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The Greek Concepts of “Nature”

and “Technique”

Wolfgang Schadewaldt

The two concepts “nature” and “technique” – whether The Concept of “Nature” among
taken separately or as mutually interrelated – present the Greeks
themselves to public consciousness with a particular
urgency at the the present time. During the past genera-
tion it seemed that the overwhelming discoveries of
science would lead to a totally new conception of
­ The word “nature,” by which we generally designate the
nature, while industrial technique or technology, build- totality of all things existing around us (sometimes
ing upon the discoveries of science at the same time that including man, at other times excluding him) is the Latin
it makes them possible, is in the process of bringing word which practically all European languages have
about a f­ar-reaching transformation of the whole of adopted. But the conception is Greek and lies in the
human existence. Thus both concepts, nature and tech- word phýsis, which the Romans rendered by their word
nique, are becoming crucial issues for the thinking of natura. The fact that the European nations and (so far as I
our age. Yet both have their origins in ancient Greece, know) other languages hardly had any word of their own
and like all ancient Greek concepts, are not merely to rival it, is of some significance; it witnesses the unique-
words but forms of thought, categories, schemes, and ness of the Greek conception of the world involved in
ways of looking at what is, by which the Greeks two and natura-phýsis, as well as the effectiveness of this view of
a half millenia ago sought to explain the oncoming real- the world.
ity and to master it by thought. Perhaps in this matter it In Latin natura (derived from nasci, “to be born”)
would be worthwhile to use philological studies to go originally belonged to the language of the farmer and
to the root of the ideas of “nature” and “technique,” and the breeder who used natura in a concrete way to desig-
from their origins to illuminate things which have nate the  uterine orifice of a female quadruped.1
become commonplace, in fact only too commonplace, Designating the place through which birth happens and
in our everyday existence. from which the succession of births proceeds, natura was

Wolfgang Schadewaldt, “The Concepts of ‘Nature’ and ‘Technique’ according to the Greeks,” trans. William Carroll, in Research in Philosophy and
Technology 2, ed. Carl Mitcham and Robert Mackey (1979), pp. 159–171. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.

Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition: An Anthology, Second Edition. Edited by Robert C. Scharff and V
  al Dusek.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published 2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
26 wolfgang schadewaldt

used quite early to translate the Greek phýsis, so that its Phýsis for Aristotle first meant broadly the coming-to-
original concrete meaning was expanded to include a be and being or essence [Wesen] of all things which are,
new ­general content. As such it designated the creative which as such bear within themselves the source of
origin of everything which is and, in another sense, the motion – whereas the processes of coming-to-be and
inborn character, because it also determines the consti- production in technique do not proceed by their own
tution of the thing brought forth. agency, but are initiated at some point by man.
Accordingly, not only the realm of life (i.e. plant and
animal organisms) belongs to phýsis, but also that of
2 chemical, physical, and atomic changes on earth as well
When we turn to the root word phýsis, it must first be as in the farthest reaches of the cosmos, all of which, like
pointed out that the Greek term is never used, as the cosmos in its entirety, are self-moved – or, possibly,
“nature” now is in common speech and scientific termi- originate from a “first mover,” which Aristotle assumes in
nology, to designate a realm of objects. Phýsis is never his theology and which for him is the deity.
that “nature” out there where people make Sunday Secondly, phýsis-natura is for Aristotle the primary, as
excursions, “in” which this and that occurs or this and yet undifferentiated material ground of all coming-to-be,
that is such and such. Phýsis comes from the Greek verb out of which genesis and growth come about, hence the
phýo, which means something like “bring-forth,” “put elements understood as the primal matter (próte hýle)
forth,” “make to grow,” chiefly in the botanical realm which persists in all the particularizations of the things
where the tree puts forth leaves, blossoms, branches, and which emerge out of it. This meaning takes account of
then in the zoological realm in respect to hair, wool, the fact that the directing activity and the being or essence
wings, horns. Moreover, the noun phýsis, like all Greek of phýsis always comes about from a material substrate,
constructions with -sis [similar to English gerunds], does which we must not, however, understand as inert matter.
not mean some object or material thing, but a coming- But this meaning points toward another. To comple-
to-pass, an event, a directing activity, a Wesen [being or ment the notion of a material ground from which the
essence] – if we understand this word in its original growth and coming-to-be of phýsis comes about, the
active meaning, which is preserved in verwesen [to concepts of form and shape (eîdos and morphe ̄) enter in.
administer, manage]. These are the end and purpose, the télos, of all coming-
Thus in the most general sense phýsis means a process to-be in nature. For Aristotle and the Greeks, the whole
of coming-to-be or originating – génesis as the Greeks self-movement of nature is not simply effected in the
expressed it, something which was the object of inquiry sense of being caused, but ordered or directed in a
for those who first thought about nature – but an origi- ­purposeful manner. At one point Aristotle remarks une-
nating process and a coming-to-be as is to be found quivocally that there are these two kinds of causality in
exhibited in the phenomena of growing and putting nature, and that when one speaks of nature one must at
forth. The characteristic of growth is that it always comes least try to take account of both, whereas all who fail to
about from something else. That is, all growing is a growing- do this have actually said nothing about nature.3
forth, and in the last analysis presupposes a common In accordance with this general view the individual
origin – the uterine orifice of phýsis-natura. Again it is natural object also has of itself its own phýsis or nature in
characteristic of the coming-to-be process of growth that it has its specific growth – that is, by virtue of the
that out of something already formed it always tends above mentioned self-movement it has proceeded from
toward some new form and shape. This entire coming- the elemental material ground which also persists in the
to-be and directing activity of phýsis comes about by its specific character of the individual natural object; and it
own agency, so that the source of that movement which actualizes itself in final form, for instance, in the fully-
is this coming-to-be lies in the thing itself which grown mature state of a plant or animal. And this final
comes-to-be. form, the entelechy, is so decisive for the organism that a
Aristotle also deliberated over phýsis with that extraor- natural object can only be said “to have its nature” when
dinary clarity which was his great strength. On the basis it attains to this final form. Henceforward, in Greek,
of previous linguistic usage he advanced, in his famous “nature” can go on to designate the established, perma-
definition of phýsis,2 the following three closely con- nent, essential form and fundamental character of any
nected meanings of nature. thing which is.
the conce pts of “nature” and “tech nique” 27

Timaeus, derived the structure of the “world-soul” which

3 penetrates and embraces the cosmos as well as the
It is not possible in these few pages to pursue the entire ­structure of the four elements from fundamental mathem­
history of the concept and the idea of phýsis in all its atical forms and symmetries. He thus founded that
diverse ramifications. But at least let it be stressed that, in mathematical view of nature which, in scientifically
the venerable place where we first meet the word it ­rendered form, has proven so extraordinarily successful
designates, in a remarkably characteristic fashion, the
­ in contemporary science and technology.
­living growth-form or growth of a plant. In the Tenth For the Greeks phýsis in its “necessity” emerges as
Book of the Odyssey,4 the god Hermes plucks the magic divine and superior to all human laws;8 one even speaks
herb mōly from the ground to give it to Odysseus. “And of a “law of phýsis”9 Aristotle also observes that phýsis
he showed him its phýsis” the poet says. “It was black at gives evidence of divine causation,10 and says that
the root, and like milk were its blossoms.” The root and ­“everything which is by nature, bears in itself something
blossoms, the bottom and top of the plant, stand for its divine.”11 And in what was for the Greeks a very
entire build; and this “build,” the living structure, the ­characteristic as well as instructive union of empirical
growth-form is precisely the phýsis which the god shows observation of natural phenomena with the contempla-
to the hero in a perfectly matter-of-fact way. tion of their rational activity, this soberly observant
Conceiving phýsis to be a living as well as formed thinker, especially in his writings on natural science,
growth the Greeks further perceived it as a mysterious, pursues the “activity” of nature when he remarks that
living, directive order in particular things which have of it “is architectonic;” that it creates, orders, designs;12 that
themselves come into being – something which becomes it teaches, and especially gives instruction to technique;
a standard for anyone who, like Heraclitus, seeks to ­analyze that there is nothing unordered in its domain;13 that it
and explain each particular thing according to its nature shuns the unlimited;14 that is predominates as the crea-
(katá phýsin). Heraclitus who in the fluent reciprocity of tive power in each individual thing, plant and living
opposites finds proportionality, lógos, as that which rules creature;15 that it is provident,16 and always fashions “for
and endures, can accordingly arrive at the proposition that the sake of ” something;17 that it fashions by correct
“Phýsis loves to conceal herself.”5 That is, its lawlike, living ­reasoning (eulógos);18 that “like god” it makes nothing at
order is always “behind” everything, no matter how much random,19 nor creates anything accidentally, superflu-
we may strip it down. Its directing activity can be exhib- ously, purposelessly;20 that it does not proceed by ­episodes
ited yet not fathomed; phýsis is an “open mystery.” like bad tragedy,”21 but strives in everything for what is
For the rest, it is the Greek physicians particularly beneficial22 and has the best in view.23 It is an activity of
who, on the basis of their experience with the human directing which as a comprehensive and purposeful
organism, have contributed to the elaboration of the directing that creates from form to form is, Aristotle says,
concept of phýsis. For instance, one of them denies that a ultimately “dependent upon god as its prime mover.”24
certain illness, epilepsy, is of a particularly divine origin. Man is placed into the totality of this directing activity
“Illnesses,” he says, “are all divine as much as human, of phýsis. Thus the conception of phýsis as a self-moved
but each nevertheless has its own living laws, phýsis, and process of creating from form to form also influences the
thus may also be conquered by the physician’s art.”6 domains of ethics and aesthetics, and Aristotle can say that
A renowned physician, in agreement with this, expressed nothing which is contrary to nature can be good (“right”).25
his conviction “that one cannot acquire a more exact Heraclitus can put forth the significant proposition that
knowledge concerning nature from anywhere else than “Sound thinking is man’s greatest power, and his highest
from medicine.”7 Later, phýsis is extended to the totality aptitude consists in the fact that he has the capacity to say
of what is, the entire visible kosmos which, is phýsis in its what is, and that he can fashion creatively by hearkening
totality (hóle phýsis) or phýsis of existing things (phýsis tôn to nature.”26 As we know, Heraclitus strongly influenced
ónton), now emerges not only as kósmos, order, but later Stoic philosophy which regarded all of nature as
­precisely as living growth, striving from form to form. penetrated by the divine lógos, and established as a guide-
The Pythagoreans, guided by observations of musical line for the upright and blessed life the dictum that one
phenomena, established number and symmetry as the must live “in harmony with nature,” a principle which has
ultimate ground of this ontological growth, and then influenced the most diverse kinds of naturalistic ethics in
upon this foundation Plato, in the dialogue of his old age, the modern period.
28 wolfgang schadewaldt

4 To begin with etymology, we find at the very begin-

ning an Indo-European stem that was pronounced
The Greek view of nature which has been generally approximately tekp, and meant “woodwork” or “carpen-
described became the foundation of our modern con- try.” It appears in Latin in the word for weave, texo
ception of nature when in the Renaissance people (hence our “textile”); while Old High German dehsala.
turned anew to antiquity and to its cosmological thought. “hatchet,” and Middle High German dehsen, “to break
But a few things had happened in the meantime. And so flax,” go back to the same stem. In ancient Greek the
it came about that our modern conception of nature stem appears early in téktōn, the “master builder” and
more and more abandoned the comprehensive whole- “carpenter,” whom Homer already knows and honors in
ness of the ancient Greek phýsis, the wholeness and unity his poetry.29 This téktōn survives in our “architect” and
of form and motion, law and life, causality and purpose; “tectonic.” But to téktōn belongs the important téchne,̄
and that chiefly in developing the modern dualism which designates the art or skill of the carpenter and
between thought and extension we have separated master builder, and more generally the art of every kind
nature and spirit, nature and freedom, the I and the of production. The word then comes to mean on the one
world, subject and object, from one another. We have hand a concrete sense of “craftsmanship” and “trade” of
taken man out of nature, placed him over and against it, every kind, and on the other hand the ability to devise
and reduced the consequently profaned nature to a mere strategems and hatch plots, and in general a “clever, crafty
object of human knowledge. Goethe, who with his machination.”
notion of the “imprinted From which unfolds itself From téchne ̄ the adjective technikón is formed in Greek,
through living,” understood the ancient phýsis better which in addition to aptitude for the art of production
than anyone else, and was thinking of this modern reduc- also designates the general aggregate of what is in accord
tion when in his later years he once lamented the fact with and suited to art or skill. By the way of the Latin
“that Nature, who makes us to create, is no longer “technica ars,” the art of skilled production, the word
Nature at all, but a being completely different from that passed to the French who, in a period of extraordinary
with which the Greeks were occupied.”27 technical activity during the 17th century, developed the
This reduction of nature to what is calculable has, as is term technique, which in the early 18th century was taken
plain to see, proven to be extraordinarily successful. It has over into German as Technik, to designate the entire
brought us the most astounding discoveries, and placed in domain of all those procedures and actions related to skill
our hands the greatest means of power – although at the production of every kind. Finally, for us today Technik
cost of an impoverishment that is hard to estimate. Today, means in a still more general sense the sum and substance
however, we are experiencing how our most advanced of all means and modes of procedure whose mastery is
­science, following its own rigorous development of prob- the condition for what is in the highest sense the com-
lems is in the process of overcoming this dualism of subject petent practice of an art or skill. And so we speak of
and object and is necessarily drawing man, as the observ- “masterly technique” in the case of the athlete and the
ing subject, back into the act of nature’s transition into musician as well as the poet.30
appearance and knowledge.28 And thus it almost seems as We may note at this point that “machine,” which is
if we have attained to a point higher on the spiral approach- closely bound up with “technique,” likewise is ultimately
ing the Greeks’ view of phýsis, from which even the things Greek in origin. At the beginning, already in Homeric
set forth here may take on some new actuality. Greek, we find mec̄̂ hos, which means something like
“expedient or remedy in a difficult situation.” A further
construction from mec̄̂ hos is meh̄ ane,̄́ which likewise has
The Concept of “Technique” among the primary meaning of a “remedy,” “clever expedient,”
the Greeks or “cleverly contrived means” by which one gets any-
thing. But this word signifying “means by which one
gets” is already used in classical fifth century Greece for
the concrete “machine,” the stage machine and the war
By its very etymology the concept of technique points machine. The Romans, accordingly, adopted it on loan
more directly than that of nature to its origin in the in the word machina, which by way of the French machine
­language, thought, and world-view of the Greeks. has passed into German with its French pronunciation.
the conce pts of “nature” and “tech nique” 29

Another direct descendent from the ancient mec̄ hanḗ per- light and why the stomach is weak.32 Whereas experi-
sists in “mechanics,” “mechanical,” “mechanistic.” In our ence knows only the “that,” téchne ̄ knows also the “why,”
“mechanisitic” world-view which was established by the reasons, and in this respect approaches theoretical
Newton this term has attained great importance, while knowledge, epistem ̄́ e.̄ 33 Thus téchne ̄ is expressly defined as
the expression “merely mechanical,” on the other hand, a knowledge and ability which has come about by habit,
disparagingly means an unconscious, indifferent, purely i.e. has passed into flesh and blood, and which is directed
routine activity; and as designating the precise but lifeless to a producing, but in connection with a clear course of
course of mechanical processes, it came to mean the reasoning concerning the thing itself, which the man of
opposite of “organic.” In Greek the word órganon origi- mere experience does not have in view.34 A knowledge
nally meant a mere instrument or tool. But because from that is likewise productive but which, however rich and
Plato on it was applied especially to the organs of the diverse it may be, has a false idea of the thing itself
body, chiefly to those of perception, the word rose to remains simply atechnía, blunder.35
mean the parts of the living organism, whereupon
“organic” has come to mean the natural living functional
system as opposed to the “mechanical.”
So much then for the general survey of the concept of In a second respect téchne,̄ as the process of production
technique and some related concepts in ancient Greek and by which something comes to be, belongs in the large,
in their remarkably diverse history up to their present diversely activated domain of the mutable with its vari-
usage. ous processes of coming-to-be. Here too téchne ̄ assumes
a kind of intermediate position between those processes
which merely result because this and that coincide in
2 such and such a fashion – which the Greeks conceived as
In order to discuss more closely now the central concept týche ̄, mere coincidence or “chance” – and the regular,
téchne,̄ let us first say something about how Greek think- vital processes of nature, phýsis, which we have treated in
ers and philosophers, especially Aristotle, conceptually the first section. As every technician and all those who
refined the long familiar notion of téchne ̄ and assigned it practice a skill know, happy coincidence still plays a
a special place among other concepts of action and ­considerable role in our methodical technique, or tech-
production. nology. And so Aristotle too approves the words of the
At first sight téchne ̄ presents itself to us as a particular tragic poet: “T échne ̄ loves happy chance, as happy chance
kind of knowledge, as opposed to other kinds of knowl- loves téchne.̄ ”36
edge. T échne ̄ is that knowledge and ability which is But the directing activity of téchne ̄ actually comes
directed to producing and constructing, and thus much nearer to the directing activity of nature than to
occupies a sort of intermediate place between mere
­ chance; indeed, both téchne ̄ and nature proceed in a fun-
experience or know-how, emperiría, and theoretical damentally identical manner. Both the manner by which
knowledge, epistem ̄́ e.̄ T échne ̄ differs from theoretical nature generates and that by which technique produces
knowledge, epistem ̄́ e,̄ in that the latter has to do with are alike in that by the agency of something and out of
what is immutable, purely existent and primary, in all its something a something is realized.37 They differ in the
relations and implications (i.e., mathematics), whereas fact that in nature the agent’s source of motion lies in the
téchne,̄ as “productive knowledge,” bears upon the natural object itself, whereas in téchne ̄ it has its source in
domain of what is mutable, in the process of becoming, the thinking soul of him who initiates the technical
and comes to be. T échne,̄́ builds upon emperiría, experi- process; i.e., the production. In the cases of both nature
ence. But whereas mere experience, which rests upon and téchne ̄ we are concerned with the realization in matter
what is retained and associated in memory, regards only of a figure or form, which is the end. In nature the origin
the particular instances and their connection, téchne ̄ pro- and development toward this end, the form or configu-
ceeds from many particular cases to a universal concept.31 ration (the eîdos,) takes place by itself. In technique the
Thus the medical practitioner with mere experience end-form is principally conceived and constructed in
only knows that chicken is good for a weak stomach. But man’s act of thinking. We speak of the plan, the design,
the physician, who is in possession of téchne,̄ knows the construction. The way of constructive thinking
­furthermore that chicken is a light food and why it is then  proceeds from the end-form; whether house,
30 wolfgang schadewaldt

s­tation, hospital, or school; step by step forward through knowledge, or that it would totally lose nature from view
the different means of realization, finally to the matter, the and see it merely as a furnisher of energy and raw mate-
ultimate building material. The procedure of technical rials to be “mastered.” Because the Greeks included a
actualization then goes back the same way, from the relationship to theoretical knowledge in their concept
procurement and preparation of the material, through its of  technique, it came about that for the Greeks – and
compounding according to the stipulations of the design only for  the Greeks – the old handicraft, operating on
first conceived and elaborated in thought, to the realized the foundation of a strictly empirical and traditional
structure, which then stands there as hospital, station, or ­knowledge, became an integrated part of technique as a
school.38 science.
Because in téchne ̄ man intervenes as the one who In technique as thus understood the Greeks came to
must, from the needs of his condition, first conceive in see a very lofty kind of knowledge and at the same time
thought an object to be made, then determine its design a quite definite humanism. Thus Socrates in his search
and carry out its construction, the process of production for the genuinely knowledgeable man is disappointed
in téchne ̄ is more complicated than that of generation in when he approaches politicians and poets, but among
nature. But the production process itself takes place in a the handicraftsmen [Techniker, men of technique] he
manner directly analogous to the processes of generation finds genuine knowledge of their business, as he himself
and coming-to-be in phýsis. Thus the Greeks arrived at says. Only the handicraftsmen, too, spoil this knowledge
the principle that téchne ̄ imitates nature,39 which when when they presume, on the basis of their sound special-
correctly understood amounts to saying that téchne ̄ in its ized knowledge, to know and judge of everything43 – or,
process of production proceeds analogously to the natu- in modern terms, to set up their technical knowledge as
ral processes of generation. At the same time, however, absolute. As for the human dignity of technique, for the
the Greeks observed that téchne ̄ perfects that which Greeks this is attested to from Homer onwards by the
nature by itself was unable to achieve.40 This “perfecting” lively, even good-humored interest which poets as well
is clearly conceived in terms of what is useful to man. as prose writers take in all aspects of making and
For nature when left to itself pursues its own way in producing.
simple, unvarying fashion. But what is useful to man is as Generally speaking, the chief concern with which the
variable as man himself. Therefore, when it is a matter of Greeks enter the world, in contrast with the older civili-
bending the simple directing activity of nature out of its zations of the Orient, is the interest in man as “man in his
own way to the uses of man which it resists, difficulties world.” Also involved in this interest is their interest in all
arise; and this is where technique intervenes, by invent- occurrences of production and making, whether it be
ing expedients, “machines,” which with the means of the way in which Homer depicts how Hephaestus forges
nature bend nature to serve human purposes. Thus a the shield for Achilles44 and Odysseus builds his ship;45 or
tragic poet has already said the same thing – “by téchne ̄ we Herodotus with joy and wonder describes such astonish-
master that to which we are subject by nature.”41 ing technical feats as the Athos canal,46 the Hellespont
Example: the lever, which enables us to move great loads bridge,47 an aqueduct tunnel on Samos;48 or Aeschylus in
with little expenditure of force.42 This is the way in his plays depicts the fire signal which in the shortest time
which téchne ̄, by proceeding analogously to nature on brings the news of victory from Troy to Argos,49 and in
the one hand, brings nature to perfection – in terms of his Prometheus explains the fundamental human mission
human needs – on the other. of technique, which with the aid of fire has not only led
man out of a primitive cave existence into civilization
but has also made him into a free being as well.50 To be
4 sure, Aeschylus also points to the demonic which lurks in
From what has been said so far, the Greek concept of technique, as when Prometheus brought fire to men
technique is characterized by the twofold relationship of only by a misdeed – theft from the hearth of the gods.
technique first to theoretical knowledge and then to the Sophocles also gives valid testimony to the perilous
processes of nature. Because the Greeks understood both mongrelism of technique, in the famous choral ode of
relationships together in the notion of téchne ̄, it could the Antigone.51 He speaks of the deinóte ̄s of man which
never happen for them that technique would seek to has led to technique. Dei-nóte ̄s, literally “terribleness,”
set  itself up independently over against theoretical comprises at once the “ability” and the “monstrous”
the conce pts of “nature” and “tech nique” 31

(uncanny) power which technique has placed into along with the twofold relation to theoretical knowledge
man’s hand. It has made him master of land and sea, and the directing activity of nature, belongs to the
enabled him to set up state and culture and even to take Greek notion of technique, which in this context proves
up arms against death. But since man “with the inven- to be singularly instructive. By the simplest pattern, as it
tiveness of techniques holds in his hand something were, this notion brings into view the possibilities and the
clever beyond expectation,” he stands where the path limitations of technique, and discloses that perspective
forks toward good and evil.’52 This expresses with from which, as a great power of man, it becomes effec-
great  exactness the perilous problematic of technique tive in the totality of things human through its correctly
which engages us even today.   This problematic too, conceived use.53

This essay includes two lectures originally delivered over the 21  Metaphysics XIV, 3, 1090bl9.
North German Radio Network, June 25 and July 10, 1959. It is 22  On Generation and Corruption II, 10, 336b28.
translated here by permission of the publisher from Wolfgang 23  Parts of Animals II, 14, 658a23.
Schadewaldt, Natur, Technik, Kunst: drei Beiträge zem Selbst­ 24  Metaphysics XII, 7, 1072bl3.
verständnis der Technik in unserer Zeit (Göttingen: Musterschmidt, 25  Politics VII, 3, 1325b10.
1960), pp. 35–53. Translation copyright by Carl Mitcham and 26  Fragment 112.
Robert Mackey. Wolfgang Schadewaldt’s Hellas und Hesperien, 2 27  See Ernst Grumach, ed., Goethe und die Antike, eine
vols. (Zurich and Stuttgart: Artimis Verlag, 1970), includes the Sammlung (Berlin, 1949), “Maximen und Reflexionen,”
following related works:“Das Welt-Modell der Griechen” (vol. 1, Nos. 1364–66, p. 230.
pp. 601–625), “Die Anforderungen der Technik an die Geistes­ 28  [This no doubt refers to some theories of Heisenberg and
wissen­schaften” (vol. 2, pp. 461–484), “Die Welt der modernen Heidegger. For Heidegger’s discussion of physis see An
Technik und die altgricchische Kulturidee” (vol. 2, pp. 485–497), Introduction to Metaphysics (New York: Doubleday Anchor,
“Natur – Technik – Kunst” (vol. 2, pp. 497–512), and “Zu Werner 1961), p. 11 ff. and “On the Being and Conception of FusiV
Heisenbergs Darstellung der Entwicklung der modernen in Aristotle’s Physics B, 1,” Man and World 9, no. 3 (August
Atomphysik” (vol. 2, pp. 525–527). 1976): 219–270 – Editors.]
1  For this important fact I am indebted to the erudition of 29  Odyssey XVII, 382 ff.
my friend Ernst Zinn. 30  [The English “technology” has a somewhat different
2  Physics II, 1–2, 192b8–194bl5; Metaphysics   V,  4, 1014b 16 ff. ­history. It is ultimately derived from the Greek technologia,
3  Parts of Animals I, 1, 642a14 ff. meaning “a systematic treatment” – especially of grammar.
4  Odyssey X, 302 ff. In fact, its first Greek occurrence is in Aristotle’s Rhetoric
5  Fragment 123, Diels-Kranz. (1354bI7, 1354b26, and 1356a11). However, its Latin form
6  The Sacred Disease, 329. with basically the same meaning, does not occur till very
7  Hippocrates, De Prisca Mediana, 20. late, after 1500. And as late as 1683 it is still used in Twells’
8  Cf. for instance the tragedian Euripides, Trojan Women, 866 f. Examination Grammar in this sense. But by the beginning
9  Plato, Gorgias 483e–f; Aristotle, De Caelo I, 1, 268al4. of the seventeenth century it already has been extended to
10  Nicomachean Ethics X, 9, 1179b21. include the systematic study of the practical or industrial
11  Nicomachean Ethics VII, 13, 1153b32. arts. For some reason similar constructions in other
12  Parts of Animals 1, 5, 645a9; II, 14, 658a23 and 32; II, 16, European languages – cf. German Technologie. French tech-
659b35; and Eudemian Ethics VII, 14, 1247a10. nologic – have never achieved the same c­urrency as the
13  Generation of Animals III, 10, 760a31. English. – Editors.]
14  Generation of Animals I, 1, 715b14. 31  Metaphysics I, 1, 981al ff.
15  Generation of Animals II, 4, 741a1. 32  Nicomachean Ethics VI, 7, 1141b18.
16  De Caelo II, 9, 291a24. 33  Metaphysics I, 1, 981a24–b9.
17  On Sleeping and Waking 2, 455b17. 34  Nicomachean Ethics VI, 4, 1140al0 ff.
18  Parts of Animals II, 9, 654b31; Generation of Animals II, 6, 35  Nicomachean Ethics VI, 4, 1140a20 ff.
742b23 and 4, 740a28. 36  Nicomachean Ethics VI, 4, 1140al8 ff. [Aristotle is quoting
19  De Caelo I, 4, 271a33. Agathon. – Editors.]
20  De Caelo II, 8, 290a31 and 11, 291bl3; and On the Soul III, 37  Metaphysics V   I, 7, 1032a11 ff.
9, 432b21 et passim. 38  Metaphysics V   I, 7, 1032b1 ff.
32 wolfgang schadewaldt

39  E.g., Physics II, 2, 194a21. 53  Some bibliographical references on the notion of phýsis
40  Physics II, 8, 199a15 f. and téchne among the Greeks: Edmund Hardy, Der Begriff
41  [Antiphon, as quoted by pseudo-Aristotle, Mechanical der Phýsis in der griechischen Philosophic (Berlin: Weidmann,
Problems 847a21.] 1884); H. Siebeck, “Über die Entstehung der Termini
42  Mechanics I, 847a13 ff. ­natura naturans und natura naturata,” Archiv fur Geschichte
43  Plato, Apology of Socrates. 22c–d. der Philosophic 3 (1890): 370–378; John Walter Beardslee,
44  Iliad XVIII, 478 ff. The Use of FusiV in 5th Century Greek Literature (Chicago:
45  Odyssey V   , 243 f. University of Chicago Press, 1918) [PhD dissertation];
46  Herodotus, Histories V   II, 22 f. A.  N. Whitehead, The Concept of Nature (Cambridge:
47  Histories V
  II, 36. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1920); John Dewey, Experience
48  Histories III, 60. and Nature (Chicago: Open Court, 1925); Morris R.
49  Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 281 ff. Cohen, Reason and Nature: An Essay on the Meaning of
50  Prometheus Bound, 248 ff. and 443 ff. Scientific Method (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1931);
51  Sophocles, Antigone, 332 ff. Frederick J. E. Woodbridge, Nature and Mind (New York:
52  [Schadewaldt’s German translation of Antigone 365–6, Columbia Univ. Press, 1937); Hans Diller, “Der griechis-
when literally rendered into English, reads “with the che Naturbegriff,” Neue Jahrbiicher 114 (1939): 241–257;
inventiveness of technology, holds in his hands an intel- R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of Nature (Oxford:
lectual means never anticipated.”  The Greek text of Clarendon Press, 1945); H. Bartz and W. Rüegg, eds.,
A. C. Pearson (Oxford): Natur und Geist (Zurich, 1946); P. Weiser, Nature and Man
(Oxford, 1947). – Hermann Diels, Antike Technik; sieben
sofon ti to macawoew Vorträge, 2nd ed. (Leipzig and Berlin: B. G.Teubner, 1920);
tecnas uper elpia Albert Rehm and Kurt Vogel, “Exakte Wissenschaft,” in
Einleitung in die Altertums-missenschaft, ed.  A. Gercke and
Literal translation: “having, in the inventiveness of téchne ̄, E. Nordern, vol. II, part 5, 4th ed. (Leipzig and Berlin: B.
something cunning beyond expectation.” – Editors.] G. Teubner, 1933), esp. pp. 55 f., 71 ff.