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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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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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Aristotle's use of predicate [duplicate]

I'm currently reading categories, and I'm struggling with how Aristotle uses the word predicate in its various forms. From what I can determine, he's not using "predicate" in reference to the form of ...
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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 ...
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How does Aristotle argue for his claim that all humans are essentially social/political?

In relation to Aristotle's books Politics 1 and 2, how can you argue that all humans are social or political beings and what can you argue against that? What kind of arguments can be brought up ...
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Is Aristotle's “Animal Soul” the immune system?

According to Aristotle, the soul is the substantial form of the body. As such, it is the principle that unifies the various parts of the body and maintains this unity. The immune system also seems ...
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Łukasiewicz & statements about the past

I think this is a fair presentation of Łukasiewicz's view on past, present, and future statements in an answer by Johannes https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/31995/29944: "His view is that ...
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Did Aristotle believe in an immortal soul?

Does Aristotle have a clear stance on the question of the immortality of the soul?
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How does Aristotle analyse justice in Nicomachean Ethics, V?

Aristotle draws a distinction between general and particular justice at the start of Nicomachean Ethics, V. Can anyone explain this distinction to me? General justice seems like merely all-round moral ...
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Forms vs. universals for Aristotle

Aristotle associates the form of the human body with the soul and often De Anima iii 5 is interpreted so that Aristotle believed the human soul to be a subsistent form, which means the soul can exist ...
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The viability of holding a neo-Aristotelian metaphysics?

I want to ask a few questions and sort of vent my frustration as well as analyze an acknowledged ignorance of the subject matter on this post. I possess a minuscule but possibly still workable idea of ...
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How is 'social meaning of an action' a human action's Formal Cause?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 213. Please see the red arrow beneath. How can 'social meaning of an action' be the Formal Cause of the human ...
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Why's an acorn's Formal Cause “structural potential to become an oak tree”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 191-2. According to Aristotle, the concept of "causation" has to be understood in four different senses. ...
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How did Aristotle define induction so incorrectly?

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 431, for Ch. 1. The ...
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Contextual meaning of a philosophical text

I want to confirm a sentence, which I have rendered bold below, related to Aristotle's view regarding Thales philosophy in a philosophical article. In Book I of the Metaphysics, Aristotle claims ...
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Reference Format to Aristotle Book

I came across a reference to the work of Aristotle "Metaphysics". The reference is: Met. I.3 983b6–18 Here I can comprehend few parts of this reference which are 1: Met. stands for Metaphysics, the ...
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Is actual infinity physical infinity? Or just the axiom of infinity?

I've always been a little confused on this point. My (second-hand) understanding of Aristotle's difference between potential and actual infinity is this: We all have an intuition of the counting ...
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How did Aristotle arrive at the definition of substance/ousia?

In Aristotle's terminology, ousia, or substance, is that which is the subject of predication, but never itself predicated of anything. This is a highly technical definition; I don't expect it reflects ...
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Why is ousia translated as substance? Should it be?

From Aristotle's Metaphysics, translation Reeve 2016, Z1: What is being?---is just the question, What is substance? This statement is a lot more obvious in Greek: Ousia is a noun formed from ...
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Aristotle and proper objects of perception

I think we can safely say that proper objects of perception are sensible forms. Proper objects of reason are intelligible forms. It is often said that in seeing, sense and its proper object are the ...
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What is the difference between an ampliative and explanatory reasoning?

I'm reading "Reason's nearest kin" of michael potter and he says: Now the distinctive feature of reasoning that is ampliative rather than merely explicative is that it depends on objects as its ...
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In what occupations did Aristotle consider virtue impossible to acquire?

Source: Thomas Morris PhD (Yale). Philosophy For Dummies (1999 1 ed). p. 87. There are some occupations in which it is impossible for a man to be virtuous. — Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) To which ...
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How to understand the identity of matter in Aristotelianism?

I am currently reading "Real Essentialism" written by David Oderberg. He discusses the issue of substance individuation. The principle of individuation is matter. Now if we have Plato and Socrates, ...
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What is the nature of Aristotle's differentia?

I'm reading (Cat, 3a21): This is not, however, peculiar to substance: The differentia also is not in a subject. For footed and two footed are said of man as a subject but are not in a subject ... ...
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With knowledge of modern linguistics, how would Aristotle develop his categories today?

I know that there is big debate behind the organizational principle behind Aristotle's ten categories. But, if we assume that his categories actually reflect major linguistic characteristics, how ...
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Fourfold categories development in Aristotle.

According to J.L. Ackrill, a key to understand his fourfold classifications of things we must understand two different notions: "Being in something as a subject" "Being said of something as a ...
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Aristotle's meaning of 'present in subject'

I've been reading the entry of Aristotle in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. "[Aristotle] says: ‘By “present in a subject” I mean what is in something, not as a part, and cannot exist ...
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Pascal's cœur = Aristotle νόος = Scholastics' intellectus? Pascal's raison = Aristotle's ἐπιστήμη = Scholastics' scientia?

Copleston, S.J., quotes, on p. 164 of A History of Philosophy (vol. 4): Descartes to Leibniz, the following from Pascal's Pensées, S142/L110: Nous connaissons la vérité non seulement par la raison ...
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Aristotle on unconditional vs universal goods

From Nicomachean Ethics V1, 1129b1: Since an unjust person is greedy, however, he will be concerned with goods---not with all of them but with those that are matters of good and bad luck, which are ...
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Square of Opposition with percentages?

What happens if you replace the statements of the Traditional Square of Opposition with "percentages of the subject term"? Do all the relationships from the Traditional Square of Opposition still ...