The book of science
|Aristotle philosophy of science|
- The first scientist in history,
- Aristotle turned from Plato’s philosophy
- to empiricism
- writing books on aesthetics, biology,
- ethics, politics and government, linguistics, logic,
- metaphysics, music, physics, poetry,
- rhetoric, theater, and zoology
- to make the perceptible intelligible
- and created a legacy that was unquestioned
- for nineteen centuries.
- Commentaries on commentaries
- translated from Greek into Arabic,
- translated from Arabic into Latin
- in the 12th and 13th centuries.
- Errors were perpetuated;
- philosophy became dogma.
- Preserving and explaining
- became more important
- than extending Aristotle’s work.
On the heavens
- Ungenerated and indestructible,
- exempt from increase and alteration,
- eternal, not subject to increase or diminution,
- unaging, unalterable, unmodified, imperishable
- containing matter with no contrary,
- with neither heaviness nor lightness,
- neither natural nor unnatural,
- whose nature is one.
- Outside the heavens,
- whose total mass is finite,
- no place or void or time exists,
- and no matter exists or comes into being.
- Beauty (in action and in motionless objects)
- as distinct from the good
- (always in action)
- and distinct from the fit
- pleases without lust or desire.
- The principles of beauty—
- being the right size
- and symmetry—
- rest in knowledge, imitation, and discovery.
- All the fine arts
- are more philosophic and serious
- than philosophy,
- and the purpose of tragedy
- is to purify the passions.
The four causes
- A boy of flesh and blood
- born during the great depression
- from a broken home in the woods
- a home remade as best they could,
- allowing two sisters and two brothers,
- mischievous and precocious,
- with a trapped heart and a strong mind
- smoking cigarettes behind the barn,
- ready to belong elsewhere,
- got his father’s permission
- and joined the army.
- Able to sustain, hard-working and patient,
- a strong man with a sense of humor,
- bright, reserved, generous,
- and unwilling to suffer the failures of his parents.
- Married with four children, moved to ten states
- (the air force defining the times and places),
- and trained by the service to succeed,
- he held multiple jobs and demonstrated how to tie knots,
- wash behind the ears, use a knife, saw, and hammer,
- repair a motor, and paint with oils.
- The man himself—mechanic, carpenter, electrician,
- plumber, welder, diesel mechanic, radio operator,
- radar technician, refrigerator repairman,
- scoutmaster, science fiction fan,
- husband and father, uncle and grandfather,
- —was everything he wanted to be,
- spelling love without having to say it.
- Aristotle’s five elements just don’t cut it
- on Earth Day 2015, or now.
- Earth is now a small blue finite sphere.
- Our water systems are sewers and industrial sinks.
- Our air is too often unfit to breathe.
- Our fires create acid rains.
- And, aether, it turns out, was a fiction,
- but it was all a fiction.
- It was only a convenient fiction.