Questions tagged [aristotle]

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, famous for his prolific writings on a vast array of subjects, including logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, politics, and even the natural sciences. He is widely considered a "founding figure" in Western philosophy.

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When did the idea of free will begin? Same for determinism

Hey so I'm doing this free will v determinism thing for class and I've tried but I can't seem to find when the separate beliefs came about. I know Socrates and Aristotle had something to do with them ...
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Could the link between virtues and pleasures and pains in the third chapter of Nicomachean Ethics' book II be considered a hypothetical syllogism?

In the chapter 3 of Nicomachean Ethics' book II, Aristotle says: Again, if the virtues are concerned with actions and passions, and every passion and every action is accompanied by pleasure and ...
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How and why Aristotelian essentialism is a problem for Quine?

I cannot understand how and why the Aristotelian essentialism is problematic for Quine. I have tried to read articles on the theme but probably I am not smart enough to understand them. Could you ...
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Calumnies on Aristotle's character

I've heard people allude to writings of some of Aristotle's students alleging bad character of Aristotle. I've not found the actual writings or any secondary literature on them. Can someone point me ...
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What is the the difference between common sense and phronesis?

For refference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phronesis For me this started with Giambattista Vico who pretty much had the same idea of "common sense" ...
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How do Thomists prove that: “Everything that exists must exist by something.”?

One variation of principle of sufficient reason that Thomists use is: Everything that exists must exist by something. How do they prove such a statement? In particular, why can not something just ...
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Aristotle's Categories: Original Greek text for Chapter 2?

I'm trying to find the original Greek for this passage in the Octavius Own Oxford edition. Does anyone know of a source? Likewise also some things are predicated of a certain subject, yet are in ...
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Aristotle's Logic and Human Thought

Is Aristotle's logic sufficient to model human reasoning? If not, why not? Are there counter-examples, certain cases where we reason differently? Let's assume we're talking about sound reasoning,...
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Where does Aristotle say it's impossible to do philosophy and its methodology simultaneously?

In which of Aristotle's works does he say it's impossible to do philosophy and its methodology simultaneously?
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Traditional beginner's commentary on Aristotle's categories [duplicate]

I am looking for a traditional beginner's commentary on Aristotle's categories in order to start learning Aristotle's system of logic. Even better would be a "road map" for studying Aristotle's logic ...
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Aristotle's Four Virtues---A Negative Example

Aristotle's four virtues, as I understand it, in the modern context is that if I think of carrying out a job, then 1). Prudence: That I have sufficient reasons to carry out the job 2). Justice: ...
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Where can I study this in more detail?

I am finding al-Farabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle on pages 13-17, paragraphs 1-9, (pages 11-13 in the pdf file linked below), very interesting: http://traditionalhikma.com/wp-content/uploads/...
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How did Aristotelian logic view this?

I am very interested in the logical aspect of Aristotelian philosophy, especially how it was used by al Farabi and Ibn Sina in explaining understanding and breaking this complicated process down ...
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What were Plato's views on substance?

Forms are Plato’s substances, for everything derives its existence from Forms. In this sense of ‘substance’ any realist philosophical system acknowledges the existence of substances. Probably the ...
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Principle of proportionate causality - what are virtual and eminent causes?

I'm reading Edward Feser's book Five Proofs of the Existence of God. On pages 32-33 he introduces the principle of proportionate causality (PPC). I'm having trouble understanding what precisely ...
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DId Aristotle say there can be no virtue without action: and how accepted is that in virtue ethics?

Morality, Moral Luck and Responsibility: Fortune's Web By N. Athanassoulis, p64 I've not read Aristotle's Ethics, but am intrigued by whether we can have a virtue without an action that has that ...
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Soft question: Is it possible to self study Aristotle?

I am a mathematics PhD student who has an interest in philosophy. In my undergraduate work, I took a minor in philosophy. I never took a course on the great thinkers such as Aristotle, Socrates, or ...
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Is this argument equivalent to the argument of prime mover of Aristotle?

For alternation in the status of A to be a cause of the alteration in the status of B, we naively demand that the former alteration exists before the later, and so the later [i.e.; the alteration in ...
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What exactly is the 'potential' that is actualized in Aristotelian metaphysics?

From my understanding, Aristotelian metaphysics uses the concepts of potentiality and actuality to explain change. Since being cannot come from non-being, when change occurs a potential is simply ...
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Is the idea of potential energy (from physics) influenced by the idea of potentiality found in Aristotelian metaphysics?

Aside from the common usage of the term 'potential,' was the development of the idea of potential energy influenced by the Aristotelian idea of potentiality and actuality, at least historically? ...
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Efficient cause and answering questions unambiguously

I am trying to understand the physical concept of friction in terms of Aristotle's efficient cause. This is not a physics question. Friction is said to be caused by the electromagnetic force between ...
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A typology of ethical theories for beginners?

Ethical theories can doubtless be classified, cross-connected and contrasted in many ways. I am not looking for a definitive classification, only a useful typology to get me started. Refinements and ...
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Does ontology study “being qua being”?

May I say that ontology studies "being qua being", while the sciences study "entity qua entity" ? I ask this because I don't understand how ontology could study the "entity qua entity", taking into ...
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Where can I access or purchase Aristotelis Opera (edited by Immanuel Bekker)?

I have been trying to find the following as I am very interested in reading Aristotle in the original Greek: Aristotle. Aristotelis opera. Edited by Immanuel Bekker, Christian August Brandis, and ...
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What is the goal of tragedy, according to Aristotle and what is the role of the plot in achieving this goal?

I honestly think the goal of tragedy for him is catharsis. And the role of the plot is a story to follow in a logical order.
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What does Aristotle mean by this text?

Poetry in general can be seen to owe its existence to two causes, and these are rooted in nature. First, there is man's natural propensity, from childhood onwards, to engage in mimetic activity (and ...
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What does “it” refer to in this short Aristotle passage?

In this sentence: "In short, virtue is concerned with pleasures and pains; the actions that are its sources also increase it or, if they are done differently, ruin it" (Nicomachean Ethics ii3 1105a15) ...
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Plato or Aristotle on trading lives

I am sure I remember either Plato or Aristotle saying that most people, if a god approached them with an offer to trade their life for someone else's, would run away. But I have been wrong before ...
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Help with philosophical interpretation of the movie Cloud Atlas

I feel very sorry to ask for this but I really need help, I have a hard time getting an answer to what I need for my metaphysical essay related to the movie "Cloud Atlas", I have seen it several times ...
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“Syllogisms which produce understanding”

I remember reading somewhere that the aim of Aristotle's Prior and Posterior analytics was to show which kinds of syllogisms produce understanding. I do not remember where I read this but I think it ...
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For Aristotle, how and why does friction generate heat?

I'm still a bit new to Aristotle, so this question may be imperfect: In Meteorology, Aristotle uses friction to explain how the sun generates heat. Although it's composed of aether, and not fire, ...
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Why must the first mover be unmovable?

In the first way of Aquinas it is proved that there exists an unmoved mover (or unchanged changer or even better, actualizer which was not actualized). It is often claimed that God is pure act without ...
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Can potentiality be used to dispel Parmenides's monism?

Can we say that beings are different precisely because this being has this potencies and that being has that potencies? Is the (only) thing differentiating two different things their set of potencies? ...
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What are the best arguments for the defense of the “principle of motion”?

How would someone (I would love to hear how Aquinas and/or Aristotle would) defend the principle of motion (that is, whatever is changed is changed by another or only actual being can actualize ...
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Has anyone used Aristotle's philosophy to study social media?

It is my understanding that Aristotle believed one shouldn't work too many hours in the day (I am currently having a hard time finding any references on this, sorry). He (or maybe this was just the ...
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What does Aquinas mean when he refers to things being “identical numerically” or “specifically identical” with things?

In his discussion on the simplicity of God in Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas considers the question of "whether God enters into the composition of other things": Objection 1: It seems that God ...
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Collingwood, existence of God and its relation to natural science

I am reading Collingwood's essay in metaphysics and I have hard time in understanding his argument to the conclusion that Catholic Faith consists in (part) of absolute presuppositions of Greek thought ...
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Aristotle: “No way composite” and “Independent”

I'm writing an essay but using a translation of Aristotle's Categories as a reference. At 1b.25-27, he writes: "Expressions which are in no way composite signify substance, quantity ..." If they are ...
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How similar are Kantian Ethics to Virtue Ethics?

I am writing an essay for the question 'Critically evaluate the view that ethics should be more concerned with who you are than what you do'. I have done some of Kant's ethics and some virtue ethics,...
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Aristotle on assisted suicide

If someone cannot positively contribute to society, can they then rationalize going through physician assisted suicide? I have to write a paper the prompt is about picking an ethical dilemma and then ...
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Seeking clarification of how an argument from Aristotle is found fallacious using Frege's quantification tools

G. E. M. Anscombe writes in An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus (page 15-16): Again, the following fallacious piece of reasoning is found in Aristotle: 'All chains of means to ends must ...
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Are virtues non-relational?

I was reading this, by Shirong Luo, on the ethics of care care is notoriously difficult to define. As Ruddick points out, at least three distinct but overlapping meanings of care have emerged in ...
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What other philosophers I read before taking a class on “being and time”

I’ll be taking a class on Heidegger’s Being and time next spring, which would be my first rigorous philosophy class. The class would begin by reading Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations, and then proceed ...
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Does a material cause either depend on its effect or appear to be somehow self-sufficient?

Does a material cause either depend on its effect or appear to be somehow self suffiient? Aristotle considers the material "cause" (hyle) of an object as equivalent to the nature of the raw ...
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Random Emergence

In De Caelo 300b, Aristotle introduces the idea of the random emergence of the natural: "it is possible that with this disorderly motion some of the elements might have unified in those combinations ...
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Does Philosophy benefit from parsimony?

It is well established doctrine to apply Occam's razor to scientific theoretical development. The basis for which may range over the demonstrated practical success of the principle, to a vocational/...
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Natural sociality in Rousseau and Aristotle

Are we social or solitary by Rousseau's reckoning? How do his arguments stand in relation to Aristotle's idea of humans as essentially social or political?
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Aristotle's Categories with academic commentary

I am looking for books on Aristotle's Categories with academic commentary, preferably with references to further development of logic.
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Is there any worth—other than historical—to reading Aristotle's works on logic?

What I mean is that presumably a topic such as logic would have, at this point, been so advanced that the ancestral works are unnecessary. I would read it for pleasure, but have they been ultimately ...
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What is John Locke's basic idea of individuality?

Are we social or solitary by Locke's reckoning? How can we use his argument to oppose Aristotle's idea of humans essentially being social or political? I have read the chapter 2 'Of the state of ...