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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 80, 2006

Intelligence and the Philosophy of Mind

Jean De Groot
Pages 91-99

A Husserlian Perspective on Empirical Mathematics in Aristotle

Examples are presented of Aristotle’s use of non-idealized mathematics. Distinctions Husserl makes in Crisis help to delineate the features of this empirical mathematics, which include the non-persistence of mathematical aspects of things and the selective application of mathematical traits and proper accidents. In antiquity, non-abstracted mathematics was involved with practical sciences that treat motion. The suggestion is made that these sciences were incorporated by Aristotle into natural philosophy without first being abstracted as pure mathematics—a state of affairs not envisioned by Husserl, for whom science recast natural ontology by means of the idealization of pure mathematics. The relation of empirical mathematics to life-world ontology is considered.