The place of the elements and the elements of place: Aristotelian contributions to environmental thought

Ethics, Place and Environment 9 (2):187 – 206 (2006)

Abstract

I examine the ancient and perennial notion of the elements (stoicheia) and its relation to an idea of place proper (topos) and natural place (topos oikeios) in Aristotle's work. Through an exploration of his accounts, I argue that Aristotle develops a robust theory of place that is relevant to current environmental and geographical thought. In the process, he provides a domestic household and home for earth, air, fire and water that offers a supplement or an alternative to more abstract and controversial uses of a conception of 'nature' (physis). I identify and elaborate upon environmental aspects of place-based and elemental philosophy.

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David Macauley
Pennsylvania State University

References found in this work

The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception.Marc H. Bornstein - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 39 (2):203-206.
The Basic Works of Aristotle. Aristotle - 1941 - New York, NY, USA: Random House.
Being and Time.Ronald W. Hepburn - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (56):276.

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Citations of this work

The Commons: A Place For No One, A Place For All.Zachary Davis - 2009 - Environment, Space, Place 1 (2):103-129.

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