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Explanation and Teleology in Aristotle's Science of Nature

AUD$110.86 exc GST

  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521197748

AUD$ 110.86 exc GST

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About the Authors
  • In Aristotle's teleological view of the world, natural things come to be and are present for the sake of some function or end (for example, wings are present in birds for the sake of flying). Whereas much of recent scholarship has focused on uncovering the (meta-)physical underpinnings of Aristotle's teleology and its contrasts with his notions of chance and necessity, this book examines Aristotle's use of the theory of natural teleology in producing explanations of natural phenomena. Close analyses of Aristotle's natural treatises and his Posterior Analytics show what methods are used for the discovery of functions or ends that figure in teleological explanations, how these explanations are structured, and how well they work in making sense of phenomena. The book will be valuable for all who are interested in Aristotle's natural science, his philosophy of science, and his biology.

    • Provides translations and detailed interpretations of core passages in Aristotle's natural science
    • Comprehensive bibliography for easy referencing
    • Deals with the different types of teleological causation, giving a clear indication of those that build on teleological principles, providing a thorough basis for analysis
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521197748
    • length: 266 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables and figures
    1. Aristotle's defense of natural teleology: setting the stage for teleological explanations in the Physica
    2. Aristotle's bio-functional account of the soul: establishing the starting points of teleological explanation in the De Anima
    3. Introducing biology as a demonstrative science: the theory of teleological explanation in the De Partibus Animalium I
    4. Explaining parts of animals: the practice of teleological explanation in the De Partibus Animalium II-IV
    5. Making sense of the heavens: the limits of teleological explanation in the De Caelo
    6. Aristotle's model of science: formalizing teleological explanations in the Analytica Posteriora
    7. Conclusion
    Index of texts
    Index of names and subjects.

  • Author

    Mariska Leunissen, Washington University, St Louis
    Mariska Leunissen is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St Louis.

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