Autonomous Nature: Problems of Prediction and Control From by Carolyn Merchant

By Carolyn Merchant

Self reliant Nature investigates the historical past of nature as an energetic, frequently unruly strength in stress with nature as a rational, logical order from precedent days to the medical Revolution of the 17th century. in addition to next advances in mechanics, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, nature got here to be perceived as an orderly, rational, actual global that may be engineered, managed, and controlled. self sustaining Nature makes a speciality of the background of unpredictability, why it was once an issue for the traditional global throughout the medical Revolution, and why it's a challenge for at the present time. The paintings is determined within the context of vignettes approximately unpredictable occasions equivalent to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the Bubonic Plague, the Lisbon Earthquake, and efforts to appreciate and expect the elements and ordinary mess ups. This booklet is a perfect textual content for classes at the atmosphere, environmental heritage, heritage of technological know-how, or the philosophy of technological know-how.

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9, 990b, p. 706. 14. , Book IV, ch. 1, 1003a, p. 731, and Book VI, ch. 1, 1028a, pp. 783–4. 15. , Book IV, ch. 1, 1003b–4b, pp. 732–3. 16. , Book V, ch. 1, 1013a, p. 752. 17. , Book IX, ch. 1, 1046a, pp. 820–1. 18. Plato, Timaeus, trans. D. Lee, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969, 28, p. 40. 19. Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book XII, chs. 8–9, 1073a–1075a, in The Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. R. McKeon, New York: Random House, 1941, pp. 881–5. 20. , Book XII, ch. 9, 1074b34, p. 885. 21. Aristotle, Ethics, Book I, ch.

Like Heracleitus, he believed that two forces, Love and Strife, interact to bring together and to separate the four substances. Strife makes each of these elements withdraw itself from the others; Love makes them mingle together. The real world is at a stage in which neither force dominates. In the beginning, Love was dominant and all four substances were mixed together; during the formation of the cosmos, Strife entered to separate air, fire, earth and water from one another. Subsequently, the four elements were again arranged in partial combinations in certain places; springs and volcanoes, for example, show the presence of both water and fire in the earth.

17 Things exist potentially until they are actually made or become what they can become. An acorn has the potential to become a mighty oak tree. It has the power, potency and possibility to become so. But whether it actually becomes an oak tree depends on such conditions as its fertility, its being put in the correct growing conditions, and so on. Clarifying this distinction contributed to the development of western culture as it ensures that we work out clearly what can or cannot be done, and what can really be achieved.

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