Despite the renewed interest in Aristotle’s Generation of Animals in recent years, the subject matter of GA V, its preferred mode(s) of explanation, and its place in the treatise as a whole remain misunderstood. Scholars focus on GA I-IV, which explain animal generation in terms of efficient-final causation, but dismiss GA V as a mere appendix, thinking it to concern (a) individual, accidental differences among animals, which are (b) purely materially necessitated, and (c) are only tangentially related to the topics (...) discussed in the earlier books. In this paper, we defend an alternative and more integrated account of GA V by closely examining Aristotle’s methodological introduction in GA V.1 778a16-b19 and his teleological explanation of the differences of teeth in GA V.8. We argue for the unity of both GA V and of GA as a whole and present a more nuanced theory of teleological explanation in Aristotle’s biology. (shrink)
This volume collects Late Ancient, Byzantine and Medieval appropriations of Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, addressing the logic of inquiry, concept formation, the question whether metaphysics is a science, and the theory of demonstration.
As the editors of this excellent little volume point out from the outset, Aristotleâs Physics VII.3 is a curious, difficult, andâsadlyâmostly neglected chapter. On the one hand, the chapter discusses quite important matters. Offering one of the lengthiest discussions of qualitative change in the Aristotelian corpus, it starts out by restricting this type of changeânot to changes in any of the four types of quality Aristotle had distinguished in Categories 8âbut to change in perceptual qualities only . It then proceeds (...) by demonstrating that two seeming counterexamples to this refined notion of qualitative changeânamely, items taking on figures or shapes, and the taking on and casting off of states âare not in fact cases of qualitative change, even if their occurrence depends on qualitative changes taking place in something else. In the meantime, it offers a rare physiological account of the acquisition and loss of the ethical and intellectual virtues, thereby making the chapter not only crucial for our understanding of Aristotleâs physics and metaphysics but also for his moral psychology and ethics. On the other hand, the chapter is demanding, does not seem to fit in well within the argument of Physics VII as a whole , and the Greek has been handed down to us in two different versions. (shrink)
While Aristotle is mostly famous as the father of natural teleology, De Groot sets out to offer us a picture of the “other,” hitherto neglected Aristotle, whose natural science is thoroughly influenced by mechanistic procedures and ideas. Her monograph is impressive: it provides a wealth of detailed and philosophically rich discussions of sometimes overlooked Aristotelian texts, diagrams, and tables that help visualize the often technical materials she discusses, and bold and original claims that will perhaps not convince everyone, but that (...) will need to be taken into account in future studies of Aristotle’s natural philosophy. By drawing attention to the operation of mechanical notions... (shrink)
As the editors of this excellent little volume point out from the outset, Aristotleâs Physics VII.3 is a curious, difficult, andâsadlyâmostly neglected chapter. On the one hand, the chapter discusses quite important matters. Offering one of the lengthiest discussions of qualitative change in the Aristotelian corpus, it starts out by restricting this type of changeânot to changes in any of the four types of quality Aristotle had distinguished in Categories 8âbut to change in perceptual qualities only. It then proceeds by (...) demonstrating that two seeming counterexamples to this refined notion of qualitative changeânamely, items taking on figures or shapes, and the taking on and casting off of states âare not in fact cases of qualitative change, even if their occurrence depends on qualitative changes taking place in something else. In the meantime, it offers a rare physiological account of the acquisition and loss of the ethical and intellectual virtues, thereby making the chapter not only crucial for our understanding of Aristotleâs physics and metaphysics but also for his moral psychology and ethics. On the other hand, the chapter is demanding, does not seem to fit in well within the argument of Physics VII as a whole, and the Greek has been handed down to us in two different versions. (shrink)
Aristotle's study of the natural world plays a tremendously important part in his philosophical thought. He was very interested in the phenomena of motion, causation, place and time, and teleology, and his theoretical materials in this area are collected in his Physics, a treatise of eight books which has been very influential on later thinkers. This volume of new essays provides cutting-edge research on Aristotle's Physics, taking into account recent changes in the field of Aristotle in terms of its understanding (...) of key concepts and preferred methodology. The contributions reassess the key concepts of the treatise, reconstruct Aristotle's methods for the study of nature, and determine the boundaries of his natural philosophy. Because of the foundational nature of Aristotle's Physics itself, the volume will be a must-read for all scholars working on Aristotle. (shrink)
It is a commonplace in Aristotelian scholarship that the forms of living beings and the animal species to which they give rise are “fixed.” However, Aristotle’s biological works often stress the flexibility of nature during the development of animals. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to delineate the range of flexibility that Aristotle takes natures to have in the design of animals; and second, to draw out the implications of this for Aristotle’s embryology and theory of natural teleology.
In Aristotle's teleological view of the world, natural things come to be and are present for the sake of some function or end. Whereas much of recent scholarship has focused on uncovering the physical underpinnings of Aristotle's teleology and its contrasts with his notions of chance and necessity, this book examines Aristotle's use of the theory of natural teleology in producing explanations of natural phenomena. Close analyses of Aristotle's natural treatises and his Posterior Analytics show what methods are used for (...) the discovery of functions or ends that figure in teleological explanations, how these explanations are structured, and how well they work in making sense of phenomena. The book will be valuable for all who are interested in Aristotle's natural science, his philosophy of science, and his biology. (shrink)
Escribir hoy en día un libro sobre hermenéutica, que tal hermenéutica se refiera a la desarrollada por G. Gadamer en su conocido Verdad y método y que se pretenda añadir algo nuevo a lo mucho escrito sobre el tema parecería, a primera vista, empresa irrealizable. Que ambas pretensiones inspiren la sólida monografía de María G. Navarro —titulada Interpretar y argumentar— constituye empresa audaz y arriesgada, plena de coraje innovador, que provoca admiración, curiosidad e interés. Contra lo que pudiera parecer a (...) primera vista, el libro contiene un alto componente de originalidad y creatividad, debido a la estratagema metodoló-gica de que se sirve la autora. A saber, una hermenéutica in obliquo, estrategia consistente en interpretar a la hermenéutica gadameriana a través del prisma de la lógica de la argumentación. (shrink)
This article argues for a distinction between reticence and lying, on the basis of what Kant says about reticence in his correspondence with Maria von Herbert, as well as in his other ethical writings, and defends this distinction against the objections of Rae Langton ("Duty and Desolation", 1992). I argue that lying is necessarily deceptive, whereas reticence is not necessarily deceptive. Allowing another person to remain ignorant of some matter is a form of reticence that is not deceptive. This (...) form of reticence may be ethically permissible. (shrink)
Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). (...) class='Hi'>Elisabeth Camp has argued against my and David Hills’ views of metaphor. Her arguments, many of them echoed by Catharine Wearing, demolish a very implausible account of metaphor, but leave entirely untouched the views that Hills and I actually proposed. Clarifying what we say about metaphor serves also as a defense of fictionalist theories that invoke prop oriented make-believe. (shrink)
This paper has the aim of making Johannes von Kries’s masterpiece, Die Principien der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung of 1886, a little more accessible to the modern reader in three modest ways: first, it discusses the historical background to the book ; next, it summarizes the basic elements of von Kries’s approach ; and finally, it examines the so-called “principle of cogent reason” with which von Kries’s name is often identified in the English literature.
For a number of years, those interested in recovering women's thought have known about Princess Elisabeth, a seventeenth-century correspondent and friend of Descartes whose questions provoked the philosopher to think more seriously about ethics and the passions. Up to now, only a few of her letters have found their way into print. This volume includes translations of all of Elisabeth's extant letters to Descartes, as well as of other materials relevant to understanding her philosophical perspective and her life. (...) Nye has supplemented the translations with a running commentary on the historical, biographical, and intellectual context of the letters. (shrink)
In the early twentieth century, ornithology underwent significant changes. So far, these changes, basically, have been studied by focussing on the elite of professional biologists working at universities or state museums. However, important developments also occurred in what Lynn Nyhart has called “the civic realm” of science – the sphere given form by private naturalist associations, nature writers, taxidermists and school teachers. This article studies the changing dynamics of civic ornithology, by looking at one particular case: the influential orinthological observatory (...) in Rossitten, East-Prussia. This observatory, the first of its kind, was founded in 1901 and led, for the first three decades of its existence, by the minister Johannes Thienemann. This article analyses the ornithological practices Thienemann developed in Rossitten and the rhetoric he used to defend these practices. In both, so it is argued, one finds a mixture of the traditional, locally anchored naturalist approach with the new ideals of the “modern” and “experimental” university laboratories. The innovations which Thienemann introduced in this hybrid form of ornithology called for specific spatial strategies which made optimal use of the natural chatacteristics of his workplace and which mobilized a large civic network of geograhically scattered amateurs. At the same time, his work also altered the space he shared with the birds – materially, conceptually and culturally. Thus, this article maintains Thienemann's ornithology can only be understood by acknowledging its continuous interaction with the geographical and civic context in which it arose. (shrink)
The Future of Social Epistemology: A Collective Vision sets an agenda for exploring the future of what we – human beings reimagining our selves and our society – want, need and ought to know. The book examines, concretely, practically and speculatively, key ideas such as the public conduct of philosophy, models for extending and distributing knowledge, the interplay among individuals and groups, risk taking and the welfare state, and envisioning people and societies remade through the breakneck pace of scientific and (...) technological change. An international team of contributors offers a ‘collective vision’, one that speaks to what they see unfolding and how to plan and conduct the dialogue and work leading to a knowable and desirable world. The book describes and advances an intellectual agenda for the future of social epistemology. (shrink)
A continuing need for care for elderly, combined with looser family structures prompt the question what filial obligations are. Do adult children of elderly have a duty to care? Several theories of filial obligation are reviewed. The reciprocity argument is not sensitive to the parent–child relationship after childhood. A theory of friendship does not offer a correct parallel for the relationship between adult child and elderly parent. Arguments based on need or vulnerability run the risk of being unjust to those (...) on whom a needs-based claim is laid. To compare filial obligations with promises makes too much of parents’ expectations, however reasonable they may be. The good of being in an unchosen relationship seems the best basis for filial obligations, with an according duty to maintain the relationship when possible. We suggest this relationship should be maintained even if one of the parties is no longer capable of consciously contributing to it. We argue that this entails a duty to care about one’s parents, not for one’s parents. This implies that care for the elderly is not in the first place a task for adult children. (shrink)
The beginning of the twentieth century saw the emergence of the discipline of genetics. It is striking how many female scientists were contributing to this new field at the time. At least three female pioneers succeeded in becoming professors: Kristine Bonnevie (Norway), Elisabeth Schiemann (Germany) and the Tine Tammes (The Netherlands). The question is which factors contributed to the success of these women's careers? At the time women were gaining access to university education it had become quite the norm (...) for universities to be sites for teaching and research. They were still expanding: new laboratories were being built and new disciplines were being established. All three women benefited from the fact that genetics was considered a new field promising in terms of its utility to society; in the case of Tammes and Schiemann in agriculture and in the case of Bonnevie in eugenics. On the other hand, the field of genetics also benefited from the fact that these first female researchers were eager for the chance to work in science and wanted to make active contributions. They all worked and studied in environments which, although different from one another, were positive towards them, at least at the start. Having a patron was generally a prerequisite. Tammes profited from her teacher's contacts and status. Bonnevie made herself indispensable through her success as a teacher and eventually made her position so strong that she was no longer dependent on a single patron. The case of Schiemann adds something new; it shows the vulnerability of such dependency. Initially, Schiemann's teacher had to rely on the first generation of university women simply because he was unable to attract ambitious young men to his institute. In those early, uncertain years of the new discipline, male scientists tended to choose other, better established, and more prestigious disciplines. However, when genetics itself had become an established field, it also became more attractive to men. Our case studies also demonstrate that a new field at first relatively open to women closes its doors to them once it becomes established. (shrink)