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Grant number like: FT-60034-12

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Tiberiu Marcel Popa
Butler University (Indianapolis, IN 46208-3487)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 7/31/2012

Material Powers and Natural Regularities: The Hippocratic Philosophers on Matter, Power, and the Laws of Nature

Questions about the nature of matter, specifically about the relation between substances and powers or material dispositions can be traced back to some of the earliest episodes in the history of philosophy and science, as, I believe, answers were offered or suggested, for example, by a number of early Greek medical authors. The book chapter that I plan to write on this topic would argue that the Hippocratics' views regarding the connection between elementary substances and dunameis (the Greek for powers) are more complex and likely more influential than they have generally taken to be (for instance, certain details discussed in several Hippocratic treatises appear to foreshadow Aristotelian theories). This chapter would be part of a study meant primarily to restore Aristotle's place in the history of the idea of law of nature and to demonstrate that he provided a sophisticated and remarkably consistent analysis of regularities in nature.