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This is from the book A History of Western Philosophy. This particular paragraph was a quote from Eduard Zeller and is a criticism of Aristotles philosophy regarding the world.

Any help will be appreciated.

  • 1
    In a nutshell, Zeller's is criticizing A for not being enough "empirist"; according to Z, A's metaphysics with forms is not "far enough" from Plato's theories. Nov 21, 2016 at 19:43
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    Aristotle abolished Platonic realm where "ideas" freely float, and put them backas forms into sensible things. But he did not interpret them as "logical products of human thought" but rather as "secondary substances" present in ready-made form, and accessible through a special kind of ideal perception. Aristotle's "ideal perception" is closer to Husserlian "categorial intuition" than to "intellectual intuition" now usually associated with Spinoza, Fichte and Schelling, direct insight into "true being". But he is still realist about forms' existence, hence only half emancipated from Plato
    – Conifold
    Nov 23, 2016 at 1:21
  • Plato was famous for saying that certain ideas, amongst them the Good, Beauty, Great/Small had an existence all of their very own - this was the influence of Pythagorean thinking on him; Zeller wants Aristotle to be a wholly empirical thinker and to dispense with this nonsense - but in fact - and I agree - he only 'half-emancipated' himself from this. Nov 27, 2016 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


In a nutshell, Zeller's is criticizing Aristotle for not being enough empirist.

According to Zeller, Aristotle's metaphysics of forms is not far enough from Plato's theory of ideas.

Eduard Zeller was a neo-kantian; see the last statement:

"ideas ... removed from experience ... and transformed from a logical product of human thought into ... a supersensible world".

  • Do you think that Zeller is right concerning his judgement of Aristotle?
    – Jo Wehler
    Mar 23, 2018 at 9:40
  • @JoWehler - is it relevant ? For a non-platonist, the existence of so-called abstract objects is a puzzle... but numbers exist. Mar 23, 2018 at 10:33
  • Mauro, for me your opinion would be interesting, because I esteem your answers in this forum :-)
    – Jo Wehler
    Mar 23, 2018 at 11:30

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