De animalibus: Michael Scot's Arabic-Latin Translation. Part Three, Books XV-XIX: Generation of Animals [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 49 (1):119-120 (1995)


Historians of philosophy often overlook the fact that the reception of Aristotle's works in the Latin West during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was largely the reception of a natural science. More than half the corpus is devoted to such topics as zoology, animal psychology, atmospheric studies, cosmology, chemistry, and physical mechanics. A full quarter of the corpus is devoted to zoology alone. This point was well understood among the first generation of Latin commentators. Scholars such as Robert Grosseteste and Albert the Great, while interested in Aristotle's metaphysics and ethics, realized that he was first and foremost a naturalist. Albert, in particular, understood that the work of the early peripatetics was primarily directed to plant and animal studies. Sharing their interests, Albert devoted much of his efforts to articulating, correcting, and extending their original scientific researches.

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Michael W. Tkacz
Gonzaga University

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