Aristotle, Empedocles, and the Reception of the Four Elements Hypothesis
Files in This Item:
|Download||9789004318175_BCP-BCPA_06_Ch11_Timothy J. Crowley.pdf||467.67 kB||Adobe PDF|
|Title:||Aristotle, Empedocles, and the Reception of the Four Elements Hypothesis||Authors:||Crowley, Timothy J.||Permanent link:||http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12916||Date:||25-Jan-2021||Online since:||2022-06-16T09:30:31Z||Abstract:||In this paper I discuss the meaning and significance of Aristotle’s claim that Empedocles “was the first to speak of the four so-called elements of the material kind” (Metaph. I.4, 985a32). I argue that this claim tells us a great deal about the reception of the four elements hypothesis, i.e., the hypothesis that that fire, air, water, and earth are the elements of bodies. Firstly, it indicates that the hypothesis is a familiar one among Aristotle’s contemporaries. Secondly, the fact that Aristotle highlights the priority of Empedocles is evidence that Empedocles’ priority was not well known to his contemporaries. I suggest, moreover, that we should not presume that it was well known to Aristotle’s contemporaries that Empedocles held the four elements hypothesis. Empedocles’ theory is best understood as a version of a view that had become popular already by Plato’s time.||Type of material:||Book Chapter||Publisher:||Brill||Start page:||352||End page:||376||Keywords:||Empedoclean elements; Stoicheia; Originality; Love and strife; Moving cause; Efficient cause; Aristotle||DOI:||10.1163/9789004443358_013||Language:||en||Status of Item:||Peer reviewed||Is part of:||Harry C., Habash J. (eds.)., Brill's Companion to the Reception of Presocratic Natural Philosophy in Later Classical Thought||ISBN:||978-90-04-31817-5||This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:||https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/|
|Appears in Collections:||Philosophy Research Collection|
Show full item record
If you are a publisher or author and have copyright concerns for any item, please email email@example.com and the item will be withdrawn immediately. The author or person responsible for depositing the article will be contacted within one business day.