Aristotle's 4 Causes
Aristotle's classification of the kinds of causes that a natural philosopher must investigate:
1. Material- what something is made of. For example, a TV is made from glass and metal and plastic.
2. Formal- what gives the matter its form. For example, a TV is not just a piece of glass but glass and metal arranged in a certain way and programmed to work as it does.
3. Efficient- the reason behind somethings existence. For example, a TV exists because someone has the idea to build one and put all the parts together to make it work.
4. Telos- the reason why something is the way it is. This asks the question, what is the function of this object? For example, why does a TV have glass on the screen? So that we can watch it.
Aristotle's Ideas on Man and his purpose
-Aristotle maintained that every human action is based on achieving a good as an end. There are different "levels" or "tiers" or good, and the ultimate highest good is happiness.
-Asking why we do the things we do helps us determine our final end (overall good).
-To be an ultimate end, an act must be self-sufficient and final, “that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097a30-34), and it must be attainable by man.
-Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life. Virtuous acts must be done genuinely.
Psychology of Aristotle vs Psychology of Plato
-Plato first proposed the idea that the mind consisted of three interwoven parts, called the Tripartite Mind:
The Logistikon: This was the intellect, the seat of reasoning and logic. (These people should rule!)
The Thumos: This was the spiritual centre of the mind, and dictated emotions and feelings.
The Epithumetikon: This part governed desires and appetites.
-In Para Psyche, Aristotle's psychology proposed that the mind was the 'first entelechy,' or primary reason for the existence and functioning of the body. Nutrition, Perception, and Mind.
Aristotle's Unmoved Mover
-The Unmoved Mover is the ultimate cause of the universe, and it is pure actuality, containing no matter since it is the very cause of itself. In order for the Mover to be unmoved itself, it must move in a non-physical way, by inspiring desire.
-The unmoved mover would have initiated movement within the universe. It would not have been set in motion by another thing.
-God is the unmoved mover.
5 Proofs of God
Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle
1. There must be a 1st mover, unmoved. (God)
-Thought it was nous (thought, thinking itself)
2. A first cause in the Chain of causes. First efficient cause = God
3. An absolute necessary being. Since it is impossible for there to exist an infinite series of causes of necessary things, we must conclude that there is something that is necessary in itself. (God)
4. An absolute perfect being. There must be something that is the cause of being, goodness, and every other perfection that we find in beings in the world. (God)
5. A rational designer. There must be some intelligent being that directs all natural things toward their purpose. (God)
Plato vs Aristotle
-Plato= Idealist; This world is a reflection of the real world of ideas; The Republic: The ideal state (how can we build a perfect society? Society's problem: Mine vs Mine.) Private Property is a problem. Plato sees selfishness as a problem. Social unity is the goal!
-Aristotle= Realist; The only thing that is real is...what's real!; We live in a REAL place; The Politics; Human selfishness is part of who we are. Wants to design a Working Government that acknowledges selfishness and mitigates it. Balanced Society.
-Empiricism: theory that experience rather than reason is the source of knowledge. Opposes rationalism.
-All knowledge is dependent on experience at least in the sense that all the materials for knowledge are ultimately derived from experience.
-Aristotle (Said to be the founder)
(Aristotle) Virtue as a Mean
-Finding the mean in any given situation is not a mechanical or thoughtless procedure, but requires a full and detailed acquaintance with the circumstances.
-Aristotle's treatment of virtues as mean states endorses the idea that we should sometimes have strong feelings.
-Doctrine of the mean:
1. Every virtue is a state that lies between two vices, one of excess and the other of deficiency.
2. Whenever a virtuous person chooses to perform a virtuous act, he can be described as aiming at an act that is in some way or other intermediate between alternatives that he rejects.
Ontology, Epistemology, Ethics
-Epistemology: How things are known.
-Ontology: the nature of existence; what exists; definitions
-Ethics: the right thing to do.
Motion and Potential (Aristotle)
-Dunamis = Greek word for potential.
-Energeia: based on the word 'work.' Aristotle says the word can be made clear by looking at examples rather than trying to find a definition.
Roots: use Anglo-Saxon roots to translate the word into English.
Examples: Pleasure is an energeia of the human body and mind whereas happiness is more simply the energeia of a human being a human. Motion is a type of Energeia.
-Entelecheia: kind of completedness; A continuous being-at-work (energeia). The two words Energeia and Entelecheia converge for this reason...
-Aristotle defines motion as the actuality (entelecheia) of a "potentiality as such." Nothing moves unless you push it. [it is moved by a mover]
Logic, induction, deduction, syllogism
-Logic: a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration.
-Induction: an act of moving by persuasion or influence.
-Observations lead to a general statement
-Deduction: the deriving of a conclusion by reasoning.
-Syllogism: If all a are b and all b are c then all a are c.
Substances, Genus, Species
-Substance: is that which is neither said of a subject nor in a subject.
The species in which the things primarily called substances are, are called
secondary substances, as also are the genera of these species.
-Of the secondary substances the species is more a substance than the genus, since it is nearer to the primary substance. For if one is to say of the primary substance what it is, it will be more informative and apt to give the species than the genus.
Aristotle's Categories and Substances
-The primary substances are individual objects, and they can be contrasted with everything else—secondary substances and all other predicables—because they are not predicable of or attributable to anything else. Ex: Fido is a primary substance, and dog—the secondary substance—can be predicated of him.
-The issue is what constitutes the unity of the species or secondary substance: why is it not just a collection of properties and, if it is just such a collection, why is it so different from any other collection of properties? In order to begin to see how Aristotle tackled this problem we need the apparatus of form and matter.