<i>Historiae</i> I: <i>Plantarum</i> et <i>Animalium</i>

Allan Gotthelf

in Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199287956
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191738296 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies Series

Historiae I: Plantarum et Animalium

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Evident parallels between the aims, structure, and progression of Aristotle's History of Animals Book I and Theophrastus's History of Plants Book I invite a closer study of each, both separately and comparatively, to illuminate both. It is asked whether the ultimate aim of each is taxonomy (or classification in some more limited sense), or the discovery of causes, or the reaching of scientific definitions or the achievement of epistēmē, or some combination thereof. Attention is given to the evolution of D. M. Balme's views over the years and how studies by A. Gotthelf and J. G. Lennox have advanced his work, but it is recognized that the central question of this chapter has not fully been answered yet.

Keywords: Aristotle; biology; animals; History of Animals; Theophrastus; plants; History of Plants; explanation; definition; classification

Chapter.  19829 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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