25 January 2010

'the humblest creatures'

Armand Leroi and his colleagues have made a good film about Aristotle's biological research. Leroi quotes the 'invitation to biology' as follows:
It is not good enough to study the stars no matter how perfect they may be. Rather we must also study the humblest creatures even if they seem repugnant to us. And that is because all animals have something of the good, something of the divine, something of the beautiful.
And he concludes with an observation from the Metaphysics, which in paraphrase goes:
All men desire knowledge, but not all forms of knowledge are equal. The best is pure and disinterested research into the causes of things, and searching for them is the best way to spend a life.

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