I am studying philosophy this year and in many courses we are speaking of Aristotle.

As I understood it, we are first not sure about the aim, period or even authenticity of all the writings we found from him.

Then, actual commentators do not always agree on the interpretation of some parts of his philosophy, such as his metaphysics I believe.

But still he has a more than prominent place in today's study of philosophy. I was thus wondering if there was among the Aristotle experts, or more generally among today philosophers, a consensus on what would be the most important/interesting question to ask him, supposing we won't have any issues getting understood.

If not, what do you think should be such a question?

  • I suppose I would ask him if he considered a fifth cause in his model of explanation using material, formal, efficient and final causes. Having questions to ask a philosopher are ways to position oneself to get more understanding. – Frank Hubeny Mar 23 '18 at 16:21
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    Since it was Aristotle who gets credit for the distinction between potential and actual infinity, I'd ask Ari what he thinks of Cantor's set theory and the axiom of infinity. Also, what's it like to be dead? – user4894 Mar 23 '18 at 17:09
  • Would he be proud of or dismayed by the poster on my professor's door that read: "Philosophy ends with Aristotle"? – Luke Sawczak May 20 '18 at 0:38

I would ask him why (if he knows) we have two ethical texts, the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian Ethics, with three shared books. And as a related rider, which represents most accurately his settled views.

I might also ask how he found Alexander (the future Great) as a pupil.


We know that Aristotle was a student of Plato. But Aristotle emancipated from his teacher. Aristotle in his Metaphysics, Book 1, Chapter 6 and 9, critizises Plato's theory of forms. And also most distinctly (Analytica posteriora, Book 1, Chap. 22):

The Forms we can dispense with, for they are mere sound without sense.

Aristotle was 37 when Plato died. At this time, both were active 20 years in Plato's academy. I would ask Aristotle:

How did Plato respond to your objections against his theory of forms?

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