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Mass_Driver comments on Archimedes's Chronophone - Less Wrong

20 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 March 2007 05:43PM

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Comment author: Mass_Driver 10 May 2010 07:13:49AM 2 points [-]

I've always thought that the middle chapters of Plato's Republic were satire. Are you quite sure that classical Greek philosophers were disdainful of empirical phenomena? How do you explain, e.g., Aristotle's Physics?

Comment author: Jack 10 May 2010 08:45:41AM *  1 point [-]

I've always thought that the middle chapters of Plato's Republic were satire.

Nope. Or at least that is an extremely novel interpretation, as far as I know.

Are you quite sure that classical Greek philosophers were disdainful of empirical phenomena? How do you explain, e.g., Aristotle's Physics?

Also, all his biology. I agree the post is unfair to the ancient Greeks. Aristotle invented observational science. The problem is he didn't think to run any experiments. He just collected stamps, so to speak.

Comment author: rebellionkid 09 January 2012 05:35:51PM 2 points [-]

My understanding is not that he "didn't think to" run experiments, rather he actively rejected the doing of experiments. The idea is that one can study nature, study things as they naturally are, because that is them acting in accordance with their inherent properties. But it makes no sense to study things in a lab, in an artificial environment. If I launch something out of a cannon then I disturb it from how it inherently acts. Of course something acting against how it inherently acts is pointless to study. Likewise doing any kind of experiment will only tell you about your experiment (at best) and tell you nothing of the natural state of things.

Comment author: thomblake 09 January 2012 06:07:28PM 1 point [-]

I've always thought that the middle chapters of Plato's Republic were satire.

I've held the same view, and while it is unpopular it's not unique.