Ancient Classic for English Readers

W. Lucas Collins

Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 3,72 MB
  • EAN: 9780243835539
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Macedonia would conquer the East, and become the mistress of the entire liberties of Greece. But there is one significant tradition about Aristotle which suggests circumstances likely to have produced in early life a considerable influence upon his habits and pursuits. His father is said to have been an Asclepiad, — that is, he belonged to that distinguished caste who claimed to be the descendants of Esculapius. Now we have it, on the authority of Galen,* that it was the custom in Asclepiad families for the boys to be trained by their father in the practice of dissection, just as regularly as boys in other families learn to read and write. If Aristotle had really been trained from boyhood in the manner thus described, we can under stand how great an impulse he would have received to those physiological researches which formed so import ant a part of his subsequent achievements. But in one place of his writings On the Parts of Animals,' I. V. He speaks of the extreme repugnance with which one necessarily sees veins, and flesh, and other suchlike parts, in the human subject. This does not Show the hardihood of a practised dissector. But Aristotle's youthful dissections, if made at all, were doubtless made on the lower animals. At all events, we may perhaps safely conclude about him, that he received from his father an hereditary tendency towards physiological study. But in addition to this tendency, Aristotle must doubtless have early manifested terest in, and capacity for, abstract philosophy.