Chapter

Aristotle and the Mathematicians, Ancient and Modern

Michael J. White

in The Continuous and the Discrete

Published in print April 1992 | ISBN: 9780198239529
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679940 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239529.003.0004
Aristotle and the Mathematicians, Ancient and Modern

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This chapter suggests that it is only the development of the theory of transfinite sets in the latter half of the nineteenth century that completes the transformation of the Aristotelian metaphysical undergirding of his kinematic analysis into the very un-Aristotelian at-at ontology of motion. The first section examines some conceptual issues pertaining to the relation between Aristotle's physical/mathematical thought and ancient mathematics. The second section briefly discusses G. E. L. Owen's charge against Aristotelian rational kinematics and the points of contrast between Aristotle's views and the subsequent development of mathematics.

Keywords: ancient mathematics; modern mathematics; Aristotle; infinite; G. E. L. Owen

Chapter.  24252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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