- 科学史研究. 第II期 (ISSN:00227692)
- vol.30, no.178, pp.97-106, 1991-07-03
The Mechanica reveals to us some of Aristotle's basic attitudes towards mathematica and physica. In Aristotle's division of knowledge, there seems to be a clear distinction between mathematica and physica, but in fact, these two kinds of knowledge have the common basis on Plato's five mathemata described in the Republic. Mechanical problems have something in common with both mathematica and physica, for the method is demonstrated by mathematica and its objects belong to physica. Furthermore, mechanica relates closely to stereometria which Plato himself introduced in addition to the Pythagorean four mathemata, intending the reconstruction of those traditional 'quadrivium' in his Republic. In the system of Aristotle's demonstrative science, mechanica connected with stereometria treats its object as a 'stereon' in motion. But in his ontology, the 'stereon' means 'mathematical solid' which must be capable of perception. 'Moving stereon' means 'moving mathematical solid' and if this is restricted to the natural world, the objects of mechanica are metamorphosed into those of physica. Considering mechanica in this division of Aristotle's system, we can see the gradual transition from mathematica to physica. We recognize mechanica as the soil from which physica comes into existence.