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The Metaphysics of Aristotle “ Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.” An introduction: www.prshockley.org Dr. PowerPoint Presentation
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The Metaphysics of Aristotle “ Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.” An introduction: www.prshockley.org Dr.

The Metaphysics of Aristotle “ Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.” An introduction: www.prshockley.org Dr.

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The Metaphysics of Aristotle “ Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.” An introduction: www.prshockley.org Dr.

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  1. The Metaphysics of Aristotle“Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.”An introduction:www.prshockley.orgDr. Paul R. Shockley

  2. Aristotle’s Background: • Born at Stagira in Northern Greece in 384 BC • 367-347 BC student at Plato’s Academy • He left Athens after not being named head of Academy following Plato’s death. • Went to Macedonia & became the tutor to Alexander the Great when Alexander was 12 (343 BC) • After Alexander became Emperor of all Greece, returned to Athens,& established his own school: the Lyceum in 335 BC.

  3. Background: “The Philosopher.” • After Alexander died (323 BC), anti-Macedonian reactions in Athens forced Aristotle to leave, as he did not wish to experience Socrates’ fate. • Died one year later in Chalcis. • Only about 1/4th of Aristotle’s writings have survived. Most were lost when the Romans accidentally burned the great library in Alexandria, Egypt in 47 BC. Many of Aristotle’s greatest works were destroyed. • But we are left with the lecture notes Aristotle used for teaching at the Lyceum.

  4. What is the relationship between Plato & Aristotle? Three views: 1. All of Western philosophy is a “series of footnotes to Plato.” Aristotle analyzed, expanded, & misinterpreted Plato’s teachings.

  5. What is the relationship between Plato & Aristotle? Three views: 2. Aristotle is superior. Aristotle took Plato’s ideas and improved them substantively, especially in the areas of metaphysics, logic, ethics, and even aesthetics.

  6. What is the relationship between Plato & Aristotle? 3. Distinct worldviews with different starting points. Plato focuses his attention on abstract realities/truths that are to be followed in all areas of life into a unified knowledge whereas Aristotle is concerned with the particular, concrete object and its development, changes, and purposes. Aristotle is more concerned with the actual knowledge of objects than with their logical unification and abstract transcendence and rationalistic intelligibility.

  7. Significant Difference: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave • Remember, Plato believed that the intelligible realm is more real than the sensible realm. • Plato believed that the eternal, immutable forms constitute reality, transcendent of the sensible realm of flux.

  8. Aristotle Claims the Opposite:: • Plato abstracted the form from the actual object. • Imagination and Beliefs dominated sensible realm whereas reasoning and knowledge was found in intelligible realm. • Thus, true knowledge was found in the intelligible realm. Plato ; School of Athens by Raphael

  9. Aristotle Claims the Opposite:: • Aristotle contends that is the concrete, particular, actual, and individual objects or things that are real. • You are a particular. A dog is a particular. An Ant is a particular. • Thus, for Aristotle, metaphysics is the study of particular, individual concrete substances. Aristotle; School of Athens by Raphael

  10. Aristotle Aristotle’s Critique: • Abstract forms are only useless copies of actual things. • Theory of forms does not explain the existence and changes that take place in concrete objects. • Theory of Forms sets up a dualism between world of intelligibility and world of flux. This theory does not explain how the both of them are related. • While Aristotle does not reject the forms, but he does rejecting the idea that we are to separate the from from the actual existence of the particular object.

  11. Major Ideas to Know:

  12. Major Ideas to Know:

  13. Major Ideas to Know:

  14. Major Ideas to Know: Potentiality & Actuality- which accounts for developmental changes in substances.

  15. Major Ideas to Know: Potentiality & Actuality- which accounts for developmental changes in substances.

  16. Explanatory Principles of Things & Their Changes.

  17. The following four principles determine the nature of an individual object in cosmos (whether natural or man-made)

  18. The relationship between the Four Causes:

  19. Aristotle’s View of the Universe: • Everything is connected causally with everything else as material or formal cause. • Since the universe is characterized by eternal change or motion, it requires an uncaused cause or Prime Mover that is eternal. • An eternal uncaused cause must exist in order to account for all the change and motion in the universe.

  20. Cosmological Argument: The Universe had a beginning caused by something beyond the universe.

  21. Aristotle’s God: • Eternal • Immutable • Spiritual • Distinct from universe. • Not a personal God • Not an object of worship

  22. Everything Has Purpose: • Aristotle’s view of reality/existence is that everything is teleological, that is, everything in universe has its own form, its own end, its own purpose (telos) to fulfill. • According to Aristotle, everyone one of us have purpose, an end to fulfill.

  23. Everything Has Purpose: • Thus, for Aristotle, the good is whatever the nature of a thing aims at as its formal cause. • What is your good? It is what man by his nature seeks: happiness. But what is happiness? • Is our telos a life of pleasure? • Is our telos a life of honor? • Is our telos a life of wealth? • Is our telos a life of power?

  24. What is our Highest good? • Aristotle argues that pleasure, wealth, honor, or power are only a means to happiness. • Happiness, for Aristotle, as our highest good, consists in the fulfillment of our function as humans. • The fulfillment of our function is “the activity of soul in accordance with virtue.” • We will pursue this last theme when we examine virtue ethics.

  25. Personal Favorite quotes from Aristotle: “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.” “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”