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~34 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 35:~ JANUARY ~997 cial case, as they apparently derive from a primary articulation of reality plus a contrast [antithesis] to each positive Form; Sophist 258a-b). I do not know of any evidence that Plato ever went back on that Republic position. On the contrary, the Sophist's reference to "divine handiwork" (theoudemiourgountos, 265c4) as the source of all "animals, plants, and inanimate bodies fusible and nonfusible, of ourselves and all other living creatures and the elements.., fire, water and their kindred" (265c, 266b) harmonizes well with both the Republic (since the Sophist'sdivine craftsmanship will undoubtedly be exercised with an eye to a good plan) and the Timaeus' story of a divine Craftsman looking to a complex and good model. These remarks about the Timaeus and the individuation of Forms represent only two of a great many points at which the reader should find Moravcsik's views provocative and well worth pursuing further. Again, the book is, if anything, too dense with ideas of every size and shape; but it is continuously stimulating and will amply repay the patient and careful reader. RICHARD PATTERSON Emory University Gad Freudenthal. Aristotle's Theory of Material Substance: Heat and Pneuma, Form and Soul. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. Pp. xi + 235. Board, $49.95. How did Aristotle explain the material unity of a composite substance--the fact that natural substances are unities that persist through time? And how did he explain their formation and reproduction--the fact that a man comes to be from a man in an eternal pattern of reproduction according to species? Many scholars have thought that Aristotle explains these facts by appealing to forms or ends in nature rather than by providing a material explanation. Other scholars have argued that Aristotle did envision causal explanations of these natural processes in terms of his material elements (earth, air, fire, and water), and that forms and ends play a merely explanatory role tn his natural philosophy. In the book under review, Gad Freudenthal takes issue with both of these positions . Against the traditional materialist interpretation, he argues that the elements, because of their natural tendencies to move in different directions, cannot explain either the unity of material substances at a time or their persistence. Indeed, given the natural tendency of their material constituents to move apart, the unity of material substances poses a deep problem for Aristotle, and one which cannot be resolved with the resources of Aristotle's material elements. Rather than conclude that he must have invoked forms or ends as principles of unity and reproduction, however, Freudenthal thinks that Aristotle posited a richer kind of material principle to do the job: vital heat. He says: "It will be my claim that, partly in parallel to these accounts in terms of forms and partly as an alternative to them, Aristotle also had a theory accounting both for the coming-to-be and for the persistence of composite substances, at the centre of which is the notion of heat, specifically vital heat" (3)- One shortcoming of this book, as evidenced in the quotation, is that it leaves open whether Aristotle explains the material BOOK REVIEWS 135 unity of composite substances and their reproduction simply in physical terms (using the notion of vital heat), or whether Aristotle explains these phenomena in both physical terms (vital heat) and in terms of forms and ends. Hence, at the end of the book, where we learn how and why Aristotle's purely material explanation (vital heat) fails, it is unclear whether or not we are meant to conclude that Aristotle's natural philosophy simply lacks an adequate explanation of the unity and reproduction of substances. The strength and interest of this book lie in its systemic development of the roles of vital heat and connate pneuma in Aristotle's biological writings. What emerges is a picture of Aristotelian living substances that are primarily characterized by their internal heat; a vision of nature that is continuous, hierarchical, and organized by the principle of vital heat. This interpretation emphasizes the continuities between Aristotle's vision of nature with that of the Presocratics and the medical tradition, and Freudenthal provides...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 134-135
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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