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Aristotle on Inquiry
Erotetic Frameworks and Domain-Specific Norms


  • Date Published: May 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521193979

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About the Authors
  • Aristotle is a rarity in the history of philosophy and science - he is a towering figure in the history of both disciplines. Moreover, he devoted a great deal of philosophical attention to the nature of scientific knowledge. How then do his philosophical reflections on scientific knowledge impact his actual scientific inquiries? In this book James Lennox sets out to answer this question. He argues that Aristotle has a richly normative view of scientific inquiry, and that those norms are of two kinds: a general, question-guided framework applicable to all scientific inquiries, and domain-specific norms reflecting differences in the target of inquiry and in the means of observation available to researchers. To see these norms of inquiry in action, the second half of this book examines Aristotle's investigations of animals, the soul, material compounds, the motions of heavenly bodies, and respiration.

    • Provides a rich picture of Aristotle as a natural scientist employing different methods of inquiry depending on differences in the objects of study and our access to them
    • Argues that the Posterior Analytics provides a framework for all scientific inquiries, to be supplemented by domain-specific norms, and is not Aristotle's last work on scientific method
    • Combines a presentation of Aristotle's general theory of inquiry with five case studies of how this shapes his studies of animals, the soul, the heavens, elemental compounds and respiration
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Aristotle's methodology of discovery is as full of genius and sophistication as his extraordinary discoveries themselves. No one interested should miss this major study by a leading expert.' Sarah Broadie, Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Philosophy, University of St Andrews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521193979
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 150 x 230 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    I. Erotetic Frameworks and Domain Specific Norms:
    1. The Goal of Knowledge and Norms of Inquiry
    2. An Erotetic Framework: The Posterior Analytics on Inquiry
    3. A Discourse on Μεθόδος
    4. Natural Science: Many Inquiries, One Science
    II. Natural Inquiries: Autonomy and Integration:
    5. The Μεθόδος of Nature
    6. The Μεθόδος of Animals
    7. The Soul: One Subject, Many Methods?
    8. The Order of Inquiry I: Right and Left in Cosmology and Zoology
    9. The Order of Inquiry II: The Debt of Aristotle's Zoology to Meteorology IV
    10. Framework Norms meet Domain Specific Norms: Aristotle on Respiration.

  • Author

    James G. Lennox, University of Pittsburgh
    James G. Lennox is Professor Emeritus of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He has published widely on the history and philosophy of biology, with a focus on Aristotle, William Harvey, Charles Darwin and Darwinism. His books include Aristotle's Philosophy of Biology (Cambridge, 2001) and a translation, with commentary, of Aristotle: On the Parts of Animals (2001) in the Clarendon Aristotle Series.

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