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An Aristotelian Theory of Chemical Substance

An Aristotelian Theory of Chemical Substance An Aristotelian Theory of Chemical Substance Paul Needham, University of Stockholm Im Laufe seiner Entfaltung derjenigen Theorie, die wir heute eine Theorie der che- mischen Substanz nennen würden, führt Aristoteles zwei auf den ersten Blick ver- schiedene Definitionen von Element neben seinem Begriff der Mischung (gleichmä- ßigen Mischung) ein. Der vorliegende Beitrag strebt eine Verknüpfung dieser Ideen zu einer einheitlichen Theorie an; dies erfordert einige spekulative Erwägungen über die Bedeutsamkeit von Elementproportionen in chemischen Zusammensetzungen. 1. Introduction This paper traces the principal thematic developments in Aristotle’s conception of chemical substance – henceforth simply substance – as they bear on the evolu- tion of the notion into modern times. A line of speculation is indicated about the interpretation of elemental proportions clearly raised by Aristotle’s discussion but not pursued in his extant writings. Apart from its historical interest, Aristotle’s discussion of substance and mixture has been taken up in contemporary system- atic philosophy (Fine 1995), where it is treated as at best only relevant to ordinary, everyday views. This approach gains support from the contention that such views have been superseded by the molecular conception of chemical substance devel- oped in 19th century science and extolled by advocates of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

An Aristotelian Theory of Chemical Substance

History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis , Volume 12 (1): 16 – Apr 5, 2009

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-01201008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

An Aristotelian Theory of Chemical Substance Paul Needham, University of Stockholm Im Laufe seiner Entfaltung derjenigen Theorie, die wir heute eine Theorie der che- mischen Substanz nennen würden, führt Aristoteles zwei auf den ersten Blick ver- schiedene Definitionen von Element neben seinem Begriff der Mischung (gleichmä- ßigen Mischung) ein. Der vorliegende Beitrag strebt eine Verknüpfung dieser Ideen zu einer einheitlichen Theorie an; dies erfordert einige spekulative Erwägungen über die Bedeutsamkeit von Elementproportionen in chemischen Zusammensetzungen. 1. Introduction This paper traces the principal thematic developments in Aristotle’s conception of chemical substance – henceforth simply substance – as they bear on the evolu- tion of the notion into modern times. A line of speculation is indicated about the interpretation of elemental proportions clearly raised by Aristotle’s discussion but not pursued in his extant writings. Apart from its historical interest, Aristotle’s discussion of substance and mixture has been taken up in contemporary system- atic philosophy (Fine 1995), where it is treated as at best only relevant to ordinary, everyday views. This approach gains support from the contention that such views have been superseded by the molecular conception of chemical substance devel- oped in 19th century science and extolled by advocates of the

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 2009

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