Dunamis and the Science of Mechanics: Aristotle on Animal Motion

Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (1):43-67 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


It is shown that Aristotle’s references to automata in his biological treatises are meant to invoke the principle behind the ancient conception of the lever, i.e. that points on the rotating radius of a circle all move at different speeds proportional to their distances from the center. This principle is mathematical and explains a phenomenon taken as whole. Automata do not signify for him primarily a succession of material movers in contact, the modern model for mechanism. For animal locomotion and embryological development, Aristotle models his dunamis concept on the idea of mechanical potential that the lever principle displays.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,102

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Praktische Syllogismen bei Aristoteles.Klaus Corcilius - 2008 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 90 (3):247-297.
Philosophy, God, and motion.Simon Oliver - 2005 - New York: Routledge.
Aristotle and the atomists on motion in a void.David J. Furley - 1976 - In Peter K. Machamer & Robert G. Turnbull (eds.), Motion and Time, Space and Matter. Ohio State University Press. pp. 83--100.
Aristotelian force as Newtonian power.John Aidun - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (2):228-235.
The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics.M. Esfeld, D. Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & D. Durr - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):773-796.
Aristotle -- motion and its place in nature.Joe Sachs - 2005 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Added to PP

51 (#288,735)

6 months
6 (#292,930)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jean De Groot
Catholic University of America

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references