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De Caelo 2.2 And Its Debt To The De Incessu Animalium

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Chapter Summary

In De caelo 2.2, Aristotle considers the questions whether it is legitimate to apply the principles "right" and "left" to "the body of the heaven" and if so in what manner to do so. This chapter examines his attempt to answer those questions. The examination has three goals: (a) to understand Aristotle's appeals to his conclusions about such "directional" principles in the De incessu animalium, and to assess his grounds for doing so, (b) to determine whether his assertion that "the heavens are ensouled and have a source of motion" plays a significant role in his argument, (c) to draw out some of the implications of this discussion for how we should understand the logical and explanatory structure of Aristotle's science (or philosophy) of nature. Finally the author contends that a significant epistemological problem lies behind the appeal to the De incessu, and that Aristotle was fully aware of it.

Keywords: Aristotle's science; De caelo 2.2; De incessu animalium; De incessu; heavens



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