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...
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