aristotle. some facts about aristotle lived from 384-322 plato’s best student at the...
Post on 20-Jan-2016
Embed Size (px)
AristotleSome Facts about AristotleLived from 384-322Platos best student at the AcademyFather was a physicianpresumably taught Aristotle to examine the natural world for the causes of thingsTutor to the young Alexander the GreatFounded the Lyceum in Athens in 334Followers called Peripatetics for the peripatoi, or covered walkways (colonnades) in the Lyceum, where they would stroll and philosophize.Some differences between Plato and AristotleFor Plato, true knowledge does not rely on the sensesFor Aristotle, knowledge begins with sense perceptionAristotle is an early empiricist
Some differences between Plato and AristotlePlato focuses on mathematics as a way to guide people into thinking about philosophyAristotle focuses on biology and physicsObservation, not theory, is the starting point for Aristotle
Some differences between Plato and AristotleFor Plato, the Forms are separately, transcendently existing realitiesFor Aristotle, forms they do not have a separate existence beyond inhering in specific material things
Aristotles revision of PlatoFor Plato the ever-changing phenomenal world is separate from the true and eternal world of FormsA thing participates in its eternal FormAristotle suggests that the form is found inside the phenomena, the universals inside the particulars.
Aristotles revision of PlatoAristotle thought Platos separation of sensible things and their forms to be nonsense.He called the form of something its essence, that which gives shape, form or purpose to somethingThe opposite of essence he called matterEssence without matter is perfect, complete and ideal, but has no substance or solidity (and certainly no independent existenceMatter without essence is formless stuff, not actual but pure potentialEssence realizes (makes real) matter.Entelechy: Potentiality becomes ActualityAristotle thought that things participating in the Forms was insufficient to explain their existenceHow did they become what they are? Aristotle believed that nature provided the answerAn acorn becomes an oak over time, but has no choice but to be an oak!(In other words, it cannot be a pine, or a birch) The potential to be an oak is in the acorn, and this potential is actualized when the acorn becomes an oak.The essence, which exists potentially, of something is actualized in the things matter.This process of actualization or becoming is called entelechyThe Four Causes(Okay, got all that?(Good, because it gets better)
Aristotle believed that the entelechy of a thing could be explained in four ways
That is, there are four causes of a thing, or four answers to the question, why is a thing what it is?
1. The material cause: what something is made of.
2. The formal cause: the things shape, form, or essence; its definition.
3.The efficient cause: the motion or energy that changes matter.
4. The final cause: its reason, its purpose, the intention behind it.
The Four CausesThe material cause: the bronzeThe formal cause: the shape of the statue the sculptor had in madeThe efficient cause: the heat, the forge, the tools, the sculptorThe final cause: to decorate a temple or a palace, to venerate Zeus, to give people something to pray to
Statue of Zeus or Poseidon, AthensThe SoulAristotles main work on the soul is De Anima (Latin for Par Psyche, About the Soul)For Aristotle, the soul is the first entelechy of the body, the force that moves it to fulfill its potentialThe soul animates (gives life to), or realizes a bodyUnlike Plato, Aristotle believed the soul and the body cannot exist separately from each otherUnlike Plato, Aristotle did NOT believe in the souls immortality. When the body dies, the soul dies.The Soul of a HumanUnlike Plato, Aristotle did not believe in a personal or unique soul. All living things have different souls, but soul does not account for their differences. LIKE Plato, Aristotle believed in a three-part division of the soul. UNLIKE Plato, Aristotles divisions were functional:The nutritive soul: The souls of all living things (plants, animals, and humans) have this function in common. It is the driving force toward growthThe sensitive soul: Only the souls of animals and humans have this in common. It is the ability to sense ones surroundings and have feelingsThe rational soul: Only humans have this ability to think, reason, and gain abstract knowledge. Only humans can be logical, creative, and imaginativeHuman NatureFor Plato, a human being is an immortal soul trapped in matter, whose true nature is to be one with the FormsFor Aristotle, a human being is a rational animal, that is, an animal that reasonsFor both, REASON is what separates humans from all living things.Functional argument: It is the nature of a knife to cut (its final cause), it is proper for a good knife to cut wellIt is the nature of a fish to swim, and proper for a good fish to swim wellJust so it is the nature of a human to reason, and proper for a good human to reason well!