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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Philosophical explanations about earthquakes all agree that they are not caused by Poseidon (the ‘earth-shaker’). Comets have natural explanations and are not portents from the gods. Rain is due to a variety of natural causes, and certainly not to Zeus answering what we should not describe here as a call of nature. 29 Rainbows, rain, comets, lightning: not only do they share in having some kind of natural explanation and in not having a divine explanation, but they are brought into natural philosophy because they are not divine.

These were the parts that he said were completely homogeneous, being in theory capable of indefinite division without ever producing something different—which would happen in the case of atomic matter, which would ultimately produce atom and void. This was another of Aristotle’s arguments against the atomists and their detestable ignorance of purpose and order in the natures of things, and therefore was an important argument to him. The similar parts, in having recognisable qualities, were inFormed mixtures of the elements, and the metals formed by subterranean exhalations were in this same category as the flesh and bone of animals.

But Aristotle presents the books on animals (that on plants is lost) and on the soul as applications of principles set out programmatically in the Physics, and all the later educators who used the whole of the nature books, the libri naturales, accepted this. Let us look briefly at some of these principles. 31 There was, he said, a material necessity by which the immovable characteristics of matter contributed to the characteristics of that mixture of matter that partly constituted the natural object.

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