Edited by Andrea Falcon
The opening lines of the Meteorology suggest that Aristotle was centrally concerned with the integration of a range of different natural investigations into a single program of study. This essay will attempt to illustrate how this integration is achieved by looking at the place of the De Motu Animalium (hereafter De Motu) in Aristotle’s natural philosophy. At least at first sight, this short but difficult treatise does not seem to be a very promising case. It has been argued that the De Motu does not belong to natural philosophy (or to any other Aristotelian science for that matter). On this interpretation, the De Motu would be an “interdisciplinary work” or even “a [deliberate and fruitful] departure from the Organon model” (Martha Nussbaum, Aristotle’s De Motu Animalium. Princeton 1978: 113). Hopefully, a fresh look at the opening lines of the De Motu will help, not only to establish that it pertains to natural philosophy, but also to show how it contributes to the explanatory project pursued by Aristotle.