Aristotle As an important figure head in the field of philosophy, Aristotle and his numerous influences will be detailed. Identification and evaluation of key concepts and analyses that comprised his theories will be discussed along with identification and description of his contributions to the field of philosophy will also be offered. Lastly, further discussion will focus on how the culture and the time period influenced his ideology. Metaphysics Metaphysics is a branch philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being. It is considered to be one of the greatest philosophical works.
It kind of piggy backs off of Plato’s theory of forms. Plato believed that the nature of things is eternal and doesn’t change, but we know from just living in this world that things are always changing daily. Aristotle wanted to reconcile these contradictory statements of the views of the world. Aristotle used the influence of both Heraclitus and Parmenides. One believed that things appear to be permanent but they are really gradually changing all the time. Parmenides, argued certain conclusions could be reached by using reason alone and making no use of senses.
After studying at the Academy, Aristotle would turn against his teaching and felt that there was a connection between the abstraction of existence and the science of nature. Aristotle described substance as material reality and formal and discusses the connection between actuality and potentiality. According to Aristotle, the being of any individual thing is primarily defined by what it is, i. e. by its substance. It is both Substratum (matter) and essence (form) and can combine them both (form and matter). He also believed that wisdom is knowledge and principle cause of things.
He explained that there are four causes of things: the purpose for which a thing has being (the final cause), the source of “motion” or change in a thing (the efficient cause), the matter and subject of a thing (the material cause), and the substance or essence of a thing (the formal cause). He also believed that change will occur in something in order for its potential to become a reality. In order to have a cause and affect relationship between two different things, it will include the potentiality of a cause to produce and effect and an effect to be produced by a cause.
According to Aristotle, there has to be actual potentiality in order for an event to happen and if its potentiality can become actuality. Epistemology Aristotle was the first to formalize a foundationalism epistemology. Foundationalism is the idea that knowledge claims are ultimately justified by first principles. I intend to define and describe these first principles as well as explain how it is we come to know the first principles. A first principle is an infallible truth, Kath auto, in itself. These first principles are not conclusions of prior arguments, but the absence of the need of an argument, in and of itself.
First principles are also called the archai, nous, understanding and the axioms. When Aristotle speaks of Archai and axioms his meaning is, that which is ‘the beginning’. It is for this reason that geometry passed down the language of the axioms. Of first principles there are two main types: 1. Axioms or common principles are the general or universal truths 2. Posits or proper principles are the thesis’ or truths to a certain science. Also, among the posits are suppositions, that something is or is not, and definitions of what something is.
The only way to know the first principles is through nous. Nous uses induction through perception to grasp the first principles. Nous is the capacity of rational thought and understanding. It is through a perceptual process that the first principles can be known. The process followed in coming to know the first principles is through, use of perception, a potentiality that Aristotle believes all animals possess in varying degrees. 1. Sensation is the first step, and the grounds for memory. 2. Memory is a potentiality that many animals possess. 3.
Experience comes from the foundation of memory; some animals have the potential to experience. 4. Human beings alone have the potential to make a rational account of their perceptions. The axioms and first principles can only be induced from that which persists in the world we experience; the world as we know it. In many ways Aristotle’s epistemology has survived the tests of time. It seems correct; Aristotle’s foundational views are accurate. As a linear theories of justification Aristotle leaves us with a justified belief, with which we can have a great certainty in relation to its validity.
Full filling the common test of epistemology as a justified, true, belief. There is little or no truth attributed to an infinite regress of justification. Just as there is little or no ground for circular theories of justification. Either proposes a void in justification, by justifying with a prior axiom or by always continuing to a deeper axiom in need of justification. The believe that the first principles do exist and that they can be grasped through the human faculty, known as nous, is shared implicitly by much of the world today and is the legacy of Aristotle.
Axiology Aristotle was best known for his theory on values, “Golden Mean,” which is about moderation, balance, and harmony for his axiological system. The basic realism, he believed in essence, which is the attributes for an object to be what it is. The main focus for Aristotle is the question of a person’s character or personality. Aristotle theory is the middle ground between extremes, to determine a lowest and highest good. Aristotle ethics are based on the concept of doing good than just being good. A person may be kind, merciful, charitable, etc.
, but until he proves this by helping others, his goodness means nothing to the world, in which case means nothing to himself. Aristotle believes that moral virtues are the best character traits; a vice is what it is called when there are two extreme character traits. An example would be fear; we would develop the virtuous character of courage. If we were to use an example to show extreme trait by curbing fear, too much would be rash, which is called a vice. If, one on the other extreme, we develop a vice therefore to be cowardly.
In life it is difficult to live the virtuous life because often difficult to find the mean or the middle between the two extremes. Another example would be shamelessness (deficiency), modesty, (mean), and bashfulness, (excess). At the top of Aristotle list for virtue is self-respect is the best virtue to have, according to him but that is, depending on them for its existence, and itself in turn tending to strengthen their force. Aristotle says moral weakness occurs when someone does something wrong and knows it is wrong but follows his desire against reason anyways.
According to Aristotle, human functions contribute to happiness. Happiness is an exclusively human good; it exists in rational activity of soul conforming to virtue. This rational activity is viewed as the supreme end of action, and so as man’s perfect and self-sufficient end. So the virtue of courage would be in between those two extremes. Summary Aristotle is considered by some as the quintessential philosopher of all times. His writings and teachings have influenced many people such as writers, artist, politicians and scientists. One of the greatest commanders of the world was a student of Aristotle.
This student was born Alexander the Great. Alexander study under the guidance of Aristotle until the age of sixteen learning medicine, philosophy, morals, religion, logic, and art. He was a major influence on the field of science. Alexander remained humble and grateful for the teachings of Aristotle, as a result he helped fund his studies of life forms, which led to the foundation of the science of biology. Biology is the study of life and living organisms. The study of biology has help man understand the many facets of nature. Aristotle empirical views focused on biology and its diversity of life.
Biology has grown significantly and dramatically since the days of Aristotle, but his influences are still evident even by today’s standards. Zoology, human biology, and botany are subcategories of biology. There have been advances in the subcategory of human biology, which have led to the creation of cures for diseases once deemed incurable or preventable. Scientists are currently producing a medication touted as a new treatment of the HIV disease. Raynor (2012), “the FDA on August 28, 2012 has approved a once a day pill manufactured by Gilead Sciences’ called Stribild.
The drug combines Truvada which itself contains two HIV drugs in addition to elvitegravir which is a new HIV drug. This new drug attacks the virus in a different way. The fourth ingredient is also new and enhances elvitegravir. This new medication can help control the virus that causes AIDS and is aimed to be utilized on patients that have not previously been treated for the infection” (para. 1). This advance in human biology could not have been possible without the Aristotle’s foresight to preserve human life. His quest for knowledge has been a motivation tool for mankind to function and exist.
Aristotle has also influenced the philosophies of metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology. According to “Aristotle” (2008), “Aristotle (384–322 B. C. E. ) numbers among the greatest philosophers of all time. Judged solely in terms of his philosophical influence, only Plato is his peer: Aristotle’s works shaped centuries of philosophy from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance, and even today continue to be studied with keen, non-antiquarian interest. A prodigious researcher and writer, Aristotle left a great body of work, perhaps numbering as many as two-hundred treatises, from which approximately thirty-one survive.
His extant writings span a wide range of disciplines, from logic, metaphysics and philosophy of mind, through ethics, political theory, aesthetics and rhetoric, and into such primarily non-philosophical fields as empirical biology, where he excelled at detailed plant and animal observation and taxonomy. In all these areas, Aristotle’s theories have provided illumination, met with resistance, sparked debate, and generally stimulated the sustained interest of an abiding readership” (para. 1). References Aristotle. (2008).
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Kaid, & C. Holtz-Bacha (Eds. ), Encyclopedia of political communication. (pp. 43-46). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10. 4135/9781412953993. n34 Raynor, C. (2012). New HIV treatment combines 4 medications into a once a day pill. Retrieved from http://www. examiner. com/article/new-hiv-treatment-combines-4- medications-into-a-once-a-day-pill Sachs, J. (2001, April 11). Aristotle: Ethics. Retrieved August 28, 2012, from http://www. iep. utm. edu/aris-eth/ http://www. angelfire. com/md2/timewarp/firstphilosophy. html.