5
$\begingroup$

I am looking for books which include a mathematical interpretation of Aristotle's hypotheses about mechanics. I heard that there are a few books which interpret his mechanical ideas mathematically, but I couldn't find any.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

De Groot's book Aristotle's Empiricism: Experience and Mechanics in the 4th Century B.C. puts Aristotelian mechanics in the context of mathematical developments of his time. Rovelli's article Aristotle’s Physics: a Physicist’s Look gives a modernized and mathematized view of Aristotelian mechanics, interpreting him generously, and availing him of an overall dynamical framework that did not emerge until Newton. Still, one can agree that in some sense and partially the classical mechanics does reduce to Aristotle's in the limit of highly resistive medium. If by "Aristotle's hypothesis" you simply mean "velocity is proportional to the force" there is some discussion of it on Physics SE, and a bit more in Rovelli's article, but still not enough to fill a book I am afraid.

In the spirit of modernization, some physicists are having even more fun with Aristotelian mechanics, relating it to special relativity, or even quantizing it!

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

To be honest, Galilei's Two New Sciences is what you're looking for. This is as close to quantitative analysis as you'll find, because Aristotle did not quantify his observations even in form.

The entire book contains more discussion, but in general, you can reconstruct Aristotle's arguments from his own Physics and Metaphysics, with a couple of algebraic equations, which is what I recommend. It's the most straightforward method. Writings of Huygens are recommended, as well. There isn't much detailed discussion afterwards, mostly examples selected as illustrations of theories of history of science.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.