Early Science and Medicine 20 (1):27-47 (2015)

Authors
Brad Berman
Portland State University
Abstract
This paper offers an interpretation of Aristotle’s treatment of the homoeomerous, or like-parted, bodies. I argue that they are liable to be far more complexly structured than is commonly supposed. While Aristotelian homoeomers have no intrinsic macrostructural properties, they are, in an important class of cases, essentially marked by the presence and absence of microstructural ones. As I show, these microstructural properties allow Aristotle to neatly demarcate the non-elemental homoeomers from the elements. That demarcation, in turn, helps to clarify Aristotle’s conceptions of both homoeomery and what it is to be a bodily element. On Aristotle’s account, I argue, a homoeomerous body, as such, is divisible into at least one part that is the same specific kind as the whole. Elemental bodies are the limiting case. For Aristotle, an elemental body is only divisible into parts that are of the same specific kind as the whole.

Keywords Aristotle  element  homoeomer
  homoeomery

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DOI 10.1163/15733823-00201p02
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References found in this work BETA

The Problem of Mixture.Kit Fine - 1995 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 76 (3-4):266-369.
Aristotle on Pure and Simple Stuff.Tiberiu Popa - 2010 - Rhizai. A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science:29-61.
Interpreting Aristotle on Mixture: Problems About Elemental Composition From Philoponus to Cooper.Michael Weisberg - 2004 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 35 (4):681–706.

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