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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    But I really cannot give too much credit to a man who made 'heavy things fall faster' popular when you can disprove it with a simple thought experiment.
    What is this simple thought experiment?
    "None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned. A natural result of these conditions is, that we consciously or unconsciously pay more attention to tuning our opinions to our neighbor’s pitch and preserving his approval than we do to examining the opinions searchingly and seeing to it that they are right and sound." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    What is this simple thought experiment?
    If you add a little rock to a big rock does it fall faster or slower? Since Aristotle's method can't answer that it is clearly invalid.

    Of course if you read Making Sex you realize that intuitive thinking is usually rather dumb, most societies believe women need to orgasm to become pregnant and Western society thought women were incomplete men and could spontaneously change by over-exercising until relatively recently.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    If you add a little rock to a big rock does it fall faster or slower? Since Aristotle's method can't answer that it is clearly invalid.
    Add how? Attach? Then it's a single heavier object and falls faster. Stack then but leave unattached? Then it's two objects and the heavier one falls faster.

    Seems like Aristotle's method can answer it just fine, even if the answer is wrong.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-04-09 at 06:06 PM.
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    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Okay, I don't want to bash on the man too much, I'm not very familiar with his work but I'm sure he did some important things and did them right.
    But I really cannot give too much credit to a man who made 'heavy things fall faster' popular when you can disprove it with a simple thought experiment. Or put some actual effort into testing it. Yes, the scientific method wasn't a thing then and I get it, many people for millenia (probably) believed it but it's just hard to take serious if you're famous for the idea...
    Really? Because when I drop a bowling ball and a feather from my hands, the bowling ball falls a lot faster than the feather. I am conducting an observable, falsifiable experiment, and that experiment is yielding very clear, very consistent observational data.

    It is the idea that, no what's interfering with my experiment, and what my experiment is in fact failing to isolate as the dependent variable is universal gravitation, that is non-intuitive. By failing to conduct my experiment in a vacuum, there are two other dependent variables that my experiment is failing to isolate: friction, and (for lack of a better term) air resistance. The reason why the feather falls so much slower than the bowling ball isn't because I've falsified universal gravitation. It's because I've selected two objects for my experiment that air affects radically differently while they are falling.

    Now, everything I've just said is in fact true. But it's also not intuitive. We had to do some really complex thought experiments to realize that this simple, easy-to-conduct experiment is in fact not valid, because it doesn't isolate the dependent variable of universal gravitation. And in fact it takes considerable amount of effort and time to isolate that variable, and it's only when we do that we realize that actually, Galileo was correct when (hypothetically) he tested Aristotle's theory.
    Last edited by McStabbington; 2020-04-09 at 06:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Add how? Attach? Then it's a single heavier object and falls faster. Stack then but leave unattached? Then it's two objects and the heavier one falls faster.

    Seems like Aristotle's method can answer it just fine, even if the answer is wrong.
    Only because you are assuming that objects fall down, but Aristotle claimed they fell towards like objects. So the smaller rock would fall towards the bigger one and the bigger to the smaller, so do they fall faster to the ground because there is now more in total or slower because the smaller object draws the larger object away from the ground? Galileo answered it in empirical terms but the thought experiment problem was always there.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    There's also the problem of negative falling speed, things flying upwards because of the air that makes them buoyant*, although I honestly haven't heard of anything like hydrogen-filled balloons in ancient Greece. However, there was fire, always pulling upwards, which I think was interpreted as Tvtyrant said, as it seeking its similar. And then visible vapour.

    *I think buoyancy was understood by Archimedes long after Aristotle was dead, although I don't know whether he also applied it to air.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Okay, I don't want to bash on the man too much, I'm not very familiar with his work but I'm sure he did some important things and did them right.
    But I really cannot give too much credit to a man who made 'heavy things fall faster' popular when you can disprove it with a simple thought experiment. Or put some actual effort into testing it. Yes, the scientific method wasn't a thing then and I get it, many people for millenia (probably) believed it but it's just hard to take serious if you're famous for the idea...
    It's a beautiful argument (along with the cube-square rule)
    That only works when you've worked out other stuff (momentum) enough to be confident in it (which of course Galileo, and 4 chaps from Oxford 100 years earlier had pretty much started to have done). Of course it's 'obvious' that joining the objects can't make a difference but there is something for 'forces' to go through.

    The article defending him mentions fluids, and it makes me wonder, it's a lot easier to do actual quantitative experiments in fluids (especially when you don't have a timer, although glass would help)

    but Aristotle claimed they fell towards like objects.
    So he anticipated Newton! [/being silly] Actually I'm not sure I can answer that question without thinking.
    If you can ignore the pulling between the small objects they obviously fall to the ground infinitesimally faster. [In the meantime I'll leave you to work out why, though thinking of Newton again might help]
    Last edited by jayem; 2020-04-09 at 07:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Only because you are assuming that objects fall down, but Aristotle claimed they fell towards like objects.
    They're more like the ground than each other. :smalltongue:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    So firstly on the timings. Aristotle came back in the 1200's following contact and translating, and was itself a 'revolution' against the church.
    So broadly speaking the time Arabic science slowed was after they had moved on and the western side was starting as they picked him back up. You'd have to do a more detailed examination.

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    Lets be clear, although there is little evidence that he did the straight dropping (inclined planes I think though we do), in practical terms the difference is so small that the theory I am using is itself invalid.
    To make things simpler we're going to use three asteroids, one (the earth replacement) 1000 times massier than the others. We run through Gallileo's thought experiment.
    1) We imagine asteroid one by itself, it falls to the earth in time t
    2) We imagine asteroid two by itself, it falls to the earth in time t
    3*) We imagine the two asteroids falling simultaneously (but independently), they still fall to the earth in time t
    4*) We add the fictitious rope, they fall together in time t
    5) We shrink and play games with the rope they still fall together in time t

    You probably have noticed that we mess up between 3&4. We've assumed that the earth provides the same force on each body independently of the other (correctly as it happens-at least unless there are any GR effects?), and we've assumed that the two masses apply the same force on the earth (none).
    In this case the earth receives twice the force, but still has the same mass, and it's movement is therefore twice as much. In practical terms it moved 1mm as the asteroid moves 1m. Now it moves 2mm as the asteroid moves 0.999m.

    Now I must emphasise For the real earth and an apple, the mass difference is something like 1030. With hindsight we know that the assumptions Gallileo made are quite good ones in this case.
    You can also spin steps 3/4 to decide where you go wrong (in fact knowing the answer, you can split the earth appropriately in steps 1&2)

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    We (in fact ironically Aristotole) now decide that a Whale is a Mammal not a Fish. However until he decided that the important thing about being a Mammal was lactating/etc... and whatever he decided about Fish. It would have been quite correct to declare Whale, swims in sea, therefore Fish.
    I now contend that there is potentially something similar with Force
    Aristotle has his Dyname required to keep things moving [I'm not sure if that's the word he used, but at least it keeps symbols different]
    That is D=kx'
    While Newton has his Force required to change movement (actually momentum)
    That is F=mx''
    Which gives us D=int(F)dt k/m
    Or that Dyname is related to what we now call the Impulse (you have various bits of fun you can do with the mass)
    The constant of that integral being related of course to the initial speed/momentum
    Dyname = Impulse + Initial Momentum

    Of course while he had an instinctive idea of Impulse, he didn't have such an idea of Momentum, so the obvious appearance 1st Law isn't so obvious. Just that moving objects (in air) have some source of Inertial Dyname. Which then built on by Swineshead and all (1330)*, Gallileo (1600) and Newton

    *They were already proving that they could measure things Aristotle had said couldn't be (Temperature). And Aristotle (apart the the 'Categories and Propositional Logic) had only been retranslated from Arabic from around 1180 odd.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Its my understanding that he was brilliant in the field of pure formal logic, and that much of his incorrect conclusions in other fields were a case of Garbage In, Garbage Out rather than error on his own part.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Don't look at a cannonball and a feather. Look at two cannonballs. Drop them side by side. Now attach them together by a single spiderweb thread, and drop them again. It's now one object, with twice the mass of the original: Should that single strand of spiderweb suddenly make a difference in how fast it falls?

    Or look at any number of plant seeds, from dandelions to maples. Cut out just the kernel of the seed, and it'll drop reasonably quickly. Leave the kernel attached to the puff or wing or whatever it naturally comes with, and now it drops extremely slowly. But the seed attached to the puff is clearly a larger, more massive object than the seed without it.

    This is not the mark of a man in search of truth. It's the mark of a man in search of answers, who doesn't care whether the answers are true or not.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Don't look at a cannonball and a feather. Look at two cannonballs. Drop them side by side. Now attach them together by a single spiderweb thread, and drop them again. It's now one object, with twice the mass of the original: Should that single strand of spiderweb suddenly make a difference in how fast it falls?

    Or look at any number of plant seeds, from dandelions to maples. Cut out just the kernel of the seed, and it'll drop reasonably quickly. Leave the kernel attached to the puff or wing or whatever it naturally comes with, and now it drops extremely slowly. But the seed attached to the puff is clearly a larger, more massive object than the seed without it.

    This is not the mark of a man in search of truth. It's the mark of a man in search of answers, who doesn't care whether the answers are true or not.
    "Terrestrial objects rise or fall, to a greater or lesser extent, according to the ratio of the four elements of which they are composed. For example, earth, the heaviest element, and water, fall toward the center of the cosmos; hence the Earth and for the most part its oceans, will have already come to rest there. At the opposite extreme, the lightest elements, air and especially fire, rise up and away from the center"
    With the kernel+parachute that would be evidence of it containing air or fire
    It falls faster than the parachute alone, because it has more earth
    It falls slower than the kernel alone because it has more air

    (this to some extent is of course absolutely true, the dandelion clock does contain more air, and especially at slow speeds the argument you would more or less actually use, modified to be quantative to actual density).

    With the cannonball, you need to have the confidence in that. As I mentioned earler, it's not strictly true (if it were Gallileo we were wanting to mock for being 'unscientific', we could. Despite the fact that it's a beautiful thought experiment). With hindsight it's obvious, I suspect if you'd gone back in time and spoken to him it might even have been persuasive. I'm not sure I can blame him for not coming up with it.
    After all if you had a cannonball and hot air balloon, the string makes a lot of difference. Why shouldn't it be able to transfer the downward 'force' at both ends? [answers should conclude with Newton III, not begin there]

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    There's also the problem of negative falling speed, things flying upwards because of the air that makes them buoyant*, although I honestly haven't heard of anything like hydrogen-filled balloons in ancient Greece. However, there was fire, always pulling upwards, which I think was interpreted as Tvtyrant said, as it seeking its similar. And then visible vapour.

    *I think buoyancy was understood by Archimedes long after Aristotle was dead, although I don't know whether he also applied it to air.
    I am fairly certain he did not. It was very much an Enlightenment-era discovery that fluid dynamics applied equally to gasses and liquids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    I am fairly certain he did not. It was very much an Enlightenment-era discovery that fluid dynamics applied equally to gasses and liquids.
    Aristotle applied the same dynamics to gasses, liquids and (erroneously) vacuum. As mentioned he wasn't right of the dynamics in gasses.
    I suspect he would have had a "it floats because the resultant velocities of the amount of earth (the proper place) in water, air in water, stone in air, air in air balance"

    Of course this raises the question of why the air in an open boat doesn't just float off. For which he'd have to wait for whoever wrote that nature abhored a vacuum, because...
    In a void, no one could say why a thing once set in motion should stop anywhere; for why should it stop here rather than here? So that a thing will either be at rest or must be moved ad infinitum, unless something more powerful gets in its way.
    Further, things are now thought to move into the void because it yields; but in a void this quality is present equally everywhere, so that things should move in all directions.

    Now the medium causes a difference because it impedes the moving thing, most of all if it is moving in the opposite direction, but in a secondary degree even if it is at rest; and especially a medium that is not easily divided, i.e. a medium that is somewhat dense. A, then, will move through B in time G, and through D, which is thinner, in time E (if the length of B is equal to D), in proportion to the density of the hindering body. For let B be water and D air; then by so much as air is thinner and more incorporeal than water, A will move through D faster than through B. Let the speed have the same ratio to the speed, then, that air has to water. Then if air is twice as thin, the body will traverse B in twice the time that it does D, and the time G will be twice the time E. And always, by so much as the medium is more incorporeal and less resistant and more easily divided, the faster will be the movement.

    Further, the truth of what we assert is plain from the following considerations. We see the same weight or body moving faster than another for two reasons, either because there is a difference in what it moves through, as between water, air, and earth, or because, other things being equal, the moving body differs from the other owing to excess of weight or of lightness.
    ...
    Now the medium causes a difference because it impedes the moving thing, most of all if it is moving in the opposite direction, but in a secondary degree even if it is at rest;
    ...

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Again, I don't mean to make the man worse than he is but if you drop a pebble and a rock, even without a vacuum, you notice there's no(t much of a) difference, without modern clocks or anything.
    Or to tackle it from another side, take a sheet of paper (or back then a leave or whatever) and drop it, then crumble it up and drop it.
    The 'the heavier the faster' argument doesn't hold up to the most basic tests. It's fine to say 'but it's intuitive' but that's not how you find out what is true.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Again, I don't mean to make the man worse than he is but if you drop a pebble and a rock, even without a vacuum, you notice there's no(t much of a) difference, without modern clocks or anything.
    Or to tackle it from another side, take a sheet of paper (or back then a leave or whatever) and drop it, then crumble it up and drop it.
    The 'the heavier the faster' argument doesn't hold up to the most basic tests. It's fine to say 'but it's intuitive' but that's not how you find out what is true.
    Based on empirical philosophies that didn't exist at the time. Science is a philosophy based on a series of axioms that not only had to be invented but could often get you killed. The Axiom of Universality conflicts with any societal notion of magic, for instance.

    Romans later sold spells for parthogenic production of bees, and neoplatonists thought the world was literally based on idealized forms. Aristotle came a long time before Bacon, and couldn't have studied Empiricism and Rigor because they did not exist.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Don't look at a cannonball and a feather. Look at two cannonballs. Drop them side by side. Now attach them together by a single spiderweb thread, and drop them again. It's now one object, with twice the mass of the original: Should that single strand of spiderweb suddenly make a difference in how fast it falls?

    Or look at any number of plant seeds, from dandelions to maples. Cut out just the kernel of the seed, and it'll drop reasonably quickly. Leave the kernel attached to the puff or wing or whatever it naturally comes with, and now it drops extremely slowly. But the seed attached to the puff is clearly a larger, more massive object than the seed without it.

    This is not the mark of a man in search of truth. It's the mark of a man in search of answers, who doesn't care whether the answers are true or not.
    Counter argument; what you've proven is that merely tying objects together does not make them one object. Or rather, you've got three objects. Two cannonballs, and one cobweb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Again, I don't mean to make the man worse than he is but if you drop a pebble and a rock, even without a vacuum, you notice there's no(t much of a) difference, without modern clocks or anything.
    Or to tackle it from another side, take a sheet of paper (or back then a leave or whatever) and drop it, then crumble it up and drop it.
    The 'the heavier the faster' argument doesn't hold up to the most basic tests. It's fine to say 'but it's intuitive' but that's not how you find out what is true.
    I don't think Aristotle ever really tested things. He made observations and tried to explain those observations, but he never really did any tests.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    What should he have done differently? Where could he go to collect this evidence?
    He could have looked in women's mouths, for one thing.

    That said, as other people have said, the OP misunderstands how science works. Whether Aristotle was factually correct about any of his conclusions is pretty much completely irrelevant to the question of whether he made important contributions to human knowledge.
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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    He could have looked in women's mouths, for one thing.
    I wonder if anyone here has counted a woman's teeth; I know I haven't.

    Males have more teeth than females in the case of men, sheep, goats, and swine; in the case of other animals observations have not yet been
    While it would have been better if he had specified who had made these observations (did he? did someone else? and, if he did, was it a matter of wisdom teeth?), Greek practice concerning quoting and specifying whom they were quoting was pretty messy in general*. If he was quoting people without checking their claim with direct observation, he was behaving like it's normal in academics today (there's only the difference that today observations can be extremely costly or require specific knowledge).

    *Back then there also was a much greater reliance on memory than today (people would pronounce long speeches in a tribunal, written by someone else, without cue cards), so quoting from text was normally made from memory.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Based on empirical philosophies that didn't exist at the time. Science is a philosophy based on a series of axioms that not only had to be invented but could often get you killed. The Axiom of Universality conflicts with any societal notion of magic, for instance.

    Romans later sold spells for parthogenic production of bees, and neoplatonists thought the world was literally based on idealized forms. Aristotle came a long time before Bacon, and couldn't have studied Empiricism and Rigor because they did not exist.
    Yes, but there is still a point to be made to not give (too much) credit to a guy who wrote down what everyone was thinking without giving it any / much thought. Which, again, is fine, because people didn't do differently until a thousand years later, but it also means he didn't do anything special for physics (science)
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Yes, but there is still a point to be made to not give (too much) credit to a guy who wrote down what everyone was thinking without giving it any / much thought. Which, again, is fine, because people didn't do differently until a thousand years later, but it also means he didn't do anything special for physics (science)
    Er, but he did that for multiple subjects. Look, I'm just looking at the table of contents for my copy of The Basic Works of Aristotle, and included in this book are works on the following subjects:

    physics
    astrophysics
    biology
    botany
    psychology
    divination
    paleontology
    metaphysics
    ethics
    political science
    rhetoric
    logic
    epistemology
    poetry

    And that's just in my book. And that's a selection of the works of Aristotle, of which only a third of what he wrote still exists. And it's all internally consistent.

    There is a reason why Dante refers to Aristotle as "The Master of they that know". Now look, maybe you want to say that it's a load of tosh that has since been disproven. His astrophysics, for instance, is obviously bunk, largely because Greek astronomers actually had calculated stellar distances based on parallax, but had rejected their answers as impossible given the distances they were (pretty accurately, given their observational equipment) calculating. And Aristotle faithfully took that accepted knowledge, and built a bunk theory out of it.

    But that doesn't mean it wasn't a fiendishly clever and intricate theory. And in fact, it formed a null hypothesis that Galileo was able to refute with observed data, and replace it with a heliocentric model of the star system . . . approximately 16 centuries later. In other words, it took that long before someone could refine their observational gear, and construct a test that could nullify Aristotle's predictive model, and it largely involved observing moons of Jupiter that Aristotle didn't know, and couldn't have known, existed when he wrote his theory. You can call it whatever you want, but I think any theory that offers that much explanatory and predictive power is a pretty darn good theory.

    And Aristotle did that with pretty much every field of science. He was like the Star Trek Royal Smart Person who solves any "science" question, regardless of the fact that most scientists specialize, specialize, specialize.
    Last edited by McStabbington; 2020-04-12 at 11:30 PM.

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    A actually is A, but that could have been a lucky guess.

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    Like I said: He loved coming up with answers. He just didn't care whether the answers he got were correct or not. The value of an answer that has no regard for whether it's correct or not is zero. The fact that he had a whole lot of answers just means that their total value is a thousand times zero.

    And no, I'm not in the habit of poking around inside women's mouths... but if I were writing a treatise on the number of teeth men and women have, yes, of course I would have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Like I said: He loved coming up with answers. He just didn't care whether the answers he got were correct or not. The value of an answer that has no regard for whether it's correct or not is zero. The fact that he had a whole lot of answers just means that their total value is a thousand times zero.

    And no, I'm not in the habit of poking around inside women's mouths... but if I were writing a treatise on the number of teeth men and women have, yes, of course I would have.
    Not so. The value of an answer is dependent on how well that answer can be applied.
    For example, the old adage "red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky at morning, sailor's warning" is surprisingly accurate.
    If Aristotle were to hypothesize that a red sky indicated the sky's rage, and that rage in the morning indicates foul weather, but rage at night likely means the sky will sleep it off and calm down by morning, this is obviously not true. But it can be used to predict the weather more accurately than guessing.

    I'm not familiar with his works, but it's quite possible his proposed mechanisms, while fundamentally flawed, led to accurate predictions in day-to-day life. If so, then those answers were valuable.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    I'm not familiar with his works, but it's quite possible his proposed mechanisms, while fundamentally flawed, led to accurate predictions in day-to-day life. If so, then those answers were valuable.
    Actually, who has read any of his works?

    And what I am struggling to find, does anyone have a good link to any medieval usages of him.

    The tooth quote above (and later on you have the bit on wisdom teeth), doesn't read like just writing stuff down (you have the use of 'observation' and more intriguingly he admits his ignorance of other animals). On the other hand he is clearly in error.

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    Admittedly, I'm at a disadvantage here, because I've only read his Posterior Analytica, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics and Rhetorica, which, respectively, cover some of his thinking on epistemology, as well as his thinking on ethics, political science and public speaking. His views on, say, zoology or the possible influences he had on plate tectonic theory did not frequently come up in my ancient philosophy class.

    That being said, I do reiterate that from what I have read of him, he was a legitimately brilliant mind. I would have to be many times smarter than I am to come up with even a tiny fraction of the insights this man had in any one of the books that I've read, and my sampling has been very, very small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Yes, but there is still a point to be made to not give (too much) credit to a guy who wrote down what everyone was thinking without giving it any / much thought.
    Don't underrate the value of simply writing stuff down. That in itself is a vital prerequisite, not only for science, but for the very existence of research and education as we know them.

    To this day, I spend a large part of my working life simply trying to persuade my colleagues to write stuff down. Without writing down what they're doing, it's practically impossible to study or improve on anything. And to this day, I assure you from long and sometimes painful experience, the huge, huge majority of people both hate doing it, and don't know how to do it even if they are persuaded to try.
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    Here's something sciencey that he got right: the Earth being round. He wasn't the first to come up with the idea but he's the first written source we have that goes into any detail on the subject - and given the way things subsequently went, that probably also means he's the reason it became established orthodoxy during the Middle Ages.

    Copernicus and co. struggled enough with acceptance of heliocentrism, but at least they didn't first have to fight to establish that the world wasn't flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by jayem View Post
    Actually, who has read any of his works?

    And what I am struggling to find, does anyone have a good link to any medieval usages of him.

    The tooth quote above (and later on you have the bit on wisdom teeth), doesn't read like just writing stuff down (you have the use of 'observation' and more intriguingly he admits his ignorance of other animals). On the other hand he is clearly in error.
    Like McStabbington, I've only read his non-scientific works: specifically Nichomachean Ethics, Politics and The Constitution of Athens. In translation (probably obviously, but you never know). As a philosopher, he's not my favourite - but I agree with McStabbington's assessment of him nonetheless.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2020-04-17 at 09:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Here's something sciencey that he got right: the Earth being round. He wasn't the first to come up with the idea but he's the first written source we have that goes into any detail on the subject - and given the way things subsequently went, that probably also means he's the reason it became established orthodoxy during the Middle Ages.
    That doesnt sound right, but I don't know enough about various ancient Greek mathematicians to dispute it.

    So I went to Wikipedia.
    The earliest documented mention of the spherical Earth concept dates from around the 5th century BC, when it was mentioned by ancient Greek philosophers.[1][2] It remained a matter of speculation until the 3rd century BC, when Hellenistic astronomyestablished the spherical shape of the Earth as a physical fact and calculated the Earth's circumference.
    From that, it sounds like Eratosthenes (one of the ancient Greek mathematicians I do know about) was the reason it became established orthodoxy during the Middle Ages.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Like McStabbington, I've only read his non-scientific works: specifically Nichomachean Ethics, Politics and The Constitution of Athens. In translation (probably obviously, but you never know). As a philosopher, he's not my favourite - but I agree with McStabbington's assessment of him nonetheless.
    I've now read Physics (skimmed and in translation). Interestingly enough 'Fluid Displacement' is straight up in there (although not bouyancy).
    The other two bits of most interest are the bit where 'force'1=velocity/density (plus mass effect).
    And near the end of book7 where f('force'2)=displacement*mass*time Interestingly the argument is basically the same as Galileo's, also applies to other changes (so force doesn't mean, and displacement/mass is me playing loose with the text), and has a further complication (which I've bodged by the function).

    Still not found a (translated-publically available), follow through. I know if I were writing a Simplico I'd include some straw-men distractions.
    Well there's Aquinus, but he's a philosopher (he also disagrees with Aristotle in the first relevant section (But several difficulties occur... hence on the assumption that motion happens in the void, it follows that no slowing up happens to the natural speed, but it does not follow that [infinite speed], )

    Also I note if Russel had paid attention to Aristotle's issues with place, he could have saved himself a lot of embarrassment :justsaying:

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