Science & Education

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 217–239 | Cite as

Aristotelian Physics in the Context of Teaching Science: A Historical-Philosophical Approach

  • Olimpia Lombardi


Nowadays in the community of researchers there is a practically unanimous consensus about the relevance of the history of science to the educational process. In this context, Aristotelian physics was rediscovered and reassessed for didactic purposes. But unfortunately, it is very often presented in a rather fragmentary and oversimplified way that distorts the true meaning of Aristotelian concepts. Facing this problem, the purpose of the present paper is to point out some blunders that originate in the partial reading of Aristotle's work. Particularly, it intends to contribute to the following points: (i) to warn against a hurried identification of pre-scientific notions and Aristotelian physical concepts; (ii) to promote an epistemologically not naïve and historiographically not anachronic interpretation of Aristotle's work on physics, both in the theoretical and in the methodological aspects; (iii) to warn against the interpretative confusion that arises from projecting the conceptual frame of contemporary science on Aristotelian physics, ignoring Aristotle's natural philosophy as a whole; (iv) to show the need of understanding the metaphysical foundations of the Aristotelian system; (v) to promote a return to the reading of the original texts.


Methodological Aspect Educational Process Original Text Physical Concept Conceptual Frame 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olimpia Lombardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Física, Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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