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History of Science Ancient Greek

History of Science Online

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LibraryThing: Science in Ancient Mesopotamia Week 4: Ancient Greek science; Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle

Topic 2: Aristotle

# Due Date Pts Activity Time
3 Thursday
11:59 p.m.
25

Topic2 + Quiz
Background: Without a sense of context, history is anachronistic.
Primary sources: Without documentary evidence, history is speculation
The second of two topic assignments per week involving both background and primary sources.

90 min.

This reading assignment is a combination of primary and secondary sources about Aristotle.

By almost any measure, Aristotle is the most successful scientist who has ever lived. In addition, the number of fields of science in which he excelled or set on a productive footing is astonishing. Not to mention that he was a student of Plato's, who was a student of Socrates... and, oh yes, he was the teacher of Alexander the Great. Imagine what it would have been like to be a contemporary of Aristotle and to meet him yourself...

  1. Secondary source:
  2. Primary sources:
  3. What is nature? How is nature known?

Optional:


TOPIC QUIZ: The statements are either True or False. When you take the quiz at Janux, you will see 12 of these statements, chosen at random, 2 points each.

  1. T or F? According to Aristotle, particular things are real, and their essential natures are abstractions.
  2. T or F? Aristotle is often called the philosopher of common sense because of his emphasis on ordinary observations.
  3. T or F? According to Aristotle, “demonstrated knowledge” is based on experiment rather than logic.
  4. T or F? In his scientific investigations, Aristotle employed a variety of methods, including observation, experiment, dissection and vivisection.
  5. T or F? According to Aristotle, everything is composed of four elements.
  6. T or F? According to Aristotle, rocks fall toward the center of the universe because every element seeks a natural place.
  7. T or F? According to Aristotle, an arrow in flight moves upward because it is seeking its natural place.
  8. T or F? Plato taught Socrates who in turn taught Aristotle.
  9. T or F? According to Aristotle, the Earth is flat.
  10. T or F? Socrates taught Aristotle who in turn taught Alexander the Great.
  11. T or F? According to Aristotle, an individual, particular dog we can experience with our senses is real; the ideal “Dog” is an abstraction that does not exist independently of physical dogs.
  12. T or F? According to Aristotle, true knowledge begins with sensory experience.
  13. T or F? According to Aristotle, the nature of a thing causes it to change in an orderly fashion.
  14. T or F? To understand the nature of a thing according to Aristotle, one must understand its four causes.
  15. T or F? Aristotle’s “final” cause refers to the ultimate material elements from which a thing is made.
  16. T or F? Aristotle’s “efficient” cause refers to the aim or goal or purpose of the change.
  17. T or F? According to Aristotle, the heavens are made of ether, a fifth element (or quintessence).
  18. T or F? According to Aristotle, the region below the Moon is the only realm where generation and corruption occur.
  19. T or F? According to Aristotle, the elements are made from the regular solids.
  20. T or F? According to Aristotle, atoms move through empty space.
  21. T or F? According to Aristotle, projectile motion is a case of violent motion.
  22. T or F? Aristotle adapted the models of Eudoxus to explain the motions of the planets in terms of concentric rotating spheres.
  23. T or F? Aristotle described the placenta of the dogfish on the basis of first-hand knowledge.
  24. T or F? Aristotle argued that astronomy is the science that is most accessible to us.
  25. T or F? Aristotle felt that the study of worms and lower animals is an ignoble pursuit, best left to hired servants rather than undertaken by philosophers.
  26. T or F? For Aristotle, a knowledge of causes gives a sense of pleasure and wonder, regardless of the nature of the subject that is being studied.
  27. T or F? Aristotle emphasized that one must study the form of the human body, not just its materials.
  28. T or F? According to Aristotle, the natural motion of earth is around the center, neither straight up nor straight down.
  29. T or F? According to Aristotle, water has levity.
  30. T or F? According to Aristotle, fire has gravity.
  31. T or F? According to Aristotle, the circular motion of the heavens is well-suited to their perfection and permanence, because circular motion never requires moving to a different place and coming to an end.
  32. T or F? According to Aristotle, all motion is natural.
  33. T or F? According to Aristotle, the celestial spheres, made of the fifth element, are neither heavy nor light.
  34. T or F? According to Aristotle, his ideas of the fifth element disproved the existence of the divine.
  35. T or F? According to Aristotle, a scientific demonstration is a logical argument.
  36. T or F? According to Aristotle, a scientific demonstration is a necessary argument.
  37. T or F? According to Aristotle, scientific knowledge is causal knowledge.
  38. T or F? A quia syllogism, or knowledge of the fact, begins with an effect and reasons to a cause.
  39. T or F? A propter quid syllogism, or demonstration of the reason why, is less desirable because it suffers from the problem of induction.
  40. T or F? According to Aristotle, the chief mechanism underlying geological change is sudden episodes of crustal collapse.
  41. T or F? According to Aristotle, the center of the Earth is comprised of a watery body known as Tartarus.
  42. T or F? According to Aristotle, the Earth was once covered entirely by sea, in a primordial globe in which there was no dry land.
  43. T or F? According to Aristotle, all natural things contain within themselves the causes of their own natural changes or motions.

     

Do you have a great quote for this page? Let me know! (If used, a new quote is worth 1 point extra credit)

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HSCI 3013. History of Science to 17th centuryCreative Commons license
Kerry Magruder, Instructor, 2004
-14
Brent Purkaple, TA

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Many thanks to the pedagogical model developed in Mythology and Folklore and other online courses by Laura Gibbs, which have been an inspiration for this course.

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This course is currently undergoing major reconstruction to bring it into alignment with the new version of the course at Janux