Aristotle's Architectonic Sciences

In David Ebrey (ed.), Theory and Practice in Aristotle's Natural Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 163-186 (2015)
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Aristotle rejected the idea of a single, overarching super-science or “theory of everything”, and he presented a powerful and influential critique of scientific unity. In theory, each science observes the facts unique to its domain, and explains these by means of its own proper principles. But even as he elaborates his prohibition on kind-crossing explanations (Posterior Analytics 1.6-13), Aristotle points out that there are important exceptions—that some sciences are “under” others in that they depend for their explanations on the principles of a superior (more architectonic) science. In this paper, I explore how subordination relations and architectonic structures apply to Aristotle’s scientific practice—including not only the works of theoretical philosophy, which have already been discussed in this connection, but also in and between these and the practical and productive sciences.
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