Heidegger on Aristotle and Newton

547 Words3 Pages
Heidegger Paper The difference between ancient and modern thought is exemplified in the difference between Aristotle and Newton’s theories of motion. The two agree that beings are in motion or at rest, however from that point they diverge. Aristotle states that motion includes both the change of location and the change of something into something else. So, for example, motion includes both walking and blushing. Newton states that “every body left to itself moves uniformly in a straight line.” According to Heidegger, this first axiom of Newton has eight different distinctions from Aristotle’s theory of motion. I will use Heidegger’s seventh implication of the eight to first distinguish between the two views and then use that distinction to answer the question, “how is our approach to the concept of man changed with modern science?” Heidegger’s seventh implication of Newton’s first axiom defines the change in the concept of nature from Aristotle’s view. Aristotle believed a being’s dynamis, or capacity for motion, to be inherent in the nature of the being. Since, in Newton, motion is determined quantitatively, Aristotle’s concept of bia, or violence, is nullified. It becomes a change in motion as opposed to its own type of motion. Therefore, nature no longer determines motion, motion determines nature in a sense. This leads to Heidegger’s seventh implication, that nature no longer determines motion, but it is “the manner in which they are present in space and time.” Heidegger follows by saying, “We cannot set forth here the full implications of the revolution of inquiry into nature.” I will attempt to define at least one implication of this change in the view of this subject. When considering the ancient theory of motion with the modern in regard to the concept of man, the debate of nature versus nurture comes to mind. Though Aristotle does refer to
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