature (the internal principle of change that initiates and controls development). (...)
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  15. Devin Henry (2006). Understanding Aristotle's Reproductive Hylomorphism. Apeiron 39 (3):257 - 287.
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  16. Devin Henry (2005). Embryological Models in Ancient Philosophy. Phronesis 50 (1):1 - 42.
    Historically embryogenesis has been among the most philosophically intriguing phenomena. In this paper I focus on one aspect of biological development that was particularly perplexing to the ancients: self-organisation. For many ancients, the fact that an organism determines the important features of its own development required a special model for understanding how this was possible. This was especially true for Aristotle, Alexander, and Simplicius, who all looked to contemporary technology to supply that model. However, they did not all agree on (...)
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  17. Devin Henry (2003). Themistius and Spontaneous Generation in Aristotle's Metaphysics. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24:183-208.
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  18. Devin Henry (2002). Aristotle on Pleasure and the Worst Form of Akrasia. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (3):255-270.
    The focus of this paper is Aristotle's solution to the problem inherited from Socrates: How could a man fail to restrain himself when he believes that what he desires is wrong? In NE 7 Aristotle attempts to reconcile the Socratic denial of akrasia with the commonly held opinion that people act in ways they know to be bad, even when it is in their power to act otherwise. This project turns out to be largely successful, for what Aristotle shows us (...)
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