PLATO & ARISTOTLE. Greek Science. OBJECTIVES. Know and understand the basics of Plato's philosophy. Know and understand the basics of Aristotle's philosophy. Know the importance and influence of Plato and Aristotle's philosophy in the field of science and human thinking in general.
Know and understand the basics of Plato's philosophy.
Know and understand the basics of Aristotle's philosophy.
Know the importance and influence of Plato and Aristotle's philosophy in the field of science and human thinking in general.
Know the significance of Plato and Aristotle's philosophy in your daily life.
School of Athens, by Raphael
Pupil of Socrates
Influenced by Socrates' death
Set up his own school known as the "Academy"
one of the greatest and most influential thinker of all time.
1. From Natural Philosophy to Philosophy of Man and Society
Natural Philosophy - Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Democritus
- Main Question: "What is the underlying stuff of nature?"
Philosophy of Man and Society - Sophists and Socrates
- Main Questions: "Who are we? What is virtue? What is Justice?"
2. Both Trends are concerned with the existence of the "eternal and immutable."
Natural Philosophy - "ONE in the many"
Philosophy of Man and Society - "NORMS of the society"
3. Concern of Plato: He was also concerned with the relationship between what is "eternal and immutable", on the one hand, and what "flows", on the other.
-Same as the Natural Philosophers and Humanists.
-But he answered it differently.
"Although everything in the natural world "flows", there must nevertheless be "something" that never changes."
Now the question is,"where can we find that non-changing 'something'?"
World of Things (Nature)
within time and space
"where can we find that non-changing 'something'?"
Obviously, "It must be beyond the realm of things."
-It must be perceived only by reason
-immaterial and non-perishable
-outside time and space
-eternal and immutable
For Plato, it is found in the realm of Ideas
For Plato all Material things are fashioned after their timeless "ideas or forms."
Despite their differences, why are toy horses all the same?
Why is a toy horse a toy horse?
what is there in all toy horses that makes them all toy horses?
If you are to make toy horses:
you use models of horses
you have in your mind the "forms" of horses.
this form or idea of a toy horse allows you to make several toy horses.
despite their differences, all toy horses are toy horses.
Therefore, what makes a toy horse a toy horse is the idea of a toy horse.
Thus for Plato, "The realm of Ideas is the foundation of the realm of things."
what is known in the realm of things are mere "opinions"
- we only use sense perception
-ex. who is the most beautiful actress?
what is known in the realm of ideas are "true knowledge"
- we use reason
-ex. mathematics, geometry, philosophical ideas
"We can only have 'inexact conception' of things we perceive with our senses. But we can have 'true knowledge' of things we understand with our reason."
WORLD OF THINGS
things are but shadows of ideas or eternal forms
we need to go beyond the shadows and dwell on the realm of ideas.
ideas let us understand the natural world
We already know ideas before, all we need is to just remember them.
We remember the ideas in the copies (things).
IDEA OF A HORSE
He was a pupil at Plato's Academy
Before going to Athens, we lived in Macedonia
Son of the famous physician Nicomachus
Last great Greek Philosopher, but first great biologist of Europe
Unlike Plato, he was preoccupied with natural processes (world of things) and not with the world of ideas.
He was "the great organizer."
He tutored (342—c.339 ) Alexander the Great
In 335 he opened a school in the Lyceum; some distinguished members of the Academy followed him.
The "idea" of something is simply a concept that we humans formed after seeing a certain number of that thing.
“Ideas” are just the "common characteristics" of things belonging into a certain group.
“Ideas” are just reflections of natural objects.
For Aristotle, "Nothing exists in the mind that has not first been experienced by the senses."
Simply, "There is no such thing as a separate world of ideas."
Modern/popular notion of cause: how something came to be
- the moisture in the clouds cools and condenses into raindrops that are drawn to the earth by the force of gravity.
For Aristotle, this is incomplete.
THERE ARE ALWAYS 4 CAUSES OF A THING:
1. Material Cause - material component
2. Efficient Cause - that which makes the thing (external agent)
3. Formal Cause - that which makes a thing what it is
4. Final cause - purpose for which the thing is made.
1. Material Cause - moisture
2. Efficient Cause - cooling air
3. Formal Cause - form or nature of water - to fall to the earth
4. Final Cause - its purpose is to nourish the earth and its dwellers.*
In modern thought the efficient cause is generally considered the central explanation of a thing, but for Aristotle the final cause had primacy.
Every object falls under a broader category and a certain subcategory
This also applies in the sciences
Science is divided into different branches and that such branches are parts of one coherent whole.
One of Aristotle's major contribution to human knowledge
Found in his Organon
Logic is an instrument used for organizing our thoughts
based on correlation of terms
All creatures are mortals
Gloria is a creature
Gloria is a mortal
Clear thinking that leads to a definitely true conclusion.
True Knowledge is found “above”, in the world of ideas.
What are the contributions of the two great philosophers to science?
How can we use their philosophies in our practical daily living?