Thesis ID: CBB669699752

Research and Experiment in Early Greek Thought (2019)


Mayo, Tyler (Author)
Schironi, Francesca (Advisor)

University of Michigan
Schironi, Francesca
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 217

It is almost universally believed that the Greeks practiced science several generations before Socrates. What this claim means in detail, however, is still widely debated. In this thesis, I propose to look at one particularly important facet of the modern scientific method—experimentation—and see whether and, if so, how early Greek thinkers used experimentation in their investigation into nature. Since there was no overarching idea of a "scientist" current in Greece during this time, I take several types of figures for whom we have textual evidence in turn: natural philosophers, doctors, musical theorists, and historiographers. Despite interpretive issues arising from pseudonymous and fragmentary texts, these authors all had an abiding interest in elucidating the workings of nature. And even though they exhibit differences in their approaches and objects of study, I argue that they all were open to the use of the senses in their investigations. In practice, this included the observation of purposefully contrived and controlled interventions, which is the core of the modern-day experiment, even if ancient tests did not bear the same relationship to theory as experiments do in our understanding of science.

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Authors & Contributors
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Argyrakis, Vaios
Bowin, John
Burnyeat, M. F.
Butler, James Eric
Daston, Lorraine J.
Apeiron: Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Ancient Philosophy
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
History of Psychiatry
Perspectives on Science
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Oxford University Press
University of Guelph (Canada)
Villanova University
Senses and sensation; perception
Experiments and experimentation
Philosophy of science
Methodology of science; scientific method
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Heron of Alexandria; Hero of Alexandria
Philo Judaeus
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
Early modern

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