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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Aristotle Politics

I need help in explaining or discussing about the Classification of Government has less or no application to modern times in government. (what are the recent modern political theories that have ...
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According to Aquinas, what is the relationship between the substantial form of a bodily being and its act of existing, ie. its esse?

Consider, for example, an existing bodily being. Because it is bodily, we know that it is composed of prime matter and substantial form. Also, because the bodily being is existing (not just made up in ...
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How does Aristotle motivate that there is no universal good?

I'm reading the Nicomachean Ethics written by Aristotle and there's this one statement (and it's motivations) that I'm really struggling with. In my version of the book it is written in rather ...
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Where does Aquinas get his “logical-metaphysical presuppositions”?

In the Summa, Aquinas frequently invokes (for lack of a better term) certain "logical-metaphysical presuppositions." Here are two examples drawn from I-II, qq. 90-91: "that which is ...
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Why bother with anything else besides Aristotle's syllogistic logic?

Disclaimer: this a "devil's advocate's question", meaning I know a lot of the answer, but for the sake of playing the Q&A game, I won't self-answer right away. The main reason I'm ...
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Does Plato hold that “the world experienced via the senses is what is real”?

According to the introduction of this article, Plato and Aristotle both held that "the world experienced via the senses is what is real." I do not doubt this point when it comes to Aristotle....
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“Either a Platonist or an Aristotelian”

In his introduction to "The Pocket Greek Reader," W.H. Auden said: one is born either a Platonist or an Aristotelian. (He immediately qualifies that remark with nods to Hippocrates and ...
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Do any philosophers discuss the ethics of the possible negative repercussions from doing what is morally good?

Aside from utilitarianism, most ethical systems seem to advocate actions that might hurt somebody or at least inconvenience them. For example, standing up to a bully might hurt them. Making a stand ...
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What are the differences between an argument and a syllogism?

What are the differences between an argument and a syllogism? Along with definitions and usages, I would like examples to understand the differences.
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Are there any books where Aristotlean quotations are collected?

Are there any books where Aristotle's quotations are available?
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Is there, in Aristotle, a broad concept of thinking ( noèsis) that includes imagination ? Or is imagination a purely sensible power?

In Aristotle's De Anima, Bk. III, Part 3 ( http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/soul.3.iii.html) one can read this : "Thinking is different from perceiving and is held to be in part imagination, in ...
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Aristotle on forgiveness?

Discussing "complaints" in friendship (Ethics book 8), Aristotle does not mention the role of forgiveness in resolving such complaints (ἐγκλήματα) or quarrels (μέμψεις). Does Aristotle ...
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translate Greek quote at the start of Boethius Consolation of Philosophy? Something about kalon [closed]

I was wondering if someone could translate the following quote into English for me. ὄμως δὲ και ἐν τούτοις διαλάμπει τὸ καλὸν, ἐπειδὰν φέρῃ τις εὐκόλως πολλὰς καὶ μεγάλας ἀτυχίας, μη δι᾿ ἀναλγησίαν, ...
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Does sensation/ perception count as knowledge according to Aristotle? And what word does he use to denote this kind of knowledge?

When one wants to take a synoptic view of the history of epistemology, one notices that Aristotle's contribution is almost always explained in terms of scientific knowledge resting on demonstration. ...
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Why does Thomas Aquinas conclude that the First Mover is God?

It appears to me that the First Mover of any motion must not move only with respect to the change it is producing, but otherwise could be moved in a way unrelated to what it is changing, or moved ...
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What is “lack” in Aristotle's “three starting-points” of form, lack and matter?

The following quote from Aristotle's Metaphysics is utterly baffling to me: The causes and starting-points of distinct things are distinct in a way, but in a way--if we are speaking universally and ...
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List of books which teaches historical Aristotelian logic

Background: I want to study philosophy and I think a good way is to first learn logic, so I tried reading The Categories. But even after trying so hard, I didn't understand it. The writing is very ...
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Need Help Interpreting Preface to Aristotle’s Ethics

I’m currently reading the translator’s preface to Aristotle’s Ethics and read a sentence that I simply cannot figure out the meaning behind. It states There is, Aristotle insists, no difference of ...
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The purpose of law-making: Aristotle and his theory of virtues

In Aristotle's best known work The Nicomachean Ethics, he elaborated on the theory of virtues (moral virtues and intellectual virtues). Here moral virtues are qualities like generosity, courage, ...
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Aristotle on the uselessness of metaphysics

I'm sure I read once that Aristotle comments that the 'first philosophy' - what later became called metaphysics - has no practical use, that it's something that is studied for the sake of ...
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Where did Aristotle say that the more self-evident something is, the more difficult it is to see?

18:45 of this claims that Aristotle said that the more self-evident something is, the more difficult it is to see (reminiscent of: "hidden in plain sight"). Where did Aristotle say this?
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How do Aquinas' and Aristotle's mixed regimes differ?

Both Aristotle and Aquinas seem to subscribe to the idea of a mixed constitution as the form of government best disposed to the common good. By "mixed constitution", I mean mixing between ...
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Where does Aristotle first treat willing-as-ends in the Nicomachean Ethics?

Aristotle begins the 4th chapter of the 3rd book of the Nicomachean Ethics with the line As was stated before, willing is concerned with the end. Unfortunately it's not clear where this claim was &...
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Is an element being in multiple categories a valid classic category?

I was going through the categorization article in Wikipedia and happened to read this line: In the classical view, categories need to be clearly defined, mutually exclusive and collectively ...
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Do Kant or Aristotle ever comment on the line between self-interest/preservation and helping others?

Im wondering whether either of them ever talked about limits to helping others and when we should choose ourselves. Ive tried doing some research but unfortunately to not avail.
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Understanding the Four Causes of Aristotle

I'd like to better understand some concepts from Aristotle's Metaphysics. I'd like to know what does he mean by a "substance" (Ousia), does he just mean anything that exists? Can any ...
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A thought experiment: will the following observations lead you to question Aristotle's syllogism?

Many philosophers think that logic are "inherently right" and cannot be refuted by empirical observations. Below is a thought experiment that questions this view. Let's take Aristotle's ...
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Is Aristotle’s virtue theory somewhat similar to the Doctrine of the mean?

Doctrine of the mean: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_Mean The two theories strike me as surprisingly similar in how they emphasize “the right amount”: not lacking and also not in ...
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What does Aristotle mean by “the whole” and “sphere of the whole” in Physics Book IV?

In discussing time, Aristotle frequently mentions "the whole" and "the sphere itself." I have the intuition that it is related to his physical cosmology, but fail to see anything ...
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Why did the mid-19th century and earlier thinkers fixate on one-place predicates?

A book I'm reading mentions the following: A major barrier to the development of first-order logic had been the concentration on one-place predicates to the exclusion of many-place relational ...
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How is it that “both a man and a picture are animals”?

I just began reading Aristotle's Categories, and stumbled on the second sentence: a man and a picture are not animals; while a man is an animal, a picture is not, even a picture of a man. In one ...
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Where does ethics place the line between self interest and altruism?

Assuming I were to decide between getting Benefit A myself or somebody else getting A. All things being equal (need, desire, etc), is it correct to say most ethical theories (other than egoism) would ...
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What are the advantages of Aristotle's term logic over predicate logic?

I have read Wikipedia's term logic entry, and the quote by Gareth Evans in the Revival section that's supposed to argue for term logic's advantages over predicate logic: "I come to semantic ...
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Difference between Differentia and Quality [duplicate]

No matter how many ways I think of it - just how Socrates is a Man, any differentia is a Quality. So for eg, one much used example is 'rational' - man is a rational animal, where man is species, ...
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Why isn't differentia just quality in Aristotle?

I will make it clear beforehand, that the little bit I know about Aristotle is from Aquinas (secondary material) and Deleuze (Difference and Repetition), so there may be some misunderstandings on my ...
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Where in Aristotle's Topics did he say there's no exact/clear way to distinguish two concepts?

I've heard that Aristotle supposed in his Topics that there's no exact/clear way to distinguish two concepts. What exactly did he say?
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Is Kant's concept of radical evil an epistemic notion?

One interpretation of the moment in Kant's presentation on "radical" (fundamental) "evil" where he asserts the universality of the predicate, vs. humanity, is that being finite is ...
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Clarifying relation between rhetoric, dialectic and logos

Rhetoric is primarily comprised of: ethos (appeal to character), pathos (appeal to emotion), logos (appeal to logic/reason) Dialectic is distinguished from rhetoric in that it only uses logical ...
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Understanding Aristotle's views on pleasure/fun

I feel like Aristotle gives us conflicting messages on whether we can do things for fun/pleasure. Would doing things done for pleasure such as going on holiday or playing video games be considered ...
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What separates a “normal” person from a morally excellent person? [closed]

Is it simply doing all the duties that Deontology (Kant) requires of you while doing them out of a sense of duty, or having all the virtues suggested by Aristotle while enjoying doing them or even ...
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Why law of identity is formulated in terms of “things” and not statements?

The law of non-contradiction (LNC) and law of excluded middle (LEM) are both formulated in terms of statements. That is "A and not A" is always false and "A or not A" is always ...
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Is it ethical to pursue one's own interests even at the expense of someone else's interests?

Say you and someone else are competing for a spot on a professional sports team. You're equally good, and in the end it'll come down to minor preference by the scout or randomness as to who gets ...
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Why did Aristotle claim we can't wish our friends be gods?

Aristotle asks at the close of Book VIII, Chapter 7 of the Nicomachean Ethics: Can one wish their friend the highest good, namely, to be a god? He seems to provide several reasons to think not. ...
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Did Thales believe in Hylozoism?

Aristotle states that Thales believed that "the soul is mixed in with the whole universe" and that "all things are full of gods," which seem to imply a belief in Hylozoism. However, later in the same ...
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Did Aristotle make a mistake in the Prior Analytics, Part 5?

Did Aristotle make a mistake in Part 5 of the prior analytics? “If the middle term is related universally to one of the extremes, a particular negative syllogism must result whenever the middle term ...
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Simplicius of Cilicia - Citation System

I am reading the wonderful "The Texts of Early Greek Philosophy" (Daniel W. Graham). There are frequent excerpts from Simplicius' commentary on Aristotle's Physics. I would like to look up the ...
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Aristotelean obversion: not vs non-

Apr 30: Aristotelean contraposition consists of obverting an initial proposition, converting this obversion by switching the places of the first and second propositions (keeping any negation), and ...
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Original Text Sources for 2 Aristotle ideas - 1/ nous on nous , 2/ sprial of knowledge - which texts did Aristotle first mention these in?

I am trying to track down the first mention original sources of some ideas of Aristotle in philosophy that some philosophy professors made in some university lectures. The first idea is 1/ Nous on ...
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What did Aristotle and Plato think of each other?

Since Plato was a teacher of Aristotle and was living until Aristotle was 36 years old I was wondering of what kind of opinion Aristotle had of Plato's personality and work and vice versa
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According to Plato, can there be forms for a certain class of particulars?

In the beginning of Parmenides, Plato seems to think that most, or possibly all, particulars do not have corresponding forms; but he is not very explicit about why. My question is, does it not make ...

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