Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is it just me?

Am I the only one bothered by the fact that a few sub-disciplines of natural philosophy have usurped the title of knowledge (scientia) all for themselves?

2 comments:

Peter said...

No, it peeves me as well.

Also, I'm not so sure you would want to call them sub-disciplines of the philosophy of nature since physics in the modern sense (and everything related to it) differs from Natural Philosophy in virtue of its formal object and in its method. So, not being subalternate to the philosophy of nature. . . .

On the other hand, there has been a lot of disagreement on their relationship. . . .

But, hey, we don't want to get too nerdy about it. Blog away.

brendon said...

Well, the classic definition I remember for the philosophy of nature is "the study of matter in motion." So since the modern natural sciences study the matter and its motions under certain specific conditions and insofar as the matter and motion are quantifiable, I think they would qualify as sub-disciplines.

This seems to be in accordance with the definition of St. Thomas, given in his commentary on Boethius' De Trinitate: "Some [objects of speculation that depend on matter for their being] depend on matter both for their being and for their being understood, as do those things whose definition contains sensible matter and which, as a consequence, cannot be understood without sensible matter. For example, it is necessary to include flesh and bones in the definition of man. It is things of this sort that physics or natural science studies" (In de Trin., q. 5, a. 1c).