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This volume derives from a workshop on differential geometry, calculus of variÂ ations, and computer graphics at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, May 23-25, 1988. The meeting was structured around principal lectures given by F. Almgren, M. Callahan, J. Ericksen, G. Francis, R. Gulliver, P. HanraÂ han, J. Kajiya, K. Polthier, J. Sethian, I. Sterling, E. L. Thomas, and T. Vogel. The divergent backgrounds of these and the many other participants, as reflected in their lectures at the meeting and in their papers presented here, testify to the unifying element of the workshop's central theme. Any such meeting is ultimately dependent for its success on the interest and motivation of its participants. In this respect the present gathering was especially fortunate. The depth and range of the new developments presented in the lectures and also in informal discussion point to scientific and technological frontiers beÂ ing crossed with impressive speed. The present volume is offered as a permanent record for those who were present, and also with a view toward making the material available to a wider audience than were able to attend.
This book provides a detailed analysis of Aristotle's Parts of Animals. It presents the wealth of information provided in the biological works of Aristotle and revisits the detailed natural history observations that inform, and in many ways penetrate, the philosophical argument. It raises the question of how easy it is to clearly distinguish between what some might describe as "merely" biological and the philosophical. It explores the notion and consequences of describing the activity in which Aristotle is engaged as philosophical biology. The book examines such questions as: do readers of Aristotle have in mind organisms like Ascidians or Holothurians when trying to understand Aristotle's argument regarding plant-like animals? Do they need the phenomena in front of them to understand the terms of the philosophical argument in a richer way? The discussion of plant-like animals is important in Aristotle because of the question about the continuum between plant and animal life. Where does Aristotle draw the line? Plant-like animals bring this question into focus and demonstrate the indeterminacy of any potential solution to the division. This analysis of Parts of Animals shows that the study of the nature of the organic world was Aristotle's way into such ontological problems as the relationship between matter and form, or form and function, or the heterogeneity of the many different kinds of being.?
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