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Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology$
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Allan Gotthelf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287956.001.0001

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Historiae I: Plantarum et Animalium

Historiae I: Plantarum et Animalium

(p.307) 14 Historiae I: Plantarum et Animalium
Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology

Allan Gotthelf

Oxford University Press

Evident parallels between the aims, structure, and progression of Aristotle's History of Animals Book I and Theophrastus's History of Plants Book I invite a closer study of each, both separately and comparatively, to illuminate both. It is asked whether the ultimate aim of each is taxonomy (or classification in some more limited sense), or the discovery of causes, or the reaching of scientific definitions or the achievement of epistēmē, or some combination thereof. Attention is given to the evolution of D. M. Balme's views over the years and how studies by A. Gotthelf and J. G. Lennox have advanced his work, but it is recognized that the central question of this chapter has not fully been answered yet.

Keywords:   Aristotle, biology, animals, History of Animals, Theophrastus, plants, History of Plants, explanation, definition, classification

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