The Roots of Aristotle’s Vital Heat: The <i>De philosophia</i> and Kindred Presocratic Doctrines

Gad Freudenthal

in Aristotle’s Theory of Material Substance

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238645
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679704 | DOI:
The Roots of Aristotle’s Vital Heat: The De philosophia and Kindred Presocratic Doctrines

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Chapter I was devoted to an analysis of Aristotle's theory of vital heat in its own terms. It showed that this theory — which integrates chemical, physiological, and psychological doctrines into an impressive work — is perfectly consistent. This chapter now (i) asks how Aristotle's fundamental premise that the vital heat is a natural and upward motion is grounded within his framework; and (ii) identifies striking similarities between certain views of Aristotle and some Presocratic doctrines accounting for the forms of living beings and thought. It shows that the two points are related: the premise that vital heat has an upward motion is a Presocratic legacy, and indeed underlies Presocratic ideas that have parallels in Aristotle's framework.

Keywords: Aristotle; vital heat; Presocratic doctrine; living being; forms; thought

Chapter.  12794 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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