Albert the Great and the Revival of Aristotle's Zoological Research Program

In: Vivarium
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  • 1 Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, USA

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Abstract

Although Aristotle's zoological works were known in antiquity and during the early medieval period, the scientific research program discussed and exemplified therein disappeared after Theophrastus. After some fifteen hundred years, it reappears in the work of Albert the Great who extensively explains Aristotle's conception of a scientific research program and extends Aristotle's zoological researches. Evidence of Albert's Aristotelian commentaries shows that he clearly understood animals to represent a self-contained subject-genus, that the study of this subject-genus constitutes theoretical knowledge in an Aristotelian sense, that natural finality and suppositional necessity provide principles of zoological science, and that research into animals must be conducted according to a two-staged methodology of division and demonstration.

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