Physics (Aristotle)
The Physics of Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 is one of the foundational books of Western science and philosophy. As Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

 once wrote,
It is a collection of treatises or lessons that deal with the most general (philosophical) principles of natural or moving things, both living and non-living, rather than physical theories (in the modern sense) or investigations of the particular contents of the universe. The chief purpose of the work is to discover the principles and causes of (and not merely to describe) change, or movement, or motion (kinesis), especially that of natural wholes (mostly living things, but also inanimate wholes like the cosmos). In the conventional Andronichean
Andronicus of Rhodes
Andronicus of Rhodes was a Greek philosopher from Rhodes who was also the eleventh scholarch of the Peripatetic school.He was at the head of the Peripatetic school at Rome, about 58 BC, and was the teacher of Boethus of Sidon, with whom Strabo studied...

 ordering of Aristotle's works, it stands at the head of, as well as being foundational to, the long series of physical, cosmological and biological treatises, whose ancient Greek title, , means "the [writings] on nature" or "natural philosophy
Natural philosophy
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature , is a term applied to the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science...



The Physics is composed of eight books, which are further divided into chapters. In this article, books are referenced with Roman numerals, chapters with Arabic numerals. Additionally, the Bekker numbers give the page and line numbers used in the Prussian Academy of Sciences edition of Aristotle's works.

Book I (Α; 184a-192b)

Book I discusses the scientist's approach to nature and the world of changing things and the doctrines of the presocratic natural philosophers, Parmenides
Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides...

 in particular. Topics include: remarks on method, a discussion of how some ancestors viewed nature, and the basic elements of change. Change elements include: a lack (privation), which is overcome by its opposite (form), with both of them belonging to a subject (or substrate: matter in substantial change; substance in accidental change) which persists through the change. The 1966 monograph by Connell is a particularly good expansion and defense of the contents of this book.

Aristotle's approach to the world as summarized in chapter 1 is to start with the most general (and therefore sure) aspects of the sensible world (e.g., "some things move") before proceeding to specifics (e.g., "the Earth orbits the Sun"). This approach contrasts sharply with that of modern science, which starts with particulars before advancing to generalities.

Aristotle first introduces the word matter (Greek: hyle
In philosophy, hyle refers to matter or stuff. It can also be the material cause underlying a change in Aristotelian philosophy. The Greeks originally had no word for matter in general, as opposed to raw material suitable for some specific purpose or other, so Aristotle adapted the word for...

literally "timber") in chapter 7, and he defines it in book I's concluding chapter, 9: "For my definition of matter is just this—the primary substratum of each thing, from which it comes to be without qualification, and which persists in the result."

Aristotle's concept of matter is rather different from what we moderns might expect from the use of the word in modern mathematical science. Descartes axiomatically redefined the concept of matter in the Enlightenment to exclude any characteristics that would make it unsuitable for abstract, mathematical (geometrical) treatment: what has extension. Matter in Aristotle's thought is, however, defined in terms of sensible reality (operationally, as it were) as that which underlies substantial change; for example, a horse eats grass: the horse changes the grass into itself; the grass as such does not persist in the horse, but some aspect of it—its matter—does. The matter is not specifically described (e.g., as atoms), but consists of whatever remains in the change of substance from grass to horse. Matter in this understanding does not exist independently (i.e., as a substance
Substance theory
Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. A thing-in-itself is a property-bearer that must be distinguished from the properties it bears....

), but exists interdependently (i.e., as a "principle") with form and only insofar as it underlies change. It is helpful to conceive of the relationship of matter and form as very similar to that between parts and whole. Parts existing separately do not remain parts, but become new wholes.

Book II (Β; 192b-200b)

Book II introduces the term "nature" (Gr. physis) as "nature is a source or cause of being moved and of being at rest in that to which it belongs primarily" (1.192b21). Thus, those entities are natural which are capable of starting to move, e.g. growing, acquiring qualities, displacing themselves, and finally being born and dying. Aristotle contrasts natural things with the artificial: artificial things can move also, but they move according to what they are made of, not according to what they are. For example, if a wooden bed were buried and somehow sprouted as a tree, it would be according to what it is made of, not what it is. Aristotle contrasts two senses of nature: nature as matter and nature as form or definition.

By "nature" Aristotle means the natures of particular things and would perhaps be better translated "a nature." His view of natures as the real origins of the activities of things is directly opposed by mechanistic conception of nature, which gained popularity in the Enlightenment. Mechanism
Mechanism may refer to:*Mechanism , rigid bodies connected by joints in order to accomplish a desired force and/or motion transmission*Mechanism , explaining how a feature is created...

 assumes that natural wholes (principally living things) are like machines or artifacts, composed of parts lacking any intrinsic relationship to each other with their order imposed from without. Thus, the source of an apparent thing's activities is not the whole itself, but its parts. While Aristotle certainly admits the parts (i.e., matter) as a real cause of things (viz., the material cause), he says that nature is primarily the form or formal cause (1.193b6), that is, the whole thing itself.

In chapter 3, Aristotle presents his theory of the four causes (material, efficient, formal, and final). Of particular importance is the final cause or purpose (telos
Telos (philosophy)
A telos is an end or purpose, in a fairly constrained sense used by philosophers such as Aristotle. It is the root of the term "teleology," roughly the study of purposiveness, or the study of objects with a view to their aims, purposes, or intentions. Teleology figures centrally in Aristotle's...

). It is a common mistake to conceive of the four causes as additive or alternative forces pushing or pulling; in reality, all four are needed to explain (7.198a22-25). What we typically mean by cause in the modern scientific idiom is only a narrow part of what Aristotle means by efficient cause.

He contrasts purpose with the way in which "nature" does not work, chance (or luck), discussed in chapters 4, 5, and 6. (Chance working in the actions of humans is tuche and in unreasoning agents automaton.) Something happens by chance when all the lines of causality converge without that convergence being purposefully chosen, and produce a result similar to the teleologically
A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek τέλος, telos; root: τελε-, "end, purpose...

 caused one.

In chapters 7 through 9, Aristotle returns to the discussion of nature. With the enrichment of the preceding four chapters, he concludes that nature acts for an end, and he discusses the way that necessity is present in natural things. For Aristotle, the motion of natural things is determined from within them, while in the modern empirical sciences, motion is determined from without (more properly speaking: there is nothing to have an inside).

Book III (Γ; 200b-208a)

In order to understand "nature" as defined in the previous book, one must understand the terms of the definition. To understand motion, book III begins with the definition of change based on Aristotle's notions of potentiality and actuality. Change, he says, is the actualization of a thing's ability insofar as it is able.

The rest of the book (chapters 4-8) discusses the infinite (apeiron, the unlimited). He distinguishes between the infinite by addition and the infinite by division, and between the actually infinite
Actual infinity
Actual infinity is the idea that numbers, or some other type of mathematical object, can form an actual, completed totality; namely, a set. Hence, in the philosophy of mathematics, the abstraction of actual infinity involves the acceptance of infinite entities, such as the set of all natural...

 and potentially infinite. He argues against the actually infinite in any form, including infinite bodies, substances, and voids. Aristotle here says the only type of infinity that exists is the potentially infinite. Aristotle characterizes this as that which serves as "the matter for the completion of a magnitude and is potentially (but not actually) the completed whole" (207a22-23). The infinite, lacking any form, is thereby unknowable. Aristotle writes, "it is not what has nothing outside it that is infinite, but what always has something outside it" (6.206b33-207a1-2).

Book IV (Δ; 208a-223b)

Book IV discusses the preconditions of motion: place (topos, chapters 1-5), void (kenon, chapters 6-9), and time (kronos, chapters 10-14). The book starts by distinguishing the various ways a thing can "be in" another. He likens place to an immobile container or vessel: "the innermost motionless boundary of what contains" is the primary place of a body (4.212a20). Unlike space, which is a volume co-existent with a body, place is a boundary or surface.

He teaches that, contrary to the Atomists and others, a void is not only unnecessary, but leads to contradictions, e.g., making locomotion impossible. Contrary to popular belief and many so-called disciples of Aristotle, what he calls void is not the same as an absence of air or other sensible body (what we today call a vacuum; cf. 6.213a23-29).

Time is a constant attribute of movements and, Aristotle thinks, does not exist on its own but is relative to the motions of things. Time is defined as "the number of movement in respect of before and after", so it cannot exist without succession; but he also seems to say that to exist time requires the presence of a soul capable of "numbering" the movement.

Books V and VI (Ε: 224a-231a; Ζ: 231a-241b)

Books V and VI deal with how motion occurs. Book V classifies four species of movement, depending on where the opposites are located. Movement categories include quantity (e.g. a change in dimensions, from great to small), quality (as for colors: from pale to dark), place (local movements generally go from up downwards and vice versa), or, more controversially, substance. In fact, substances do not have opposites, so it is inappropriate to say that something properly becomes, from not-man, man: generation and corruption
On Generation and Corruption
On Generation and Corruption , , also known as On Coming to Be and Passing Away) is a treatise by Aristotle. Like many of his texts, it is both scientific and philosophic...

 are not kinesis in the full sense.

Book VI discusses how a changing thing can reach the opposite state, if it has to pass through infinite intermediate stages. It investigates by rational and logical arguments the notions of continuity and division, establishing that change—and, consequently, time and place—are not divisible into indivisible parts; they are not mathematically discrete
Discrete mathematics
Discrete mathematics is the study of mathematical structures that are fundamentally discrete rather than continuous. In contrast to real numbers that have the property of varying "smoothly", the objects studied in discrete mathematics – such as integers, graphs, and statements in logic – do not...

 but continuous, that is, infinitely divisible (in other words, that you cannot build up a continuum out of discrete or indivisible points or moments). Among other things, this implies that there can be no definite (indivisible) moment when a motion begins. This discussion, together with that of speed and the different behavior of the four different species of motion, eventually helps Aristotle answer the famous paradoxes
Zeno's paradoxes
Zeno's paradoxes are a set of problems generally thought to have been devised by Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea to support Parmenides's doctrine that "all is one" and that, contrary to the evidence of our senses, the belief in plurality and change is mistaken, and in particular that motion is...

 of Zeno
Zeno of Elea
Zeno of Elea was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. Aristotle called him the inventor of the dialectic. He is best known for his paradoxes, which Bertrand Russell has described as "immeasurably subtle and profound".- Life...

, which purport to show the absurdity of motion's existence.

Book VII (Η; 241a25–250b7)

Book VII briefly deals with the relationship of the moved to his mover, which Aristotle describes in substantial divergence with Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's theory of the soul as capable of setting itself in motion (Laws
Laws (dialogue)
The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. The question asked at the beginning is not "What is law?" as one would expect. That is the question of the Minos...

book X, Phaedrus, Phaedo). Everything which moves is moved by another. He then tries to correlate the species of motion and their speeds, with the local change (locomotion, phorà) as the most fundamental to which the others can be reduced.

Book VII.1-3 also exist in an alternative version, not included in the Bekker edition.

Book VIII (Θ; 250a14–267b26)

Book VIII (which occupies almost a fourth of the entire Physics, and probably constituted originally an independent course of lessons) discusses two main topics, though with a wide deployment of arguments: the time limits of the universe, and the existence of a Prime Mover
Cosmological argument
The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

 — eternal, indivisible, without parts and without magnitude. Isn't the universe eternal, has it had a beginning, will it ever end? Aristotle's response, as a Greek, could hardly be affirmative, never having been told of a creatio ex nihilo (for the first appearance of this concept in philosophy, see St. Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

); but he also has philosophical reasons for denying that motion didn't exist all along, on the grounds of the theory presented in the earlier books of the Physics. Eternity of motion is also confirmed by the existence of a substance which is different from all the others in lacking matter; being pure form, it is also in an eternal actuality, not being imperfect in any respect; hence needing not to move. This is demonstrated by describing the celestial bodies thus: the first things to be moved must undergo an infinite, single and continuous movement, that is, circular. This is not caused by any contact but (integrating the view contained in the Metaphysics, bk. XII
Aristotelian view of God
The Aristotelian and Neo-Aristotelian views of God have been influential in Western intellectual history.-The Metaphysics:In his book on first philosophy, which most now call the Metaphysics, Aristotle discussed the meaning of "being as being". Aristotle concluded that "being" primarily refers to...

) by love and aspiration.

English translations of the Physics

(In reverse chronological order.)
  • Glen Coughlin, Physics, or, Natural Hearing (South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, 2005).
  • Robin Waterfield, Physics, ed. David Bostock (Oxford University Press, 1999).
  • Joe Sachs, Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995).
  • Daniel W. Graham, Physics: Book VIII (Oxford University Press, 1999).
  • William Charlton, Physics: Books I and II (Oxford University Press, 1984).
  • Edward Hussey, Physics: Books III and IV (Oxford University Press, 1983).
  • Richard Hope, Aristotle's Physics : with an Analytical Index of Technical Terms (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1961).
  • Charles Glenn Wallis, Lectures on the Science of Natures, Books I-IV (Annapolis: The St. John's Bookstore, 1940). OCLC 37790727 (Also includes On Coming-To-Be and Ceasing-To-Be I.4-5; On The Generation Of Animals I.22)
  • Hippocrates G. Apostle, Physics (Oxford, 1936) (Grinnell, Iowa: The Peripatetic Press, 1980).
  • W.D. Ross, Aristotle's Physics. A Revised Text with Introd. and Commentary by W.D. Ross (New York: Clarendon Press, 1936). [not so much a translation, but revision of the Greek text, with English paraphrase]
  • Philip Wheelwright
    Philip Wheelwright
    Philip Ellis Wheelwright was an American philosopher, classical scholar and literary theorist.He is best known for two books in the field of literary criticism, The Burning Fountain: a Study in the Language of Symbolism and Metaphor and Reality , and his book on early Greek philosophy, The...

    , "Natural Science [includes Physics I-II, III.1, VIII]" in Aristotle: Containing Selections from Seven of the Most Important Books of Aristotle ... Natural science, the Metaphysics, Zoology, Psychology, The Nicomachean Ethics, On Statecraft, and The Art of Poetry. (New York: Odyssey Press, 1935). OCLC 3363066
  • R.P. Hardie and R.K. Gaye, Physica (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1930).
  • P.H. Wicksteed
    Philip Wicksteed
    Philip Henry Wicksteed is known primarily as an economist. He was also an English Unitarian theologian , classicist, medievalist, and literary critic....

     and F.M. Cornford
    F. M. Cornford
    Francis Macdonald Cornford was an English classical scholar and poet.He was educated at St Paul's School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Fellow from 1899 and held a university teaching post from 1902...

    , The Physics (2 vols., 1929) (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press "Loeb Classical Library," 1980).
  • Thomas Taylor, The Physics or Physical Auscultation of Aristotle: with Copious Notes in Which Is Given the Substance of the Invaluable Commentaries of Simplicius (1806) (republished by Prometheus Trust, 2000) ISBN 1-898910-18-9

Classical and medieval commentaries on the Physics

  • Aquinas, Thomas, Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, trans. Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath, and W. Edmund Thirlkel (Notre Dame, Indiana: Dumb Ox Books, 1999).
  • Averroes
    ' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

    , Averroes’ Questions in Physics, trans. Helen Tunik Goldstein. (Boston : Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991).
  • Buridan, Jean, Subtilissimae Quaestiones super octo Physicorum libros Aristotelis (Paris, 1509).
  • Coimbra Commentators, In octo libros physicorum Aristotelis (Coimbra, 1592).
  • Jandun, Jean
    John of Jandun
    John of Jandun was an Averroist philosopher, theologian, and political writer. He was born at Jandun in the Ardennes, in what is now France...

    , Quaestiones super 8 [i.e. octo] libros Physicorum Aristotelis (Venedig, 1551/Frankfurt: Minerva, 1969). OCLC 488626102.
  • Mair, John, Commentary on Aristotle's Physical and Ethical Writings, (Paris, 1526).
  • Ockham
    William of Ockham
    William of Ockham was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher, who is believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey. He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of...

    , William, Exposition of Aristotle's Physics in William of Ockham: Philosophical Writings, trans. Philotheus Boehner
    Philotheus Boehner
    Philotheus Boehner was a member of the Franciscan order and a distinguished medieval scholar.-Biography:Boehner was born Heinrich Boehner in Lichtenau, Westphalia. He entered the Franciscan Order in 1920, and was given the name , the Latin form of the Greek ,...

     (Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett, 1990).
  • Ockham, William, Ockham on Aristotle's Physics: A Translation of Ockham's Brevis Summa Libri Physicorum (St. Bonaventure N.Y: The Franciscan Institute, 1989).
  • Oresme, Nicole, Oresme's Commentary on Aristotle's Physics. Edition of the Quaestiones on Book 3 and 4 of Aristotle's Physics and of the Quaestiones 6 - 9 on book 5. Edited by Stefan Kirschner. (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1997).
  • Philoponus, John, On Aristotle’s Physics, trans. (various) (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, Ancient Commentators on Aristotle series, 1993–2006).
  • Ramus, Petrus
    Petrus Ramus
    Petrus Ramus was an influential French humanist, logician, and educational reformer. A Protestant convert, he was killed during the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Early life:...

     (Pierre de la Ramée), Scholarum physicarum libro octo... (Frankfurt: A Wecheli, 1683).
  • Simplicius
    Simplicius of Cilicia
    Simplicius of Cilicia, was a disciple of Ammonius Hermiae and Damascius, and was one of the last of the Neoplatonists. He was among the pagan philosophers persecuted by Justinian in the early 6th century, and was forced for a time to seek refuge in the Persian court, before being allowed back into...

    , On Aristotle’s Physics, trans. (various) (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, Ancient Commentators on Aristotle series, 1993–2006).
  • Romanus, Aegidius (Giles of Rome
    Giles of Rome
    Giles of Rome , was an archbishop of Bourges who was famed for his logician commentary on the Organon by Aristotle. Giles was styled Doctor Fundatissimus by Pope Benedict XIV...

    ), In Octo Libros Physicorum Aristoteles (Venedig, 1502; Frankfurt: Minerva GMBH, 1968).
  • Soto, Domingo de, Super octo libros physicorum Aristotelis quaestiones (Salamanca, 1555).

Modern commentaries and monographs

  • Bolotin, David, An approach to Aristotle's physics: with particular attention to the role of his manner of writing (SUNY Press, 1997). ISBN 0-7914-3552-0, ISBN 978-0-7914-3552-6
  • Bostock, David, Space, Time, Matter, and Form: Essays on Aristotle's Physics (Oxford University Press, 2006).
  • Connell, Richard J., Matter and Becoming (Chicago: The Priory Press, 1966).
  • Connell, Richard J., Nature's Causes (New York: P. Lang, 1995).
  • Coope, Ursula, Time for Aristotle: Physics IV.10–14 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005).
  • Gerson, Lloyd P., ed., Aristotle: Critical Assessments, vol. 2: Physics, Cosmology and Biology (New York: Routledge, 1999). Collects these papers:
    • Bas C. van Fraassen
      Bas C. van Fraassen
      Bastiaan Cornelis van Fraassen is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, teaching courses in philosophy of science, the role of models in scientific practice and philosophical logic...

      , "A Re-examination of Aristotle's Philosophy of Science," Dialogue 19 (1980), 20-45.
    • Alan Code, "The Persistence of Aristotelian Matter," Philosophical Studies 29 (1976), 357-67.
    • Aryeh Kosman, "Aristotle's Definition of Motion," Phronesis 14 (1969), 40-62.
    • Daniel W. Graham, "Aristotle's Definition of Motion," Ancient Philosophy 8 (1988), 209-15.
    • Sheldon M. Cohen, "Aristotle on Elemental Motion," Phronesis 39 (1994), 150-9.
    • Michael Bradie and Fred D. Miller, Jr., "Teleology and Natural Necessity in Aristotle," History of Philosophy Quarterly 1, 2 (1984), 133-46.
    • Susan Sauve Meyer, "Aristotle, Teleology, and Reduction," The Philosophical Review 101, 4 (1992), 791-825.
    • James G. Lennox
      James G. Lennox
      James G. Lennox is a professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, with secondary appointments in the departments of Classics and Philosophy. He a leader in the study of Aristotelian science in light of his groundbreaking work on Aristotle's...

      , "Aristotle on Chance," Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie 66 (1984), 52-60.
    • Mary Louise Gill, "Aristotle's Theory of Causal Action in Physics III 3," Phronesis 25 (1980), 129-47.
    • David Bostock, "Aristotle's Account of Time," Phronesis 25 (1980), 148-69.
    • David Bostock, "Aristotle on the Transmutation of the Elements in De Generatione et Corruptione 1.1–4," Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 13 (1995), 217-29.
    • Cynthia A. Freeland, "Scientific Explanation and Empirical Data in Aristotle's Meteorology," Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 8 (1990), 67-102.
    • Mohan Matthen and R.J. Hankinson, "Aristotle's Universe: Its Form and Matter," Synthese 96 (1993), 417-35.
    • David Charles, "Aristotle on Substance, Essence and Biological Kinds," Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 7 (1991), 227-61.
    • Herbert Granger, "Aristotle on Genus and Differentia," Journal of the History of Philosophy 22 (1984), 1-23.
    • Mohan Matthen, "The Four Causes in Aristotle's Embryology," Apeiron 22 (1989), 159-79.
    • Alan Code, "Soul as Efficient Cause in Aristotle's Embryology," Philosophical Topics 15, 2 (1987), 51-59.
    • David J. Depew, "Human and Other Political Animals in Aristotle's History of Animals," Phronesis 40 (1995), 156-81.
    • Daryl McGowan Tress, "The Metaphysical Science of Aristotle's Generation of Animals and its Feminist Critics," Review of Metaphysics 46 (1992), 307-41.
    • Rosamond Kent Sprague, "Plants as Aristotelian Substances," Illinois Classical Studies 56 (1991), 221-9.
  • Judson, Lindsay, ed., Aristotle’s Physics: a collection of essays (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
  • Kouremenos, Theokritos, The proportions in Aristotle's Phys.7.5 (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2002). ISBN 3-515-08178-X
  • Lang, Helen S., Aristotle’s Physics and its Medieval Varieties (Albany: State University of New York, 1992).
  • Lang, Helen S., The Order of Nature in Aristotle's Physics: Place and the Elements (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
  • MacMullin, Ernan
    Ernan McMullin
    Ernan McMullin was the O’Hara Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. He was an internationally-respected philosopher of science who has written and lectured extensively on subjects ranging from the relationship between cosmology and theology, to the role of values in...

    , The Concept of Matter in Greek and Medieval Philosophy (Notre Dame, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1965).
  • Maritain, Jacques
    Jacques Maritain
    Jacques Maritain was a French Catholic philosopher. Raised as a Protestant, he converted to Catholicism in 1906. An author of more than 60 books, he helped to revive St. Thomas Aquinas for modern times and is a prominent drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights...

    , Science and Wisdom, trans. Bernard Wall (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1954).
  • Morison, Benjamin, On Location: Aristotle's Concept of Place (Oxford University Press, 2002).
  • Reizler, Kurt
    Kurt Riezler
    Kurt Riezler was a German philosopher and diplomat. A top-level cabinet adviser in the German Empire and the Weimar Republic, he negotiated Germany's underwriting of Russia's October Revolution and authored the 1914 September Program which outlined German war aims during World War I...

    , Physics and Reality (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940).
  • Sachs, Joe, “Motion and its Place in Nature,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006. (accessed 18 October 2008).
  • Solmsen, Friedrich
    Friedrich Solmsen
    Friedrich W. Solmsen was a philologist and professor of classical studies. His edition of Hesiod is considered definitive. He published nearly 150 books, monographs, scholarly articles, and reviews from the 1930s through the 1980s. Solmsen's work is characterized by a prevailing interest in the...

    , Aristotle's System of the Physical World: A Comparison with His Predecessors (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1960).
  • Smith, Vincent Edward, The General Science of Nature (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1958).
  • Smith, Vincent Edward, Philosophical Physics (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950).
  • Wardy, Robert, The Chain of Change: A study of Aristotle's Physics VII, (Cmabridge University Press, 1990).
  • White, Michael J., The Continuous and the Discrete: Ancient Physical Theories from a Contemporary Perspective (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992).


  • Brague, Rémi
    Rémi Brague
    Rémi Brague is a French professor of Arabic and religious philosophy at the Sorbonne and at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.- Biography :...

    , "Aristotle's Definition of Motion and Its Ontological Implications," Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 13:2 (1990), 1-22.
  • Machamer, Peter K., “Aristotle on Natural Place and Motion,” Isis 69:3 (Sept. 1978), 377–387.
  • Schindler, David L., "The Problem of Mechanism," Beyond Mechanism: The Universe in Recent Physics and Catholic Thought, ed. David L. Schindler (University Press of America, 1986).
  • Solmsen, Friedrich
    Friedrich Solmsen
    Friedrich W. Solmsen was a philologist and professor of classical studies. His edition of Hesiod is considered definitive. He published nearly 150 books, monographs, scholarly articles, and reviews from the 1930s through the 1980s. Solmsen's work is characterized by a prevailing interest in the...

    , "Aristotle's Word for Matter
    Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

    ." In Didascaliæ: Studies in Honor of Anselm M. Albareda
    Joaquín Albareda y Ramoneda
    Joaquín Anselmo María Albareda y Ramoneda, OSB was a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Vatican Library from 1936 to 1962, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1962.-Biography:...

    , Prefect of the Vatican Library.
    Edited by Sesto Prete. New York 1961, pp. 393–408.
  • Solmsen, Friedrich
    Friedrich Solmsen
    Friedrich W. Solmsen was a philologist and professor of classical studies. His edition of Hesiod is considered definitive. He published nearly 150 books, monographs, scholarly articles, and reviews from the 1930s through the 1980s. Solmsen's work is characterized by a prevailing interest in the...

    , "Misplaced Passages at the End of Aristotle's Physics." American Journal of Philology 82 (1961) 270-282.
  • Solmsen, Friedrich
    Friedrich Solmsen
    Friedrich W. Solmsen was a philologist and professor of classical studies. His edition of Hesiod is considered definitive. He published nearly 150 books, monographs, scholarly articles, and reviews from the 1930s through the 1980s. Solmsen's work is characterized by a prevailing interest in the...

    , "Aristotle and Prime Matter: A Reply to H. R. King." Journal of the History of Ideas 19 (1958) 243-252.

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