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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 15, 2014

Aristotle’s Physiology of Animal Motion: On Neura and Muscles

Pavel Gregoric and Martin Kuhar
From the journal Apeiron


Aristotle had a developed theory of animal motion with an elaborate physiological component. In this paper we present the physiological component in which the main role is assigned to structures called neura that operate on the bones to which they are attached. We demonstrate that neura exclude muscles and we propose an explanation for Aristotle’s curious failure to observe the actual role of muscles in producing limb motion. Also, we try to identify the main neura specified by Aristotle, we show that he conceived of their operation on the bones in producing limb motion in much the same way as we conceive of the operation of muscles, and we point out the main difficulties for his account.

Published Online: 2014-01-15
Published in Print: 2014-01

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