Ancient Natural History by Roger French

By Roger French

В этом исследовании автор показывает, что древнее естествознание было собранием и представлением историй и феноменов, достойных упоминания философами, популяризаторами или торговцами чудесами. В этой книге исследуются отношения между физическим миром, богами, греческой философией и целями тех, кто выражал весьма различные понятия о «природе». Основное внимание автора уделено «Истории животных» Аристотеля, «Естественной истории растений» Теофраста, «Географии» Страбона, а также, в некоторой степени, «Естественной истории» Плиния Старшего. Одна из основных тем книги - то, как к естествознанию относились различные общества: греки, римляне, евреи и христиане.Образцы сканов:

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It should be noted that Aristotle sometimes equates the passive qualities (the Cold and the Dry) with the matter of the thing undergoing concoction. This is partly because he wants to establish a Form-Matter polarity so that the natural change can be ANCIENT NATURAL HISTORY 29 seen as having both process and purpose, and partly that, strictly, ‘matter’ has no recognisable qualities and cannot be acted on without its potential being realised to some degree in a Quality. In these ways Aristotle is making his major point that natural changes are enddirected and express the nature of the thing.

Not only was it the lifeblood of Egypt, the only civilisation for the antiquity of which the Greeks had an admiration,67 but unlike all other rivers it rose and flooded in the summer rather than the winter. Whether (as Jaeger maintains68) or not Aristotle actually wrote the tract attributed to him, On the Inundation of the Nile, he gave the topic some thought. He argued that its generative mountain was the Silver Mountain (which he does not locate). For Aristotle, the Nile fitted in well with his chronological treatment of historiae.

It is by making comparisons with living organisms and particularly animals that Aristotle can illustrate his fundamental physical principles better than he can in things where matter predominates over form. 90 Here ‘essence’ as definition is equivalent to the nature of the thing, and Aristotle is pointing out that natural things exist in a scale determined by the greater involvement of form with matter. While the ‘elements’ are very close to matter (yet as perceptible are to a degree inFormed) 28 ARISTOTLE AND THE NATURES OF THINGS and have a purpose (yet very often difficult to see), purpose is better seen in things where a function is plain.

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