Aristotle on Chance in Nature

There are some who make chance responsible for this cosmos and all worlds. For they say that by chance there came about a vortex and a motion of separating out and settling into this arrangement of the whole. And this itself is in fact mightily worth 30 wondering at. For they are saying that animals and plants neither are nor come to be by fortune, but that either nature or Intellect or some other such thing is the cause (for what comes into being from each seed is not whatever falls out, but from this one an olive tree, from that one a human being), but that the heavens and the most divine of visible things have come from chance, and there is in no way such a cause as there is of the animals and 196b plants. But if this is the way things are, this itself is worth bringing one to a stop, and it would have been good for something to have been said about it. In this respect as well as others, what Is said is strange, and it is stranger still to say these things when one sees nothing in the heavens happening by chance, but many things falling out by fortune among the things not assigned to fortune, though it would surely seem that the opposite would happen.

There are others to whom it seems that fortune is a cause, but one not disclosed to human understanding, as though it were something divine and more appropriate to miraculous agency So it is necessary to examine what each is, and whether chance and fortune are the same or different, and how they fall in with the causes that have been marked out.


An ancient perspective on the question of naturalism and creationism.

Folksonomies: intelligent design creationism origins

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 Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (Masterworks of Discovery)
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Sachs , Joe (1995-03-01), Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (Masterworks of Discovery), Rutgers University Press, Retrieved on 2011-05-31
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  • Folksonomies: philosophy classics