Ancient Science Notes.docx

On the other hand in certitude and in completeness

This preview shows page 12 out of 16 pages.

On the other hand, in certitude and in completeness our knowledge of terrestrial things has the advantage. Moreover, their greater nearness and affinity to us balances somewhat for loftier interest of the heavenly things that are the object of the higher philosophy. Having already treated of the celestial world, as far as our conjectures could reach, we proceed to treat of animals, without omitting, to be the best of our ability, any member of the kingdom, however ignoble. For if some have no graces to charm the sense, yet even these, by disclosing to intellectual perception the artistic spirit that designed them, give immense pleasure to all who can trace links of causation, and are inclined to philosophy. Indeed, it would be strange if mimic representations of them were attractive, because they disclose the mimetic skill of the painter or sculptor, and the original realities themselves were not more interesting, to all at any rate who have eyes to discern the causes that determine their formation. If any person thinks the examination of the rest of the animal kingsom an upworthy task, he must hold the study of his own self with similar contempt. For no one can look at the parts of the human body – blood, flesh, bones, veins, and the like – without much repugnance. Moreover, when any one of the parts or structures is under discussion. It must not be supposed that it is its material composition to which attention is being directed.. instead it is the relation of the part to the total form. Similarly, the true object of architecture is not bricks, mortart or timber but the house; and so the principal object of natural philosophy is not the material elements, but their composition and not totality of the form, independently of which they have no existence. 4.2 Aristotle Biology 02 What however, I would ask, are the forces by which the hand or the body was fashioned into its shape? The woodcarver will perhaps say by the axe or the auger; the physicist, by air and by the earth. Of these two answers the woodcarver’s is the better, but it is nevertheless insufficient. For it is not enough for him to say that by the stroke of his tool this part was formed into a concavity that into a flat surface; but he must state the reasons why he struck his blow in such a way as to effect this, and what his final object was. …Now it is in the latter of these two sense [ie. The final cause] that either the whole soul or some part of it constitutes the nature of an animal; and inasmuch as it is the presence of the soul that enables matter to constitute the animal nature, much more than it is the presence of matter which so enables the soul, the inquirer into nature is bound on every ground to treat of the soul rather than of the matter. Generation of Animals As we said above, the male and female principle may be put down first and foremost as origins of generation, the former as containing the efficient cause of generation, the latter the material of it. The most conclusive proof of this is drawn from considering how and whence comes the semen; for there is not doubt that it is out of this that those creatures are formed which are
Image of page 12
You've reached the end of this preview.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern