Il problema della compatibilità tra gli Analitici Secondi e le scienze della natura in relazione alla teoria della definizione
AbstractAristotle was the first Greek thinker to articulate a taxonomy of scientific pursuits: the four books of Analytics present a theory of scientific knowledge with a rigorous account of what a body of propositions must be like in order to count as a theoretical science. But Aristotle was also the originator of “special sciences”. In fact, there is a subset of Aristotle’s treatises which we usually refer to as his biology or zoology. A longstanding problem about Aristotle’s philosophy of science is to understand if there is a conflict between the account of scientific explanation in the Posterior Analytics and the investigations reported in treatises such as the Historia Animalium, Parts of Animals, Generation of Animals1. The Analytics restricts knowledge to what has been demonstrated from self-evident first principles. The biological works seem to secure their results without such demonstrations: there are not axioms, nor theorems or proofs, nor definitions. Yet many of the examples in the Posterior Analytics are drawn from meteorology, botany and zoology, and are discussed side by side with mathematical examples. It is curious that a philosopher as systematic as Aristotle could formulate the first rigorous theory of scientific inquiry and demonstration, pepper the treatise in which he does so with biological examples, and not aim to structure his science of animals in accordance with that theory. In this investigation I want to show that there is a relation between Aristotle’s official account of the definition in Posterior Analytics and the role assigned to definition in the biological treatises.
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How to Cite
Botter, B. (2007). Il problema della compatibilità tra gli Analitici Secondi e le scienze della natura in relazione alla teoria della definizione. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 1(2), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.1981-9471.v1i2p1-25
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