Petter Sandstad


University of Rostock

Aristotle on exceptions in biology

Prima facie, one would think that exceptions should disprove a rule (viz. a universal predication). E.g. if one in Euclidean geometry were to find a triangle with internal angles not equal to two right (which is an impossibility), that would disprove the rule that the internal angles of a triangle equals two right. However, that does not seem to be the case in inter alia biology. There it is not uncommon that an exception does not disprove a rule. It might not prove the rule, but it can give further evidence in favour of the rule. Only this seems to be paradoxical.