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 seems that Aristotle may have changed his mind about the naturalness of such motion, for the natural motion of the raised stone to the earth, in accordance with his physical principles, was straight. There are places where Aristotle says that circular motion, in this sense unnatural, must therefore be voluntary and proceed from the souls of the celestial bodies. At other places, and primarily in De Caelo, he rejects self-motion even for the heavenly bodies and says they are moved by an ANCIENT NATURAL HISTORY 21 incorporeal unmoved mover, which calls their nature, physis, into action to achieve a perfection similar to its own.
It is in the nature of stones that they fall, and in this sense the ‘nature’ of stones is an internal principle of motion. But Aristotle, perhaps in reaction to Plato41 believed that nothing was moved of itself. This necessitated an external cause that called the internal principle of motion into action. It did so by being in the state in which the internal principle, and its object in which it inhered, potentially were. Thus the unmoved earth caused the stone to fall by its internal principle of motion, so that the stone comes to be at rest.
Where the nature of the thing includes the capacity for growth, it alters in size, not, for example, in health. Nature is an internal principle of motion, even of the elements. When air is generated from water, says Aristotle,47 it naturally rises; having risen, it has stopped Becoming, and Is. It has moved from potentiality to actuality and has its final attributes, including place. Because these processes are purposeful, they are orderly and natural. Aristotle accordingly attacks the atomists48 on the grounds that the atoms are said to move randomly and that there can be no order in infinite space and with an infinite number of atoms.