Chapter

Embryology

in The Female in Aristotle's Biology

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780226512006
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226512020 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226512020.003.0003
Embryology

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This chapter presents Aristotle's idea of the female's contribution to generation that is so widely misunderstood. A careful reading of the Generation of Animals reveals that the container and the inert matter interpretations are both inaccurate accounts of Aristotle's embryology. Aristotle probably found the strongest support for his position in his observation of the facts of generation that were available to him, in combination with the principles of his natural philosophy. His position is distinct from that of Apollo, but it in fact represents a rejection of Apollo's account of generation. So, Aristotle is often saddled with a view of the female's contribution to generation that, it turns out, he did not in fact hold.

Keywords: Aristotle; Generation of Animals; Aristotle's embryology; Apollo; natural philosophy

Chapter.  11678 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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