Martin F. Meyer untersucht die Entwicklung des lebenswissenschaftlichen Denkens von den frühsten Anfängen bis zur Geburt der wissenschaftlichen Biologie bei Aristoteles. Der Autor zeigt im ersten Teil, wie sich zentrale biologische Begriffe (Leben, Lebewesen, Mensch, Tier, Pflanze) im frühgriechischen Denken, bei den Vorsokratikern und in der sogenannten Hippokratischen Medizin entwickelt haben. Im zweiten Teil beleuchtet er die Ziele, Methoden und die Systematik der von Aristoteles begründeten Biologie im Kontext seines naturwissenschaftlichen Programms.
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