In Carla Palmerino, Delphine Bellis & Frederik Bakker (eds.), Space, Imagination and the Cosmos From Antiquity to the Early Modern Period. Springer Verlag. pp. 11-39 (2018)

Authors
Keimpe Algra
Utrecht University
Abstract
This contribution focuses on Aristotle’s account of place as it is developed in Physics 4, 1–5, a difficult text which has proved to be both influential and a source of problems and discussions in the ancient and medieval Aristotelian tradition. The article starts out by briefly positioning this account within the Corpus Aristotelicum, within the later ancient and medieval Aristotelian tradition, and within the tradition of theories of place and space in general. It goes on to examine the argument of Phys. 4, 1–5, showing that proper attention to Aristotle’s dialectical procedure is crucial for a correct understanding and evaluation of the various claims that we find scattered throughout his text. It then zooms in on the most important questions, problems and loose ends with which Aristotle’s theory confronted his commentators : the puzzling arguments for the rejection of the rival conception of place as an independent three-dimensional extension ; the supposed role of Aristotelian places in the explanation of motion; the supposed role of Aristotelian natural places in the explanation of natural motion; the problem of the required immobility of Aristotelian places; and the problem of the emplacement of the heavens.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-02765-0_2
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