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Aristotle

Picture of Aristotle

Date of Birth: 0384

Age: 62

Place of birth: Stagira

Nationality: Greece

Naturalist classical period

Aristotle (c. 384-322 BC), Greek philosopher and teacher, was born in Stagira in 384 or 383 BC, died in Chalcis in 322 BC Nearly twenty years of Aristotle studied at the Academy of Plato, and, apparently, for a time taught there. After leaving the Academy, Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander the Great. As the founder of the Lyceum in Athens, continued its activities for many centuries after his death, Aristotle has made a significant contribution to the ancient system of education. He planned and organized large-scale natural science research, which was funded Alexander. These studies have led to many fundamental discoveries, however, Aristotle`s greatest achievements belong to the field of philosophy.

The life of Aristotle. Aristotle`s father Nicomachus was the physician of the city Stagira, as well as court physician of Amyntas III of, king of neighboring Macedonia. Early left without parents, a young man brought up in Atarneus in proxy of his relative. At the age of eighteen, he went to Athens and entered Plato`s Academy, where he remained for nearly twenty years, until the death of Plato approx. 347 BC During this time, Aristotle studied the philosophy of Plato, as well as its pre-Socratic and Socratic sources and many other disciplines. Apparently, Aristotle taught at the Academy of rhetoric and other subjects. During this period, in defense of the Platonic dialogues teaching them a few popular character were written. Perhaps by this time include works on logic, physics, and some sections of the treatise On the Soul.

A widespread legend of serious tensions and even open rupture between Aristotle and Plato in his lifetime has no merit. Even after the death of Plato, Aristotle continued to consider himself a Platonist. In the Nicomachean Ethics, written much later, in the mature period of his work, there is a touching digression in which gratitude mentor, join us to philosophy, likened gratitude we should feel in regard to the gods, and their parents.

However, approx. 348-347 BC Plato`s successor at the Academy became Speusippus. Many members of the Academy, among them Aristotle, were dissatisfied with this decision. Together with his friend Xenocrates he left the Academy, entering the small circle of the Platonic collected Hermia, Assa ruler of a small town in Asia Minor. At first here and later in Mytilene on about. Lesbos, Aristotle devoted himself to teaching and research activities. Criticizing Speusippus, Aristotle engaged in the elaboration of such an interpretation of the teachings of Plato, which, as it seemed to him closer to the philosophy of the teacher, as well as in better agreement with reality. By this time their relationship with Hermia became closer, and under the influence of Aristotle, following the concept of orientation to the practice of Platonism, linked his philosophy and politics.

Hermias was an ally of the Macedonian king Philip II, father of Alexander, so perhaps it is due to Hermias, Aristotle in 343 or 342 BC I received an invitation to take over as coach of the young heir to the throne, who was then 13 years old. Aristotle accepted the offer and moved to the capital of Macedonia, Pella. About the personal relations between the two great men, little is known. According to reports that we have, Aristotle understood the need for the political unification of the small Greek city-states, but the desire of Alexander to rule the world he did not like. When in 336 BC Alexander ascended the throne, Aristotle returned to his native Stagira, and a year later returned to Athens.

Although Aristotle continued to consider himself a Platonist, the nature of his thought and ideas were now the other that come into direct conflict with the views of Plato`s successor at the Academy, and certain provisions of the teachings of Plato. This critical approach is expressed in the dialogue On Philosophy, as well as in the earlier sections of the works that come down to us under the code name Metaphysics, Ethics and Policy. Feeling their ideological disagreement with the dominant doctrine in the Academy, Aristotle preferred to establish in the north-east outskirts of Athens, a new school - Lyceum. The aim of the Lyceum, as the aim of the Academy, was not only teaching, but also independent research. Here Aristotle gathered around him a group of gifted students and assistants.

Joint activities proved highly fruitful. Aristotle and his students made a number of significant observations and discoveries that have left an imprint on the history of many sciences and served as the foundation for further research. In this they were aided samples and data collected in the long march of Alexander. However, the head of the school has paid increasing attention to the fundamental philosophical problems. Most of the extant philosophical works of Aristotle written in this period.

After the sudden death of Alexander in 323 BC of Athens and other cities of Greece, a wave of anti-Macedonian performances. Aristotle`s position was in jeopardy because of his friendship with Philip and Alexander, and clearly express our political convictions, who came into conflict with the patriotic enthusiasm of city-states. Under the threat of persecution, Aristotle left the city in order to, as he said, did not give the Athenians to commit a crime against the philosophy for the second time (the first was the execution of Socrates). He moved to Halkida in Evia, where it was inherited from the mother`s estate, where, after a short illness, he died in 322 BC

Works of Aristotle. Aristotle`s works fall into two groups. Firstly, there are popular, or exoteric, works, most of which probably was created in the form of a dialogue, and intended for the general public. They were mostly written during his stay at the Academy. Now these works have survived in fragments quoted by later authors, but even their name indicates a close affinity with Platonism: Evdem, or of the soul; dialogue about justice; Politician; Sophist; Meneksen; Feast. Moreover, in antiquity it was widely known Protreptics (Gr. "Inducement") suggests to the reader the desire to study philosophy. It was written in imitation of certain passages of the Platonic Evtidema and served as a model for Cicero Hortensius, who, according to his Confessions St. Augustine, and raised him spiritually and, turning to philosophy, changed his life. Also preserved are a few fragments of a popular treatise on philosophy, written later in Assos, ie Aristotle, in the second period of creativity. All these works are written in plain language and carefully trimmed from the point of view of style. In ancient times, they were very popular, and consolidated the reputation of Aristotle-Platonist writer who writes eloquently and vividly. This Aristotle score almost beyond our comprehension. The fact that his work, found themselves at our disposal, have a completely different character, since they are not intended for general reading. These works were to listen to the students and assistants of Aristotle, their initially small circle in Assos, and later - a large group of the Lyceum in Athens. Historical sciences, and above all V.Yegera research, found that these works, in the form in which they have reached us, we can not consider the philosophical or scientific "works" in the modern sense. Of course, the final set as there were these texts, it is impossible, but the most likely is the following hypothesis.

Aristotle regularly read to his students and assistants lectured on a variety of subjects, and these courses are often repeated from year to year. Apparently, Aristotle used to be a written version of the lectures and read his prepared audience, often impromptu comments on the text. These written lectures were circulated at school and used for individual lessons. So, what we now have as an integral work on a particular subject, is rather a set of numerous lectures on the subject, often covering a significant period of time. Later publishers of these options to compose uniform tracts. In some cases, it can be assumed that a "single" text is a combination of various summaries or is the original Aristotelian lecture, published and commented on by his students. Finally, the original texts have probably been hit hard in the era of civil wars in Rome and survived only by chance.

As a result, the reconstruction of the original text, for which began late antiquity publishers was difficult, it was accompanied by a lot of mistakes and misunderstandings. Nevertheless, rigorous philosophical studies have restored the foundations of Aristotle`s teachings and principled course of his thoughts.

Topic works are divided into four main groups. First, it works on logic, usually referred to as collectively Organon. This includes categories; On the interpretation; The first and second analyst analyst; Topeka.

Secondly, Aristotle`s works belong to the natural sciences. Here, the most important work On Generation and Corruption; About sky; Physics; History of Animals; On the parts of animals and dedicated human nature treatise on the soul. Treatise on plants Aristotle wrote, but the corresponding work was his pupil Theophrastus.

Thirdly, we have a set of texts called Metaphysics, which is a series of lectures, compiled by Aristotle in the late period of his thoughts - in Asse and in the final period in Athens.

Fourth, there are writings on ethics and politics, which is referred as the poetics and rhetoric. The most important are composed in the second period Evdemova ethics relating to the last period of the Athenian Nicomachean Ethics, consisting of a set written in different periods of lectures Politics, Rhetoric and Poetics partially preserved. The enormous work of Aristotle about the political system of various city-states completely lost, miraculously found an almost complete text of which was part of his Athenian polity. It has been lost and several treatises on historical themes.

Aristotle`s philosophy. Aristotle nowhere says that the logic is part of the philosophy itself. He sees it more as a methodological tool of all science and philosophy, and not self-philosophical teachings. Therefore, it is possible that the later conception of logic as a "gun" (the Greek. "Organon"), although Aristotle himself did not call it so is his or her own ideas. It is clear that logic must be preceded by a philosophy. The very philosophy of Aristotle divides into two parts - theoretical, which seeks to achieve truth, independent of anyone`s desire, and practical, occupied the mind and human aspirations, which together try to understand the essence of the human good and its reach. In turn, the theoretical philosophy is divided into three parts: a study of changing life (physics and science, including the science of man); study being abstract mathematical objects (various branches of mathematics); first philosophy, the study of being as such (what we call metaphysics).

Special works of Aristotle on the number and figure have survived, and below we will look at four aspects of his teachings: the logic, ie, methods of rational thinking; physics, ie, theoretical study of changing life; first philosophy; Finally - a practical philosophy.

Aristotelian logic studies: 1) the main types of life that fall under separate concepts and definitions; 2) compound and the separation of these species being, which are expressed in the judgment; 3) the ways in which the mind by means of reasoning can go from truth to truth known to the unknown. According to Aristotle, thinking - this is not the design or creation of the mind of some of the new entity, but rather assimilation in the act of thinking to something located outside. The concept is the identification of the mind with some form of life, and judgment - the expression a compound of such species being in reality. Finally, the conclusions of science to the faithful direct inference rules, the laws of contradiction and excluded middle, as this is subject to the principles of all existence.

The main types of life and their respective generations of concepts and categories are listed in Topeka. A total of ten: 1) the nature, such as "man" or "horse"; 2) the number, such as "three meters long"; 3) the quality of, for example, "white"; 4) the ratio, for example, "more"; 5), for example, "in the Lyceum", 6) time, for example, "yesterday"; 7) state, such as "walking"; 8) the possession, for example, to be "armed"; 9) action, such as "hack" or "burn" and 10) enduring, for example, be "cuts" or "be combusted." However, in the Second Analytics, and other works of the "state" and "possession" are absent, and the number of categories is reduced to eight.

Things really exist outside the mind just as the essence of quantity, quality, relationships, etc. As mentioned here the basic concepts of each of the species being perceived that way, it is, however, in the abstract, or abstracted from the other, which must be linked in nature. Therefore, in itself neither concept is not true or false. It is simply taken as a kind of abstraction of being, existing apart from the mind.

True or false can only be statements or judgments, not isolated concepts. To contact or separation of the two categorical notions judgment uses the logical structure of the subject and predicate. If the data types being effectively connected or separated in this way, the statement is true, but if not, it is false. Since the laws of contradiction and excluded middle applies to all existing, any two kinds of existence must either be connected or not connected with each other and with respect to any given subject in any given predicate must truly be approved or denied true.

Science as such is universal, but it occurs through induction, to submit the data from the sensory perception of an individual entity and its individual properties. In the experiment, we sometimes perceive the connection between the two kinds of life, but we can not perceive any need that regard. The judgment, which expresses a casual relationship in general terms - no more than probable truth. Dialectical method by which such judgments can likely be extended to other areas, to criticize or to protect, discussed in Topeka. Science in the strict sense of the word does not have anything to do with this. It goes about it in the Second Analytics.

As only certain subjects and predicates, derived from experience by induction, clearly grasped, the mind is able to see that they need to relate to each other. This applies, for example, to the law of contradiction, which asserts that the thing can not at one and the same time and in the same relation exist and not exist. Once we clearly perceive the existence and non-existence, we can see that they are necessarily mutually exclusive. So the premise of science in the strict sense of the word self-evident and needs no proof. The first step in justifying any true science is the discovery of the necessary connections, which are not simply random and are expressed in the necessary judgments. Further, from these obvious principles using syllogistic reasoning subsequent knowledge can be inferred.

This process is described and analyzed in the Prior Analytics. Deduction, or output, there is a way by which the mind is already moving from the known to the unknown. This is only possible thanks to the discovery of a medium-term. Suppose we want to prove that x is z, which is not self-evident. The only way to do it - to reveal the two parcels, there are x y and y have the z, which we already know that they are either self-evident or can be deduced from self-evident premises. We can bring the desired conclusion, if we have two such parcels, including the decisive medium term y. So if we know that Socrates is a man, and all men are mortal, we can prove that Socrates is mortal, using the middle term "person". The mind does not calm down, until you make sure that certain things are necessary in the sense that it can not be otherwise. Therefore, the aim of every science - the acquisition of the necessary knowledge.

The first step - careful inductive study of vague objects around us experience and a clear understanding and definition of species of interest to us being. The next step - finding the necessary relationships between these entities. The final stage - the deduction of new truths. If we find only casual relationships, they, of course, also possible to argue and expose deductive procedure. However, they will only plausible conclusion because such conclusions would be no more force than in the premises from which they are derived. The basis of science - the discovery of the obvious, do not require proof of parcels.

Philosophy of nature. The whole world of nature inherent infinite fluidity and variability, and natural philosophy of Aristotle takes as its basis the analysis of the process of change. Each change breaks the continuity. It begins with the lack of something, acquired in the process of change. So, building a house begins with something formless and ends with an ordered structure or form. So that the original privation and the final form must be present in any change.

However, the change also and continuously, as something never comes from nothing. To explain the continuity, in spite of Plato, Aristotle argues the need to recognize the existence of the third factor underlying the transition from privation to form. He calls it a substrate (Gr. "Gipokeymenon") matter. In the case of the construction of the house it is a matter of wood and other building material. In the case of the manufacture of the statue is - bronze, which is present here in the beginning in a state of privation, and then saved as a finished form the foundation.

Aristotle distinguishes four types of changes. The most fundamental - something in which there is a new entity, capable of independent existence. This can only happen as a result of the destruction of some preceding entity. At the heart of this change is a pure potentiality of matter. However, any material substance, as soon as it arose, acquires the ability to further change their attributes or accidents. These changes contingently divided into three types: 1) the quantity, 2) quality, 3) in place. Last participates in all other kinds of changes. Any transformation as measured by time, ie, the number of changes. This temporary measure requires presence of mind, which is able to remember the past, predict the future, to share appropriate intervals into segments and to compare them with each other.

In any natural essence resulting from the processes of change, there are two reasons inherent to it, on which depends on the need of its existence in nature. This - the original material (such as bronze, from which the statue is made), from which this natural substance there, and that particular form or structure, which makes it exactly the kind of being what it is (as the form of the finished statue). In addition to these internal reasons, matter and form, there must be another kind of external, efficient cause (for example, the actions of the sculptor), which gives form to matter. Finally, it should be the ultimate goal (the idea of ??the statue in the sculptor`s mind), which guides the reason (s) in some quite definite direction.

Change is the actualization of what is in potency; therefore nothing moving can not move itself. Every movable being in need of some external efficient cause, which explains its origin and continued existence. This is true with regard to the whole of the physical universe, which, as Aristotle believed, is in perpetual motion. To explain this movement, it is necessary to recognize the existence of the first stationary engine (prime mover), not subject to change. When necessary consequences of two or more mutually independent reasons converge in the same matter, occur random and unpredictable events, but events in nature are mainly characterized by order, which makes it possible science. The order and harmony, penetrating almost the whole world of nature, and lead to the conclusion about the existence of a constant and reasonable underlying cause.

Naturally, in his astronomical views of Aristotle was influenced by contemporary science. He assumed that the Earth was the center of the universe. The movement of the planets is due to the rotation of the Earth surrounding areas. The outer sphere - the sphere of the fixed stars. It refers directly to the ascending fixed the root cause, which, being devoid of any material potentiality and imperfection, totally immaterial and motionless. Even the heavenly bodies move, revealing that its materiality, but they consist of a clean cloth than the one available in the sublunary world.

In the sublunary world, we find the essence of the material at various levels. Firstly, the main elements, and combinations thereof, forming the inanimate kingdom. They are driven solely external causes. Further there are living organisms, plants first with organically differentiated parts capable to influence each other. Thus, plants do not just grow and are generated by external factors, but grow and multiply on their own.

Animals have the same functions of the plant, but they are also endowed with senses, allowing them to take into account the things of the world, seeking to ensure that their activities contribute to, and avoiding anything malicious. Complex organisms are based on simple and may arise from them as a result of gradual changes, but on this issue, Aristotle does not speak with any certainty.

Higher earthly creature - a man and a treatise on the soul entirely devoted to the study of its nature. Aristotle clearly states that man - a material being, which is no doubt a part of nature. As with all natural materials, in man there is a material substratum, from which it appears (the human body), and a certain form or structure, animating the body (human soul). As in the case of any other natural object, and this form of this matter is not simply superimposed on each other, but are common components of the individual, each of which exists through the other. Thus, the gold ring and the ring form - are not two different things, but one gold ring. Similarly, the human soul and the human body - two essential, necessary internal causes single natural being, man.

The human soul, ie, human form, consists of three connected parts. Firstly, it contains a part of the plant, which allows a person to feed, grow and reproduce. Animal component allows him to feel, strive to sense objects and move around from place to place, like other animals. Finally, the first two parts crowned reasonable part - the top of human nature, by which a person has the remarkable and special characteristics that distinguish it from all other animals. Each part, to take action, developing the essential accidents, or ability necessary. So, in charge of the plant soul are various authorities and supply capacity, growth and reproduction; animal soul is responsible for enforcement and the ability of sensation and movement; rational soul is in charge of intelligence and intangible sensible choice or will.

Knowledge should be distinguished from the activity. It does not include the construction of something new, but rather a comprehension using noesis (sound power) something already existing in the physical world, precisely the same as it is. Forms exist in a physical sense in an individual matter, tie them to a particular place and time. In this way, the human form of matter exists in every individual of the human body. However, due to their cognitive abilities a human being can comprehend the forms of things without their matter. This means that a person different from other things in the material sense, can noetic, mentally connect with them intangible way, be a microcosm that reflects the nature of all things in the mental mirror inside his mortal creatures.

Feeling limited to a specific, finite series of forms and perceives them only in mutual mixing occurring during a specific physical interaction. But the mind does not know of such restrictions, it is able to grasp any sort of form and free it from all the essence with which it is connected in sense experience. However, this act of rational comprehension, abstraction, or can not be executed without prior activity of feeling and imagination.

When imagination brings to life a specific sensory experience, an active mind can light up this experience with its light and identify some are present in it nature, freeing experience of everything that does not belong to his essential nature. Reason can highlight all the other elements of the real thing, remembering in the perceiving mind, which has every man, her pure, abstract image. Then, through the judgments that connect these natural according to how they are connected in reality, the mind can build a complex concept throughout the whole essence, reproducing it exactly for what it is. This ability of the mind, not only allows you to purchase as a result of a theoretical understanding of all things, but also affects the human aspirations, helping the person to improve his nature through activities. Indeed, without a reasonable management of human nature aspirations are not able to improve. The study of this process improvement relates to the field of practical philosophy.

First philosophy. First philosophy - the study of the root causes of things. The most fundamental reality - being itself, the specific definitions of which all other things. All categories - is limited types of being, and therefore Aristotle defines first philosophy as the study of being as such. Physical science considers things, because they are perceived by the senses and change, but such restrictions are not acceptable for life. The mathematical science considers things from the point of view of quantity, but not necessarily being quantitative, and therefore the first philosophy is not confined or limited to one such object. She sees things as they are. Therefore, it is subject to all the general management of things, whether it`s changing or unchanging, quantitative or not related to the number. Only on this basis can we come to the most clear understanding of the most fundamental structure of the world.

The followers of Plato argued (sometimes did, and Plato himself) that the root causes of all things are in some ideas or abstract entities that exist separately from the changing things of the natural world. Aristotle puts this view detailed criticism and eventually rejects him, wondering why there should be this kind of world. It would be a useless duplication of the world of individual entities, the presentation is that these separate universals are known to science, it leads to skepticism, as in this case, science would not know the individual objects of this world, and their is exactly what we need to know. Because of this, as well as on some other grounds, Aristotle rejected the Platonic view, if in addition to single people or single houses has man as such, and the house itself, existing apart from its particular cases. But this criticism is not confined to pure negation. Aristotle, like Plato, continues to defend the existence of formal structures. However, instead of filling its own separate world, they exist financially, according to Aristotle, in those individual things that define. The form or essence of things resides in the thing itself, as her inner nature, which displays item of its potency at a particular date.

What exists, the basis of the real existence is therefore not an abstract entity, and an individual substance, such as this particular tree or that particular person. This substance is the main subject of a treatise Metaphysics, Book VII, VIII and IX. The individual or primary substance, is a single entity composed of matter and form, each of which makes its own contribution to the integrity of the individual. Matter acts as a substrate in place things authorizing fluid nature. The form defines and updates the matter, making it the object of a certain kind. In the abstract comprehension of the mind is a form definition, or essence, of substance and can be made a predicate primary substance. All other categories, such as location, time, action, quantity, quality and attitude are those of the primary substance as its accidents. They can not exist by themselves, but only their supporting substance.

The word "being" has many meanings. There being possessed by things in mind as upcoming projects. There being that things have by virtue of their existence in nature, but it is being, in turn, has its own varieties, and most important of all is the potential existence in opposition to actual existence. Before the thing acquires actual existence, it exists as a potentiality in her things, a variety of reasons. This "power" (Greek "dunamis."), Or the ability to exist, is not nothing, it is - an incomplete or unfinished state potency. Even when the causes leading to the appearance in the world of some of the material nature, it remains still in progress, or the imperfect state in potency. However, defining the essence of the formal cause makes her strive for full completion and implementation. Any nature strives for improvement and seeking perfection. Any except higher nature motionless mover, God. Metaphysics XII book devoted to the analysis of the root cause of all finite existence.

Primum Mobile space to be fully actualized and devoid of any potency, if it did, that it actualized something preceded it. Because change is the actualization of potency, the prime mover must be constant, eternal and devoid of matter, which is a kind of potency. Therefore, this non-material existence must be the mind to contemplate his own perfection and not dependent on foreign objects that would have been made the objects of his reflections. Without seeking to no purpose outside itself, it supports the activities of the eternal within himself and therefore is able to serve a higher purpose, to which all imperfect beings. It is a fully active and being perfect - and the top of the key point of Aristotelian metaphysics. Imperfect world objects have real existence only to the extent that they are, each according to its limitations, involved in this perfection.

Practical philosophy. Theoretical philosophy and science seek the truth for its own sake. Practical philosophy seeks the truth in order to give direction to human activity. The latter can be of three types: 1) transitive activity that exceeds the figure of limits and facing on some external object, which it converts or improve; 2) immanent activity of the human individual, through which he seeks to improve himself; and 3) immanent activity in which human individuals cooperate with each other to cultivate in the human community. Each of these activities has devoted special treatises of Aristotle.

Rhetoric - the art work on other people through speeches and discussions, giving rise to their beliefs and convictions. Rhetoric Aristotle devoted to this art, which is, in fact, is part of the Policy.

Defining what we would call "fine arts", as imitation, Aristotle follows Plato. However, the purpose of art is not a copy of a certain individual reality; rather, it opens in the universal reality and the essential points as possible by subjecting this purpose all random. At the same time, the artist - not a scientist, his goal is not simply to reveal the truth, but also to bring the audience a special pleasure from comprehension of the truth in a suitable material way, making it to cleanse the feelings, first of all - compassion and fear, in order to give the viewer a powerful tool serving his moral education. These items are discussed in the Poetics Arist