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Description of the content[ edit ] The Physics is composed of eight books, which are further divided into chapters. This system is of ancient origin, now obscure.
In modern languages, books are referenced with Roman numerals, standing for ancient Greek capital letters the Greeks represented numbers with letters; i. Chapters are identified by Arabic numerals, but the use of the English word "chapter" is strictly conventional.
Ancient "chapters" capita are generally very short, often less than a page. These are evident in the 2-volume edition. Before offering his particular views, he engages previous theories, such as those offered by Melissus and Parmenides. In chapter 5, he continues his review of his predecessors, particularly how many first principles there are.
Chapter 6 narrows down the number of principles to two or three. He presents his own account of the subject in chapter 7, where he first introduces the word matter Greek: He defines matter in chapter 9: Matter is not specifically described, but consists of whatever is apart from quality or quantity and that of which something may be predicated.
Matter in this understanding does not exist independently i. Matter and form are analogical terms.
Thus, those entities are natural which are capable of starting to move, e. Aristotle contrasts natural things with the artificial: For example, if a wooden bed were buried and somehow sprouted as a tree, it would be according to what it is made of, not what it is. Aristotle contrasts two senses of nature: By "nature", Aristotle means the natures of particular things and would perhaps be better translated "a nature.
But, contra PlatoAristotle attempts to resolve a philosophical quandary that was well understood in the fourth century. Machines or artifacts composed of parts lacking any intrinsic relationship to each other with their order imposed from without. The necessary in nature, then, is plainly what we call by the name of matter, and the changes in it.
Material cause explains what something is made of for example, the wood of a houseformal cause explains the form which a thing follows to become that thing the plans of an architect to build a houseefficient cause is the actual source of the change the physical building of the houseand final cause is the intended purpose of the change the final product of the house and its purpose as a shelter and home.Enrich your history and genealogy knowledge.
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The meaning of physics in Aristotle. It is a collection of treatises or lessons that deal with the most general (philosophical) principles of natural or moving things, both living and non-living, rather than physical theories (in the modern sense) or investigations of the particular contents of the universe.
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