Chapter

Athens III: Aristotle

Wallace Matson

in Grand Theories and Everyday Beliefs

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199812691
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919420 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812691.003.0014
Athens III: Aristotle

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Aristotle was student then junior colleague of Plato in the Academy. Later he was appointed tutor to Alexander, crown prince of Macedonia. Returning to Athens, he founded his own school, the Lyceum. Aristotle was eminent in every intellectual endeavor of his time, except mathematics. He was the first formal logician, bringing the class calculus to completion from scratch. His conception of natural science was that of starting from facts of observation, to proceed to the reasoned fact: explanation of the data by necessary truths. His account of how language works pulled the rug out from under Plato's basis for postulating Ideas. The Aristotelian universe therefore has only one story. Reality is the sum of individual substances–this man, that horse–of which qualities, relations, etc. are predicated. He analyzed movement into progression from being potential to being actual, matter taking on form. His biological outlook, however, led to his insistence on Final Causes, a reintroduction of teleology into philosophy.

Keywords: predicate; final cause; substance; category; logic; Lyceum; biology; matter; form

Chapter.  3967 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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