Ideas of Aristotle, by Theme

[Greek, 384 - 322 BCE, Born Stageira. Plato's Academy in 368 BCE, for 20 years. Tutor to Alexander the Great. Founded Lyceum in Athens. Died at Chalcis.]

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
Wisdom is scientific and intuitive knowledge of what is by nature most precious
Wisdom does not study happiness, because it is not concerned with processes
There is practical wisdom (for action), and theoretical wisdom (for deep understanding)
Knowledge chosen for its own sake, rather than for results, is wisdom
Wisdom seeks explanations, causes, and reasons why things are as they are
1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 2. Wise People
Aristotle thinks human life is not important enough to spend a whole life on it
Wise people can contemplate alone, though co-operation helps
It is not much help if a doctor knows about universals but not the immediate particular
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 1. Philosophy
All philosophy begins from wonder, either at the physical world, or at ideas
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 2. Invocation to Philosophy
If each of us can give some logos about parts of nature, our combined efforts can be impressive
Without extensive examination firm statements are hard, but studying the difficulties is profitable
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 3. Philosophy Defined
Philosophy has different powers from dialectic, and a different life from sophistry
Philosophy is a kind of science that deals with principles
Absolute thinking is the thinking of thinking
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 4. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Free and great-souled men do not keep asking "what is the use of it?"
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 4. Aims of Philosophy / c. Philosophy as generalisation
Wisdom is knowledge of principles and causes
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 4. Aims of Philosophy / d. Philosophy as puzzles
Inquiry is the cause of philosophy
Translate as 'humans all desire by nature to understand' (not as 'to know')
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Hopes for Philosophy
Even people who go astray in their opinions have contributed something useful
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 6. Despair over Philosophy
Most people are readier to submit to compulsion than to argument
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
Trained minds never expect more precision than is possible
Begin examination with basics, and subdivide till you can go no further
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 1. Aims of Science
The object of scientific knowledge is what is necessary
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 1. On Reason
Didactic argument starts from the principles of the subject, not from the opinions of the learner
There is pure deductive reasoning, and explanatory demonstration reasoning
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 2. Logos
Human beings, alone of the animals, have logos
For Aristotle logos is essentially the ability to talk rationally about questions of value
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
Aristotle is the supreme optimist about the ability of logos to explain nature
Reason grasps generalities, while the senses grasp particulars
Reasoning distinguishes what is beneficial, and hence what is right
Assume our reason is in two parts, one for permanent first principles, and one for variable things
Reasoning is a way of making statements which makes them lead on to other statements
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 6. Coherence
Maybe everything could be demonstrated, if demonstration can be reciprocal or circular
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 7. Status of Reason
Intelligence which looks ahead is a natural master, while bodily strength is a natural slave
It is readily agreed that thinking is the most godlike of things in our experience
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason
A very hungry man cannot choose between equidistant piles of food
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 3. Non-Contradiction
A thing cannot be both in and not-in the same thing (at a given time)
We cannot say that one thing both is and is not a man
The most certain basic principle is that contradictories can't be true at the same time
For Aristotle predication is regulated by Non-Contradiction, because underlying stability is essential
Aristotle does not take the principle of non-contradiction for granted
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 4. Contraries
Contraries are by definition as far distant as possible from one another
The contrary of good is bad, but the contrary of bad is either good or another evil
Two falsehoods can be contrary to one another
There is no middle ground in contradiction, but there is in contrariety
Both sides of contraries need not exist (as health without sickness, white without black)
In "Callias is just/not just/unjust", which of these are contraries?
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 5. Opposites
If everything is made of opposites, are the opposed things made of opposites?
Not everything is composed of opposites; what, for example, is the opposite of matter?
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 1. Dialectic
It is the role of dialectic to survey syllogisms
Dialectic starts from generally accepted opinions
Dialectic aims to start from generally accepted opinions, and lead to a contradiction
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 3. Eristic
Competitive argument aims at refutation, fallacy, paradox, solecism or repetition
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
The material element may be essential to a definition
If we define 'man' as 'two-footed animal', why does that make man a unity?
There can't be one definition of two things, or two definitions of the same thing
Definitions are easily destroyed, since they can contain very many assertions
The parts of a definition are isomorphic to the parts of the entity
2. Reason / D. Definition / 3. Types of Definition
You can't define particulars, because accounts have to be generalised
2. Reason / D. Definition / 4. Real Definition
An Aristotelian definition is causal
Aristotelian definitions aim to give the essential properties of the thing defined
Definitions are of what something is, and that is universal
A definition must be of something primary
Definition by division needs predicates, which are well ordered and thorough
You can define objects by progressively identifying what is the same and what is different
Only substance [ousias] admits of definition
Sometimes parts must be mentioned in definitions of essence, and sometimes not
Definitions need the complex features of form, and don't need to mention the category
2. Reason / D. Definition / 5. Genus and Differentia
Species and genera are largely irrelevant in 'Metaphysics'
Aristotle's definitions are not unique, but apply to a range of individuals
Definition by division is into genus and differentiae
If the genus is just its constitutive forms (or matter), then the definition is the account of the differentiae
If I define you, I have to use terms which are all true of other things too
'Plane' is the genus of plane figures, and 'solid' of solids, with differentiae picking out types of corner
Whiteness can only belong to man because an individual like Callias happens to be white
A definition is of the universal and of the kind
Differentia are generic, and belong with genus
'Genus' is part of the essence shared among several things
We describe the essence of a particular thing by means of its differentiae
The differentia indicate the qualities, but not the essence
In definitions the first term to be assigned ought to be the genus
The genera and the differentiae are part of the essence
Aristotelian definition involves first stating the genus, then the differentia of the thing
2. Reason / D. Definition / 6. Definition by Essence
A definition is an account of a what-it-was-to-be-that-thing
What it is and why it is are the same; screening defines and explains an eclipse
The definition is peculiar to one thing, not common to many
2. Reason / E. Argument / 3. Analogy
Some things cannot be defined, and only an analogy can be given
2. Reason / E. Argument / 7. Thought Experiments
Thinking is not perceiving, but takes the form of imagination and speculation
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 2. Infinite Regress
Not everything can be proven, because that would lead to an infinite regress
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / a. Category mistakes
The differentiae of genera which are different are themselves different in kind
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
If everyone believes it, it is true
Truth is a matter of asserting correct combinations and separations
Truth is either intuiting a way of being, or a putting together
Simple and essential truth seems to be given, with further truth arising in thinking
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 6. Verisimilitude
If one error is worse than another, it must be because it is further from the truth
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 1. For Truthmakers
Truth-thinking does not make it so; it being so is what makes it true
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / a. What makes truths
The truth or falsity of a belief will be in terms of something that is always this way not that
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / b. Objects make truths
A true existence statement has its truth caused by the existence of the thing
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 10. Making Future Truths
It is necessary that either a sea-fight occurs tomorrow or it doesn't, though neither option is in itself necessary
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 1. Correspondence Truth
A statement is true if all the data are in harmony with it
Statements are true according to how things actually are
Falsity says that which is isn't, and that which isn't is; truth says that which is is, and that which isn't isn't
Aristotle's truth formulation concerns referring parts of sentences, not sentences as wholes
4. Formal Logic / A. Syllogistic Logic / 1. Aristotelian Logic
Aristotelian syllogisms are three-part, subject-predicate, existentially committed, with laws of thought
Square of Opposition: not both true, or not both false; one-way implication; opposite truth-values
Aristotelian identified 256 possible syllogisms, saying that 19 are valid
Aristotle listed nineteen valid syllogisms (though a few of them were wrong)
4. Formal Logic / B. Propositional Logic PL / 2. Tools of Propositional Logic / e. Axioms of PL
Axioms are the underlying principles of everything, and who but the philosopher can assess their truth?
An axiom is a principle which must be understood if one is to learn anything
The axioms of mathematics are part of philosophy
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 1. Modal Logic
Modal Square 6: □¬P and ¬◊P are 'subalternatives' of ¬□P and ◊¬P
Modal Square 1: □P and ¬◊¬P are 'contraries' of □¬P and ¬◊P
Modal Square 2: ¬□¬P and ◊P are 'subcontraries' of ¬□P and ◊¬P
Modal Square 3: □P and ¬◊¬P are 'contradictories' of ¬□P and ◊¬P
Modal Square 4: □¬P and ¬◊P are 'contradictories' of ¬□¬P and ◊P
Modal Square 5: □P and ¬◊¬P are 'subalternatives' of ¬□¬P and ◊P
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 4. Alethic Modal Logic
There are three different deductions for actual terms, necessary terms and possible terms
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 1. Mereology
Are a part and whole one or many? Either way, what is the cause?
Aristotle relativises the notion of wholeness to different measures
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 6. Classical Logic
Demonstrations by reductio assume excluded middle
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 7. Second-Order Logic
Predications of predicates are predications of their subjects
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 1. Logical Consequence
Something holds universally when it is proved of an arbitrary and primitive case
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 3. Deductive Consequence |-
Deduction is when we suppose one thing, and another necessarily follows
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 2. Excluded Middle
A prayer is a sentence which is neither true nor false
Everything is either asserted or denied truly
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
For Aristotle, the subject-predicate structure of Greek reflected a substance-accident structure of reality
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / d. and
'Are Coriscus and Callias at home?' sounds like a single question, but it isn't
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 7. Predicates in Logic
Aristotle's logic is based on the subject/predicate distinction, which leads him to substances and properties
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 1. Quantification
Affirming/denying sentences are universal, particular, or indeterminate
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 3. Objectual Quantification
Aristotelian logic has two quantifiers of the subject ('all' and 'some')
5. Theory of Logic / K. Features of Logics / 1. Axiomatisation
Aristotle's axioms (unlike Euclid's) are assumption awaiting proof
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 2. Aporiai
Aporia 5: Do other things exist besides what is perceptible by the senses?
Aporia 6: Are the basic principles of a thing the kinds to which it belongs, or its components?
Aporia 7: Is a thing's kind the most general one, or the most specific one?
Aporia 9: Is there one principle, or one kind of principle?
Aporia 8: Are there general kinds, or merely particulars?
Aporia 10: Do perishables and imperishables have the same principle?
Aporia 11: Are primary being and unity distinct, or only in the things that are?
Aporia 15: Are the causes of things universals or particulars?
Aporia 12: Do mathematical entities exist independently, or only in objects?
Aporia 13: Are there kinds, as well as particulars and mathematical entities?
Aporia 14: Are ultimate causes of things potentialities, or must they be actual?
Aporia 2: Does one science investigate both ultimate and basic principles of being?
Aporia 3: Does one science investigate all being, or does each kind of being have a science?
Aporia 4: Does metaphysics just investigate pure being, or also the characteristics of being?
Puzzles arise when reasoning seems equal on both sides
We must start with our puzzles, and progress by solving them, as they reveal the real difficulty
Aporia 1: is there one science of explanation, or many?
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 1. Mathematics
Mathematical precision is only possible in immaterial things
Mathematics is concerned with forms, not with superficial properties
Mathematics studies the domain of perceptible entities, but its subject-matter is not perceptible
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / a. Numbers
We perceive number by the denial of continuity
Pluralities divide into discontinous countables; magnitudes divide into continuous things
Perhaps numbers are substances?
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / c. Priority of numbers
One is prior to two, because its existence is implied by two
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / g. Real numbers
Parts of a line join at a point, so it is continuous
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / m. One
The one in number just is the particular
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / o. Units
If only rectilinear figures existed, then unity would be the triangle
Units came about when the unequals were equalised
A unit is what is quantitatively indivisible
Two can't be a self-contained unit, because it would need to be one to do that
The unit is stipulated to be indivisible
Unit is the starting point of number
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / p. Counting
When we count, are we adding, or naming numbers?
Two men do not make one thing, as well as themselves
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / a. The Infinite
Without infinity time has limits, magnitudes are indivisible, and numbers come to an end
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / c. Potential infinite
Infinity is only potential, never actual
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / k. Infinite divisibility
A continuous line cannot be composed of indivisible points
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. Geometry
Geometry studies naturally occurring lines, but not as they occur in nature
The essence of a triangle comes from the line, mentioned in any account of triangles
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 4. Definitions of Number / b. Greek arithmetic
The idea of 'one' is the foundation of number
Number is plurality measured by unity
Each many is just ones, and is measured by the one
Some quantities are discrete, like number, and others continuous, like lines, time and space
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 6. Mathematical Structuralism / a. Structuralism
Mathematics studies abstracted relations, commensurability and proportion
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / a. For mathematical platonism
It is a simple truth that the objects of mathematics have being, of some sort
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / a. Mathematical empiricism
Ten sheep and ten dogs are the same numerically, but it is not the same ten
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence
Some things exist as substances, others as properties of substances
Existence is either potential or actual
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being
Being is either what falls in the categories, or what makes propositions true
There is only being in a certain way, and without that way there is no being
Things are predicated of the basic thing, which isn't predicated of anything else
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / d. Non-being
Some philosophers say that in some qualified way non-existent things 'are'
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / e. Being and nothing
Non-existent things aren't made to exist by thought, because their non-existence is part of the thought
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / f. Primary being
Primary being ('proté ousia') exists in virtue of itself, not in relation to other things
Primary being is either universals, or the basis of predication, or essence
Non-primary beings lack essence, or only have a derived essence
Primary being is both the essence, and the subject of predication
Primary being must be more than mere indeterminate ultimate subject of predication
The three main candidates for primary being are particular, universal and essence; essence is the answer
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / g. Particular being
If nothing exists except individuals, how can there be a science of infinity?
Being must be understood with reference to one primary sense - the being of substance
Nothing is added to a man's existence by saying he is 'one', or that 'he exists'
Substance (ousia) may well be, most fully, the primary subject of predication
Existence requires thisness, as quantity or quality
Other types of being all depend on the being of substance
There is no being unless it is determinate and well-defined
Aristotle discusses fundamental units of being, rather than existence questions
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 4. Existence as One
There couldn't be just one element, which was both water and air at the same time
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Abstract Existence
The incommensurability of the diagonal always exists, and so it is not in time
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 7. Reason for Existence
Maybe necessity and non-necessity are the first principles of ontology
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
Change is the implied actuality of that which exists potentially
True change is in a thing's logos or its matter, not in its qualities
A change in qualities is mere alteration, not true change
If the substratum persists, it is 'alteration'; if it doesn't, it is 'coming-to-be' or 'passing-away'
Change goes from possession to loss (as in baldness), but not the other way round
There are six kinds of change: generation, destruction, increase, diminution, alteration, change of place
Nature is an active principle of change, like potentiality, but it is intrinsic to things
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
All comings-to-be are passings-away, and vice versa
An actuality is usually thought to be a process
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / c. Grounding and explanation
Aristotle's formal and material 'becauses' [aitiai] arguably involve grounding
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 4. Ontological Dependence
A thing is prior to another if it implies its existence
Of interdependent things, the prior one causes the other's existence
Prior things can exist without posterior things, but not vice versa
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 2. Reality
Knowledge of potential is universal and indefinite; of the actual it is definite and of individuals
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 5. Physicalism
Materialists cannot explain change
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
There are ten basic categories for thinking about things
The categories (substance, quality, quantity, relation, action, passion, place, time) peter out inconsequentially
There are ten categories: essence, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, activity, passivity
Substance,Quantity,Quality,Relation,Place,Time,Being-in-a-position,Having,Doing,Being affected
The immediate divisions of that which is are genera, each with its science
7. Existence / E. Categories / 4. Category Realism
Aristotle derived categories as answers to basic questions about nature, size, quality, location etc.
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
The separation from here to there is not the same as the separation from there to here
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
An individual property has to exist (in past, present or future)
Properties are just the ways in which forms are realised at various times
The 'propriae' or 'necessary accidents' of a thing are separate, and derived from the essence
There cannot be uninstantiated properties
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 2. Need for Properties
Aristotle promoted the importance of properties and objects (rather than general and particular)
For two things to differ in some respect, they must both possess that respect
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
An 'accident' is something which may possibly either belong or not belong to a thing
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 4. Intrinsic Properties
To seek truth, study the real connections between subjects and attributes
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties
For Aristotle, there are only as many properties as actually exist
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Some things said 'of' a subject are not 'in' the subject
We call them secondary 'substances' because they reveal the primary substances
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 8. Properties as Modes
The features of a thing (whether quality or quantity) are inseparable from their subjects
Whiteness can be explained without man, but femaleness cannot be explained without animal
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 9. Qualities
Four species of quality: states, capacities, affects, and forms
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
If we only saw bronze circles, would bronze be part of the concept of a circle?
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers
Active 'dunamis' is best translated as 'power' or 'ability' (rather than 'potentiality')
Potentiality is a principle of change, in another thing, or as another thing
Heavy and light are defined by their tendency to move down or up
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
Actualities are arranged by priority, going back to what initiates process
The main characteristic of the source of change is activity [energeia]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 4. Powers as Essence
Sight is the essence of the eye, fitting its definition; the eye itself is just the matter
Giving the function of a house defines its actuality
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 5. Powers and Properties
Potentiality in geometry is metaphorical
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / d. Dispositions as occurrent
The Megarans say something is only capable of something when it is actually doing it
Megaran actualism is just scepticism about the qualities of things
Megaran actualists prevent anything from happening, by denying a capacity for it to happen!
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
Substance is not a universal, as the former is particular but a universal is shared
Universals are indeterminate and only known in potential, because they are general
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Separate Forms aren't needed for logic, but universals (one holding of many) are essential
The acquisition of scientific knowledge is impossible without universals
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
No universals exist separately from particulars
Colour must be in an individual body, or it is not embodied
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / a. Platonic Forms
Forms are said to be substances to which nothing is prior
Plato's Forms are said to have no location in space
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / b. Partaking
There is a confusion because Forms are said to be universal, but also some Forms are separable and particular
If you accept Forms, you must accept the more powerful principle of 'participating' in them
If partaking explains unity, what causes participating, and what is participating
How can the Forms both be the substance of things and exist separately from them?
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / c. Self-predication
Forms have to be their own paradigms, which seems to fuse the paradigm and the copy
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / d. Forms critiques
Eternal white is no whiter than temporary white, and it is the same with goodness
It is meaningless to speak of 'man-himself', because it has the same definition as plain 'man'
If men exist by participating in two forms (Animal and Biped), they are plural, not unities
Aristotle is not asserting facts about the location of properties, but about their ontological status
The Forms have to be potentialities, not actual knowledge or movement
If two is part of three then numbers aren't Forms, because they would all be intermingled
Predications only pick out kinds of things, not things in themselves
What possible contribution can the Forms make to perceptible entities?
We can forget the Forms, as they are irrelevant, and not needed in giving demonstrations
All attempts to prove the Forms are either invalid, or prove Forms where there aren't supposed to be any
How will a vision of pure goodness make someone a better doctor?
Are there forms for everything, or for negations, or for destroyed things?
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
The thesis of the Form of the Good (or of anything else) is verbal and vacuous
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
Aristotle gave up his earlier notion of individuals, because it relied on universals
Form and matter may not make up a concrete particular, because there are also accidents like weight
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / a. Nature of abstracta
Objects lacking matter are intrinsic unities
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / a. Individuation
To know a thing is to know its primary cause or explanation
Aristotle's form improves on being non-predicable as a way to identify a 'this'
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / d. Individuation by haecceity
For Aristotle, things are not made individual by some essential distinguishing mark
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Genus and species are substances, because only they reveal the primary substance
Genus gives the essence better than the differentiae do
Individuals within a species differ in their matter, form and motivating cause
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
Why are being terrestrial and a biped combined in the definition of man, but being literate and musical aren't?
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
Natural objects include animals and their parts, plants, and the simple elements
Aristotle says that the form is what makes an entity what it is
How is man a unity of animal and biped, especially if the Forms of animal and of biped exist?
Things are one numerically in matter, formally in their account, generically in predicates, and by analogy in relations
Primary things just are what-it-is-to-be-that-thing
Things may be naturally unified because they involve an indivisible process
The formal cause may be what unifies a substance
A unity may just be a particular, a numerically indivisible thing
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / b. Unifying aggregates
Things are one to the extent that they are indivisible
Indivisibility is the cause of unity, either in movement, or in the account or thought
Things are unified by contact, mixture and position
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / c. Unity as conceptual
Some things are unified by their account, which rests on a unified thought about the thing
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
Primary being is 'that which lies under', or 'particular substance'
A single substance can receive contrary properties
Substance is prior in being separate, in definition, and in knowledge
It is wrong to translate 'ousia' as 'substance'
Substance is not predicated of anything - but it still has something underlying it, that originates it
We only infer underlying natures by analogy, observing bronze of a statue, or wood of a bed
Is primary substance just an ultimate subject, or some aspect of a complex body?
'Ousia' is 'primary being' not 'primary substance'
Substances have no opposites, and don't come in degrees (including if the substance is a man)
The Pre-Socratics were studying the principles, elements and causes of substance
The baffling question of what exists is asking about the nature of substance
If substance is the basis of reality, then philosophy aims to understand substance
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / b. Need for substance
We may have to postulate unobservable and unknowable substances
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / c. Types of substance
Units are positionless substances, and points are substances with position
Secondary substances do have subjects, so they are not ultimate in the ontology
In earlier Aristotle the substances were particulars, not kinds
A 'primary' substance is in each subject, with species or genera as 'secondary' substances
Mature Aristotle sees organisms as the paradigm substances
Elements and physical objects are substances, but ideas and mathematics are not so clear
Is a primary substance a foundation of existence, or the last stage of understanding?
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
Earlier Aristotle had objects as primary substances, but later he switched to substantial form
Things are called 'substances' because they are subjects for everything else
Substance [ousia] is the subject of predication and cause [aitia?] of something's existence
It is matter that turns out to be substance [ousia]
Essence (fixed by definition) is also 'ousia', so 'ousia' is both ultimate subject, and a this-thing
A substance is what-it-is-to-be, or the universal, or the genus, or the subject of saying
Matter is not substance, because substance needs separability and thisness
The substance is the form dwelling in the object
Substance is unified and universals are diverse, so universals are not substance
A thing's substance is its primary cause of being
None of the universals can be a substance
In Aristotle, 'proté ousia' is 'primary being', and 'to hupokeimenon' is 'that which lies under' (or 'substance')
Substance is distinct being because of its unity
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
The statue is not called 'stone' but 'stoney'
A nature is related to a substance as shapeless matter is to something which has a shape
Statues depend on their bronze, but bronze doesn't depend on statues
Primary matter and form make a unity, one in potentiality, the other in actuality
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / a. Hylomorphism
Form, not matter, is a thing's nature, because it is actual, rather than potential
The unmoved mover and the soul show Aristotelian form as the ultimate mereological atom
A 'whole' (rather than a mere 'sum') requires an internal order which distinguishes it
The form of a thing is its essence and its primary being
In 'Metaphysics' substantial forms take over from objects as primary
Essences are not properties (since those can't cause individual substances)
Plato says changing things have no essence; Aristotle disagrees
Essential form is neither accidental nor necessary to matter, so it appears not to be a property
Aristotle's cosmos is ordered by form, and disordered by matter
Aristotle moved from realism to nominalism about substances
A substance is a proper subject because the matter is a property of the form, not vice versa
Aristotle doesn't think essential properties are those which must belong to a thing
Forms of sensible substances include unrealised possibilities, so are not fully actual
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / b. Form as principle
A true substance is constituted by some nature, which is a principle
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / c. Form as causal
A thing's form and purpose are often the same, and form can be the initiator of change too
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / d. Form as unifier
The 'form' is the recipe for building wholes of a particular kind
Things are a unity because there is no clash between potential matter and actual shape/form
Aristotle's solution to the problem of unity is that form is an active cause or potentiality or nature
Unity of the form is just unity of the definition
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 3. Matter of an Object
In feature-generation the matter (such as bronze) endures, but in generation it doesn't
Matter is the substratum, which supports both coming-to-be and alteration
Every distinct thing has matter, as long as it isn't an essence or a Form
In Aristotle, bronze only becomes 'matter' when it is potentially a statue
Aristotle's conception of matter applies to non-physical objects as well as physical objects
Aristotle's matter is something that could be the inner origin of a natural being's behaviour
Matter is secondary, because it is potential, determined by the actuality of form
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
Is there a house over and above its bricks?
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 7. Substratum
A subject can't be nothing, so it must qualify as separate, and as having a distinct identity
It is unclear whether Aristotle believes in a propertyless subject, his 'ultimate matter'
A substrate is either a 'this' supporting qualities, or 'matter' supporting actuality
If you extract all features of the object, what is left over?
Something must pre-exist any new production
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects
The contents of an explanatory formula are parts of the whole
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / b. Sums of parts
If a syllable is more than its elements, is the extra bit also an element?
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
We first sense whole entities, and then move to particular parts of it
In the case of a house the parts can exist without the whole, so parts are not the whole
Wholes are continuous, rigid, uniform, similar, same kind, similar matter
There is no whole except for the parts
A syllable is something different from its component vowels and consonants
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 1. Essences of Objects
Aristotle says changing, material things (and not just universals) have an essence
Are essences actually universals?
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 2. Types of Essence
Aristotelian essences are causal, not classificatory
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
Everything that is has one single essence
Particulars are not definable, because they fluctuate
The essence of a single thing is the essence of a particular
Essence is the cause of individual substance, and creates its unity
Individual essences are not universals, since those can't be substances, or cause them
Aristotelian essence is not universal properties, but individual essence
Aristotle does not accept individual essences; essential properties are always general
Aristotle's essence explains the existence of an individual substance, not its properties
Aristotle takes essence and form as a particular, not (as some claim) as a universal, the species
To be a subject a thing must be specifiable, with some essential properties
A primary substance reveals a 'this', which is an individual unit
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 4. Essence as Definition
Essence only belongs to things whose account is a definition
A thing's essence is what is mentioned in its definition
Essence is what is stated in the definition
Things have an essence if their explanation is a definition
Definitions recognise essences, so are not themselves essences
If definition is of universals, many individuals have no definition, and hence no essence
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
The Aristotelian view is that the essential properties are those that sort an object
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 6. Essence as Unifier
An essence causes both its own unity and its kind
A thing's essence is its intrinsic nature
Having an essence is the criterion of being a substance
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / b. Essence not necessities
An 'idion' belongs uniquely to a thing, but is not part of its essence
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / c. Essentials are necessary
The predicates of a thing's nature are necessary to it
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
The four explanations are the main aspects of a thing's nature
A thing's nature is what causes its changes and stability
Primary substances are ontological in 'Categories', and explanatory in 'Metaphysics'
Aristotelian essences are properties mentioned at the starting point of a science
Metaphysics is the science of ultimate explanation, or of pure existence, or of primary existence
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
It is absurd that a this and a substance should be composed of a quality
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 10. Essence as Species
'Categories' answers 'what?' with species, genus, differerentia; 'Met.' Z.17 seeks causal essence
Standardly, Aristotelian essences are taken to be universals of the species
In 'Met.' he says genera can't be substances or qualities, so aren't in the ontology
Generic terms like 'man' are not substances, but qualities, relations, modes or some such thing
Generalities like man and horse are not substances, but universal composites of account and matter
Genera are not substances, and do not exist apart from the ingredient species
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 11. Essence of Artefacts
Things are more unified if the unity comes from their own nature, not from external force
The hallmark of an artefact is that its active source of maintenance is external
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 14. Knowledge of Essences
Aristotle claims that the individual is epistemologically prior to the universal
Actual knowledge is of the individual, and potential knowledge of the universal
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 2. Objects that Change
Coming to be is by shape-change, addition, subtraction, composition or alteration
For animate things, only the form, not the matter or properties, must persist through change
Natural things are their own source of stability through change
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 6. Successive Things
A day, or the games, has one thing after another, actually and potentially occurring
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 10. Beginning of an Object
Does the pure 'this' come to be, or the 'this-such', or 'so-great', or 'somewhere'?
Philosophers have worried about coming-to-be from nothing pre-existing
The substratum changing to a contrary is the material cause of coming-to-be
If a perceptible substratum persists, it is 'alteration'; coming-to-be is a complete change
Coming-to-be may be from nothing in a qualified way, as arising from an absence
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 11. End of an Object
Destruction is dissolution of essence
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
If two things are the same, they must have the same source and origin
How a thing is generated does not explain its essence
Aristotle wants definition, not identity, so origin is not essential to him
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Two things with the same primary being and essence are one thing
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 4. Type Identity
Things such as two different quadrangles are alike but not wholly the same
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
You are one with yourself in form and matter
Aristotle denigrates the category of relation, but for modern absolutists self-relation is basic
We can't understand self-identity without a prior grasp of the object
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 8. Leibniz's Law
Only if two things are identical do they have the same attributes
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 9. Sameness
'Same' is mainly for names or definitions, but also for propria, and for accidents
Two identical things have the same accidents, they are the same; if the accidents differ, they're different
Numerical sameness and generic sameness are not the same
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
What is necessary cannot be otherwise
Necessity makes alternatives impossible
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 3. Types of Necessity
A stone travels upwards by a forced necessity, and downwards by natural necessity
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 4. De re / De dicto modality
A deduction is necessary if the major (but not the minor) premise is also necessary
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Reasoning is when some results follow necessarily from certain claims
A thing has a feature necessarily if its denial brings a contradiction
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
Anything which is possible either exists or will come into existence
Possibility is when the necessity of the contrary is false
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 4. Potentiality
We recognise potentiality from actuality
Things are destroyed not by their powers, but by their lack of them
Matter is potentiality
Potentialities are always for action, but are conditional on circumstances
A 'potentiality' is a principle of change or process in a thing
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 7. Chance
Chance is a coincidental cause among events involving purpose and choice
Intrinsic cause is prior to coincidence, so nature and intelligence are primary causes, chance secondary
Maybe there is no pure chance; a man's choices cause his chance meetings
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 6. Necessity from Essence
Some things have external causes of their necessity; others (the simple) generate necessities
Aristotle's says necessary truths are distinct and derive from essential truths
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
The ability to teach is a mark of true knowledge
For Aristotle, knowledge is of causes, and is theoretical, practical or productive
For Aristotle knowledge is explanatory, involving understanding, and principles or causes
'Episteme' means grasping causes, universal judgments, explanation, and teaching
The reason why is the key to knowledge
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding
We understand a thing when we know its explanation and its necessity
Some understanding, of immediate items, is indemonstrable
We only understand something when we know its explanation
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / c. Aim of beliefs
No one has mere belief about something if they think it HAS to be true
Opinion is praised for being in accordance with truth
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 6. Knowing How
It takes skill to know causes, not experience
Experience knows particulars, but only skill knows universals
Things are produced from skill if the form of them is in the mind
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 1. Certainty
Knowledge proceeds from principles, so it is hard to know if we know
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 5. The Cogito
To perceive or think is to be conscious of our existence
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 1. Nature of the A Priori
The notion of a priori truth is absent in Aristotle
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 3. Innate Knowledge / c. Tabula rasa
The intellect has potential to think, like a tablet on which nothing has yet been written
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
Sense organs aren't the end of sensation, or they would know what does the sensing
Perception necessitates pleasure and pain, which necessitates appetite
Why can't we sense the senses? And why do senses need stimuli?
Perception of sensible objects is virtually never wrong
Why do we have many senses, and not just one?
Our minds take on the form of what is being perceived
You cannot understand anything through perception
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / b. Primary/secondary
Which of the contrary features of a body are basic to it?
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / c. Primary qualities
Many objects of sensation are common to all the senses
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / d. Secondary qualities
Some knowledge is lost if you lose a sense, and there is no way the knowledge can be replaced
Some objects of sensation are unique to one sense, where deception is impossible
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 3. Representation
In moral thought images are essential, to be pursued or avoided
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 6. Inference in Perception
Particular facts (such as 'is it cooked?') are matters of sense-perception, not deliberation
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
We may think when we wish, but not perceive, because universals are within the mind
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. Pro-Empiricism
All men long to understand, as shown by their delight in the senses
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
Animals may have some knowledge if they retain perception, but understanding requires reasons to be given
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 1. Intuition
Aristotle wants to fit common intuitions, and therefore uses language as a guide
Intuition grasps the definitions that can't be proved
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 3. Memory
Many memories make up a single experience
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / b. Need for justification
To know something we need understanding, which is grasp of the primary cause
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 2. Justification Challenges / a. Agrippa's trilemma
Sceptics say justification is an infinite regress, or it stops at the unknowable
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / b. Basic beliefs
When you understand basics, you can't be persuaded to change your mind
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / e. Pro-foundations
The starting point of a proof is not a proof
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 5. Dream Scepticism
Dreams aren't a serious problem. No one starts walking round Athens next morning, having dreamt that they were there!
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 3. Subjectivism
If relativism is individual, how can something look sweet and not taste it, or look different to our two eyes?
If truth is relative it is relational, and concerns appearances relative to a situation
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 6. Relativism Critique
If the majority had diseased taste, and only a few were healthy, relativists would have to prefer the former
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 2. Demonstration
The principles of demonstrations are definitions
Demonstration starts from a definition of essence, so we can derive (or conjecture about) the properties
Aristotle gets asymmetric consequence from demonstration, which reflects real causal priority
We can know by demonstration, which is a scientific deduction leading to understanding
Demonstrative understanding rests on necessary features of the thing in itself
Demonstrations must be necessary, and that depends on the middle term
All demonstration is concerned with existence, axioms and properties
Demonstrations are syllogisms which give explanations
Universal demonstrations are about thought; particular demonstrations lead to perceptions
Demonstration is better with fewer presuppositions, and it is quicker if these are familiar
There must be definitions before demonstration is possible
Aim to get definitions of the primitive components, thus establishing the kind, and work towards the attributes
There cannot be a science of accidentals, but only of general truths
Demonstrations about particulars must be about everything of that type
Premises must be true, primitive and immediate, and prior to and explanatory of conclusions
A demonstration is a deduction which proceeds from necessities
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 6. Falsification
A single counterexample is enough to prove that a truth is not necessary
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory
Plato says sciences are unified around Forms; Aristotle says they're unified around substance
14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
Induction is the progress from particulars to universals
Nobody fears a disease which nobody has yet caught
14. Science / C. Induction / 2. Aims of Induction
We learn universals from many particulars
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
We say 'so in cases of this kind', but how do you decide what is 'of this kind'?
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / a. Explanation
What is most universal is furthest away, and the particulars are nearest
Universals are valuable because they make the explanations plain
Aristotelian explanations are facts, while modern explanations depend on human conceptions
Are particulars explained more by universals, or by other particulars?
Universal principles are not primary beings, but particular principles are not universally knowable
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
We know a thing if we grasp its first causes, principles and basic elements
What we seek and understand are facts, reasons, existence, and identity
Explanation is of the status of a thing, inferences to it, initiation of change, and purpose
Understanding moves from the less to the more intelligible
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
Aristotle's standard analysis of species and genus involves specifying things in terms of something more general
Four Explanations: the essence and form; the matter; the source; and the end
Science refers the question Why? to four causes/explanations: matter, form, source, purpose
Aristotle's four 'causes' are four items which figure in basic explanations of nature
There are as many causes/explanations as there are different types of why-question
Aristotelian explanations mainly divide things into natural kinds
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Lawlike explanations
Chance is inexplicable, because we can only explain what happens always or usually
Explanation and generality are inseparable
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / f. Causal explanations
The foundation or source is stronger than the thing it causes
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / j. Explanations by essence
Real enquiries seek causes, and causes are essences
Aristotle regularly says that essential properties explain other significant properties
To understand a triangle summing to two right angles, we need to know the essence of a line
We know something when we fully know what it is, not just its quality, quantity or location
We know a thing when we grasp its essence
The explanation is what gives matter its state, which is the form, which is the substance
Essential properties explain in conjunction with properties shared by the same kind
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / a. Best explanation
Universals give better explanations, because they are self-explanatory and primitive
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / c. Features of mind
Mind involves movement, perception, incorporeality
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 2. Psuché
Everything that receives nourishment has a vegetative soul, with it own distinctive excellence
In a controlled person the receptive part of the soul is obedient, and it is in harmony in the virtuous
The irrational psuché is persuadable by reason - shown by our criticism and encouragement of people
If beings are dominated by appetite, this can increase so much that it drives out reason
Aristotle led to the view that there are several souls, all somewhat physical
Psuché is the form and actuality of a body which potentially has life
The soul is the cause or source of movement, the essence of body, and its end
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
The rational and irrational parts of the soul are either truly separate, or merely described that way
If the soul is composed of many physical parts, it can't be a true unity
What unifies the soul would have to be a super-soul, which seems absurd
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 6. Anti-Individualism
In a way the soul is everything which exists, through its perceptions and thoughts
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 1. Faculties
Whether the mind has parts is irrelevant, since it obviously has distinct capacities
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
Skill comes from a general assumption obtained from thinking about similar things
Aristotle distinguishes two different sorts of generality - kinds, and properties
Linguistic terms form a hierarchy, with higher terms predicable of increasing numbers of things
Perception creates primitive immediate principles by building a series of firm concepts
A perception lodging in the soul creates a primitive universal, which becomes generalised
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 6. Idealisation
Science is more accurate when it is prior and simpler, especially without magnitude or movement
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 7. Seeing Resemblance
Many memories of the same item form a single experience
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 1. Essential Self
It would seem that the thinking part is the individual self
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Free Will / a. Nature of free will
Aristotle never discusses free will
A human being fathers his own actions as he fathers his children
For an action to be 'free', it must be deliberate as well as unconstrained
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Free Will / c. Free will critique
Aristotle assesses whether people are responsible, and if they are it was voluntary
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 1. Dualism
Emotion involves the body, thinking uses the mind, imagination hovers between them
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique
Early thinkers concentrate on the soul but ignore the body, as if it didn't matter what body received the soul
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism
Aristotle has a problem fitting his separate reason into the soul, which is said to be the form of the body
Does the mind think or pity, or does the whole man do these things?
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 1. Physicalism
The soul and the body are inseparable, like the imprint in some wax
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought
The attainment of truth is the task of the intellectual part of the soul
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Rationality
Aristotle gives a superior account of rationality, because he allows emotions to participate
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Structure of Concepts / h. Conceptual priority
It is unclear whether acute angles are prior to right angles, or fingers to men
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / b. Abstracta from selection
You can't abstract natural properties to make Forms - objects and attributes are defined together
We learn primitives and universals by induction from perceptions
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / c. Abstracta by ignoring
Mathematicians study what is conceptually separable, and doesn't lead to error
Mathematicians study quantity and continuity, and remove the perceptible features of things
Mathematicians suppose inseparable aspects to be separable, and study them in isolation
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / h. Abstractionism critique
If health happened to be white, the science of health would not study whiteness
19. Language / A. Language / 3. Rhetoric
Rhetoric is a political offshoot of dialectic and ethics
19. Language / A. Language / 5. Metaphor
If you shouldn't argue in metaphors, then you shouldn't try to define them either
19. Language / A. Language / 6. Predicates
Predicates are substance, quality, place, relation, quantity and action or affection
Only what can be said of many things is a predicable
Some predicates signify qualification of a substance, others the substance itself
19. Language / B. Meaning / 2. Meaning as Mental
For Aristotle meaning and reference are linked to concepts
19. Language / E. Propositions / 1. Propositions
Spoken sounds vary between people, but are signs of affections of soul, which are the same for all
19. Language / F. Analytic/Synthetic / 3. Analytic Truths
The notion of analytic truth is absent in Aristotle
19. Language / H. Pragmatics / 2. Denial
It doesn't have to be the case that in opposed views one is true and the other false
Negation takes something away from something
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / a. Practical reason
The only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom
Practical reason is truth-attaining, and focused on actions good for human beings
Practical intellect serves to arrive at the truth which corresponds to right appetite
Virtue ensures that we have correct aims, and prudence that we have correct means of achieving them
One cannot be prudent without being good
Prudence is mainly concerned with particulars, which is the sphere of human conduct
Seeing particulars as parts of larger wholes is to perceive their value
We deliberate about means, not ends
The one virtue of prudence carries with it the possession of all the other virtues
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism
Bad people are just ignorant of what they ought to do
For Socrates virtues are principles, involving knowledge, but we say they only imply the principle of practical reason
Some people are good at forming opinions, but bad at making moral choices
For Socrates, virtues are forms of knowledge, so knowing justice produces justice
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / c. Reasons as causes
We assign the cause of someone's walking when we say why they are doing it
Our reasoned acts are held to be voluntary and our own doing
20. Action / C. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / c. Weakness of will
Aristotle seems not to explain why the better syllogism is overcome in akratic actions
The akrates acts from desire not choice, and the enkrates acts from choice not desire
Virtue is right reason and feeling and action. Akrasia and enkrateia are lower levels of action.
Akrasia merely neglects or misunderstands knowledge, rather than opposing it
Some people explain akrasia by saying only opinion is present, not knowledge
A person may act against one part of his knowledge, if he knows both universal and particular
Licentious people feel no regret, but weak-willed people are capable of repentance
20. Action / D. Explaining an Action / 3. Agent Causation
An action is voluntary if the limb movements originate in the agent
Deliberation ends when the starting-point of an action is traced back to the dominant part of the self
20. Action / D. Explaining an Action / 4. Justifying an Action
If you repent of an act done through ignorance, you acted involuntarily, not non-voluntarily
For Aristotle responsibility seems negative, in the absence of force or ignorance
21. Aesthetics / B. Aesthetic Experience / 1. Beauty
Pentathletes look the most beautiful, because they combine speed and strength
Nothing contrary to nature is beautiful
We choose things for their fineness, their advantage, or for pleasure
21. Aesthetics / C. Aesthetic Judgement / 1. Objectivism in Art
The collective judgement of many people on art is better than that of an individual
21. Aesthetics / E. Art Theories / 3. Art and Morality
The good is found in actions, but beauty can exist without movement
21. Aesthetics / E. Art Theories / 4. Art as Form
Beauty involves the Forms of order, symmetry and limit, which can be handled mathematically
21. Aesthetics / F. Arts / 3. Poetry
Poetry is more philosophic than history, as it concerns universals, not particulars
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / a. Nature of value
For Aristotle 'good' means purpose, and value is real but relational
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / e. Ultimate value
We desire final things just for themselves, and not for the sake of something else
No one would choose life just for activities not done for their own sake
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / a. Goodness
Goods are external, of the soul, and of the body; those of the soul (such as action) come first
Not all actions aim at some good; akratic actions, for example, do not
The good is 'that at which all things aim'
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / b. Candidates for the Good
Goodness is when a thing (such as a circle) is complete, and conforms with its nature
Intelligence and sight, and some pleasures and honours, are candidates for being good in themselves
Happiness is perfect and self-sufficient, the end of all action
Pleasure is not the Good, and not every pleasure is desirable
Wealth is not the good, because it is only a means
The masses believe, not unreasonably, that the good is pleasure
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / c. Form of the Good
Each category of existence has its own good, so one Good cannot unite them
There should be one science of the one Good, but there are many overlapping sciences
Is the good a purpose, a source of movement, or a pure form?
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / a. Nature of happiness
Happiness seems to involve virtue, or practical reason, or wisdom, or pleasure, or external goods
Horses, birds and fish are not happy, lacking a divine aspect to their natures
You can be good while asleep, or passive, or in pain
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / b. Eudaimonia
Eudaimonia is said to only have final value, where reason and virtue are also useful
Does Aristotle say eudaimonia is the aim, or that it ought to be?
Some good and evil can happen to the dead, just as the living may be unaware of a disaster
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / c. Value of happiness
Aristotle is unsure about eudaimonia because he is unsure what people are
Goods like pleasure are chosen partly for happiness, but happiness is chosen just for itself
How can an action be intrinsically good if it is a means to 'eudaimonia'?
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
Happiness needs total goodness and a complete life
If happiness can be achieved by study and effort, then it is open to anyone who is not corrupt
Oxen, horses and children cannot be happy, because they cannot perform fine deeds
Happiness is activity in accordance with complete virtue, for a whole life, with adequate external goods
The happy life is in accordance with goodness, which implies seriousness
Slaves can't be happy, because they lack freedom
The best life is that of the intellect, since that is in the fullest sense the man
Happiness involves three things, of which the greatest is either wisdom, virtue, or pleasure
Happiness is composed of a catalogue of internal and external benefits
Perhaps we get a better account of happiness as the good for man if we know his function
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / a. Nature of pleasure
Pleasure and pain are perceptions of things as good or bad
For Aristotle, pleasure is the perception of particulars as valuable
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / b. Value of pleasure
There are many things we would want even if they brought no pleasure
If we criticise bodily pleasures as licentious and bad, why do we consider their opposite, pain, to be bad?
Nobody would choose the mentality of a child, even if they had the greatest childish pleasures
If happiness were mere amusement it wouldn't be worth a lifetime's effort
Feeling inappropriate pleasure or pain affects conduct, and is central to morality
It is right to pursue pleasure, because it enhances life, and life is a thing to choose
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / c. Types of pleasure
Good people enjoy virtuous action, just as musicians enjoy beautiful melodies
God feels one simple pleasure forever
Intellectual pleasures are superior to sensuous ones
There are pleasures of the soul (e.g. civic honour, and learning) and of the body
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / d. Sources of pleasure
Some things are not naturally pleasant, but become so through disease or depravity
While replenishing we even enjoy unpleasant things, but only absolute pleasures when we are replenished
Disreputable pleasures are only pleasant to persons with diseased perception
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / e. Role of pleasure
Character is revealed by the pleasures and pains people feel
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / f. Dangers of pleasure
The greater the pleasure, the greater the hindrance to thought
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 7. Altruism
All altruism is an extension of self-love
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 8. Love
Most people want to be loved rather than to love, because they desire honour
Only lovable things are loved, and they must be good, or pleasant, or useful
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 9. Selfishness
The best people exercise their virtue towards others, rather than to themselves
Self-love benefits ourselves, and also helps others
Selfishness is wrong not because it is self-love, but because it is excessive
For Aristotle, true self-love is love of the higher parts of one's soul
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 2. Moral Theory
We aim not to identify goodness, but to be good
We must take for granted that we should act according to right principle
There is no fixed art of good conduct, and each situation is different, as in navigation
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 3. Morality as Convention
The virtues of a good citizen are relative to a particular constitution
Moral acts are so varied that they must be convention, not nature
We all feel universal right and wrong, independent of any community or contracts
Aristotle said there are two levels of virtue - the conventional and the intellectual
Some say slavery is unnatural and created by convention, and is therefore forced, and unjust
22. Metaethics / C. Sources of Ethics / 2. Human Nature
To eat vast amounts is unnatural, since natural desire is to replenish the deficiency
Aristotle never actually says that man is a rational animal
Men are physically prime at thirty-five, and mentally prime at forty-nine
If bodily organs have functions, presumably the whole person has one
22. Metaethics / D. Consequentialism / 1. Consequentialism
Clearly perfect conduct will involve both good intention and good action
We judge people from their deeds because we cannot see their choices (which matter more)
23. Ethics / A. Egoism / 1. Ethical Egoism
Self-interest is a relative good, but nobility an absolute good
Nobody would choose all the good things in world, if the price was loss of identity
A man is his own best friend; therefore he ought to love himself best
23. Ethics / A. Egoism / 2. Hedonism
Licentiousness concerns the animal-like pleasures of touch and taste
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue
A life of moral virtue brings human happiness, but not divine happiness
Excellence is a sort of completion
Virtue is different from continence
Many pleasures are relative to a person, but some love what is pleasant by nature, and virtue is like that
Aristotle must hold that virtuous King Priam's life can be marred, but not ruined
Feelings are vital to virtue, but virtue requires choice, which feelings lack
Actions are not virtuous because of their quality, but because of the way they are done
All good things can be misused, except virtue
The best virtues are the most useful to others
If virtues are not feelings or faculties, then they must be dispositions
Virtue is the feeling of emotions that accord with one's perception of value
Virtue is a purposive mean disposition, which follows a rational principle and prudent judgment
Acts may be forgivable if particular facts (rather than principles) are unknown
There are six categories of particular cirumstance affecting an action
An act is involuntary if the particular facts (esp. circumstances and effect) are unknown
The good for man is an activity of soul in accordance with virtue
People who perform just acts unwillingly or ignorantly are still not just
All moral virtue is concerned with bodily pleasure and pain
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / b. Basis of virtue
Excellence is the best state of anything (like a cloak) which has an employment or function
Is excellence separate from things, or part of them, or both?
Each named function has a distinctive excellence attached to it
The two main parts of the soul give rise to two groups of virtues - intellectual, and moral
How can good actions breed virtues, if you need to be virtuous to perform good actions?
If a thing has excellence, this makes the thing good, and means it functions well
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism
Actions concern particular cases, and rules must fit the cases, not the other way round
We cannot properly judge by rules, because blame depends on perception of particulars
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / a. Natural virtue
Moral virtue is not natural, because its behaviour can be changed, unlike a falling stone
We are partly responsible for our own dispositions and virtues
Dispositions to virtue are born in us, but without intelligence they can be harmful
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
Existence is desirable if one is conscious of one's own goodness
The end of virtue is what is right and honourable or fine
People become good because of nature, habit and reason
A person is good if they act from choice, and for the sake of the actions in themselves
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / d. Teaching virtue
True education is training from infancy to have correct feelings
Music can mould the character to be virtuous (just as gymnastics trains the body)
We acquire virtue by the repeated performance of just and temperate acts
Associating with good people can be a training in virtue
Nature enables us to be virtuous, but habit develops virtue in us
We acquire virtues by habitually performing good deeds
Like activities produce like dispositions, so we must give the right quality to the activity
We must practise virtuous acts because practice actually teaches us the nature of virtue
People can break into the circle of virtue and good action, by chance, or with help
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / e. Character
Character (éthos) is developed from habit (ethos)
A person of good character sees the truth about what is actually fine and pleasant
People develop their characters through the activities they pursue
When people speak of justice they mean a disposition of character to behave justly
It is very hard to change a person's character traits by argument
Character can be heroic, excellent, controlled, uncontrolled, bad, or brutish
The three states of character to avoid are vice, 'akrasia' and brutishness
Character virtues (such as courage) are of the non-rational part, which follows the rational part
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / f. The Mean
One drink a day is moderation, but very drunk once a week could exhibit the mean
In most normal situations it is not appropriate to have any feelings at all
We must tune our feelings to be right in every way
The mean is always right, and the extremes are always wrong
Virtues are destroyed by the excess and preserved by the mean
Excess and deficiency are bad for virtue, just as they are for bodily health
Aristotle aims at happiness by depressing emotions to a harmless mean
There is a mean of feelings, as in our responses to the good or bad fortune of others
To make one's anger exactly appropriate to a situation is very difficult
Patient people are indignant, but only appropriately, as their reason prescribes
The sincere man is praiseworthy, because truth is the mean between boasting and irony
The law is the mean
The mean implies that vices are opposed to one another, not to virtue
Skills are only well performed if they observe the mean
The mean is relative to the individual (diet, for example)
The vices to which we are most strongly pulled are most opposed to the mean
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / h. Right feelings
At times we ought to feel angry, and we ought to desire health and learning
It is foolish not to be angry when it is appropriate
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / i. Absolute virtues
There is no right time or place or way or person for the committing of adultery; it is just wrong
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / j. Unity of virtue
Nowadays we (unlike Aristotle) seem agreed that someone can have one virtue but lack others
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / a. Virtues
Friendship is preferable to money, since its excess is preferable
Justice and self-control are better than courage, because they are always useful
Gods exist in a state which is morally superior to virtue
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
It is quite possible to live a moderate life and yet be miserable
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / c. Justice
Justice concerns our behaviour in dealing with other people
What emotion is displayed in justice, and what are its deficiency and excess?
Between friends there is no need for justice
Justice is whatever creates or preserves social happiness
The word 'unjust' describes law-breaking and exploitation
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / d. Courage
True courage is an appropriate response to a dangerous situation
Strictly speaking, a courageous person is one who does not fear an honourable death
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / e. Honour
Honour depends too much on the person who awards it
Honour is clearly the greatest external good
If you aim at honour, you make yourself dependent on the people to whom you wish to be superior
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / f. Compassion
The young feel pity from philanthropy, but the old from self-concern
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / g. Contemplation
The intellectual life is divine in comparison with ordinary human life
The gods live, but action is unworthy of them, so that only leaves contemplation?
Lower animals cannot be happy, because they cannot contemplate
The more people contemplate, the happier they are
Contemplation is a supreme pleasure and excellence
Only contemplation is sought for its own sake; practical activity always offers some gain
Contemplation (with the means to achieve it) is the perfect happiness for man
We should aspire to immortality, and live by what is highest in us
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / a. External goods
It is nonsense to say a good person is happy even if they are being tortured or suffering disaster
The fine deeds required for happiness need external resources, like friends or wealth
A man can't be happy if he is ugly, or of low birth, or alone and childless
Goods in the soul are more worthy than those outside it, as everybody wants them
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / c. Wealth
Rich people are mindlessly happy
The virtue of generosity requires money
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / d. Friendship
Master and slave can have friendship through common interests
For Aristotle in the best friendships the binding force is some excellence of character
Aristotle does not confine supreme friendship to moral heroes
A bad political constitution (especially a tyranny) makes friendship almost impossible
Bad men can have friendships of utility or pleasure, but only good men can be true friends
We value friendship just for its own sake
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 1. Deontology
'Enkrateia' (control) means abiding by one's own calculations
24. Applied Ethics / A. Decision Conflicts / 2. Dilemmas
A man should sooner die than do some dreadful things, no matter how cruel the death
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 1. Death
The more virtuous and happy a person is, the worse the prospect becomes of ending life
For the great-souled man it is sometimes better to be dead
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 3. Abortion
Abortions should be procured before the embryo has acquired life and sensation
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 4. Suicide
A suicide embraces death to run away from hardships, rather than because it is a fine deed
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
The state exists not for community, but for noble actions
Man is by nature a political animal
A community must share a common view of good and justice
Man is intrinsically a civilized animal
Man is by nature a social being
Society collapses if people cannot rely on exchanging good for good and evil for evil
Even more than a social being, man is a pairing and family being
People want to live together, even when they don't want mutual help
25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
We must decide the most desirable human life before designing a constitution
Every state is an association formed for some good purpose
Political science aims at the highest good, which involves creating virtue in citizens
Aristotle says the state is natural, not conventional or contractual
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will
The state aims to consist as far as possible of those who are like and equal
25. Society / B. The State / 3. Constitutions
The six constitutions are monarchy/tyranny, aristocracy/oligarch, and polity/democracy
Any constitution can be made to last for a day or two
The four constitutions are democracy (freedom), oligarchy (wealth), aristocracy (custom), tyranny (security)
25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / b. Legislature
We hold that every piece of legislation is just
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
The whole state should pay for the worship of the gods
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Democracy is the best constitution for friendship, because it encourages equality
The many may add up to something good, even if they are inferior as individuals
Like water, large numbers of people are harder to corrupt than a few
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
It is wrong that a worthy officer of state should seek the office
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 8. Communitarianism
Friendship is based on a community of sharing
Friendship holds communities together, and lawgivers value it more than justice
The mark of a good legislator is that they make their citizens good by habituation
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / a. Basis of rights
Law is intelligence without appetite
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 2. Social Freedom / e. Freedom of lifestyle
One principle of liberty is to take turns ruling and being ruled
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / a. Grounds of equality
We can claim an equal right to aristocratic virtue, as well as to wealth or freedom
Equality is obviously there to help people who do not get priority in the constitution
It is always the weak who want justice and equality, not the strong
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / b. Political equality
The good is obviously justice, which benefits the whole community, and involves equality in some sense
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
Phaleas proposed equality of property, provided there is equality of education
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 4. Right to Punish / b. Retribution for crime
It is noble to avenge oneself on one's enemies, and not come to terms with them
25. Society / E. State Functions / 2. The Law / a. Legal system
Man is the worst of all animals when divorced from law and justice
If it is easy to change the laws, that makes them weaker
It is preferable that law should rule rather than any single citizen
25. Society / E. State Functions / 2. The Law / b. Natural law
Natural justice is the same everywhere, and does not (unlike legal justice) depend on acceptance
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. Education / a. Education principles
Aristotle said the educated were superior to the uneducated as the living are to the dead
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. Education / b. Aims of education
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it
The aim of serious childhood play is the amusement of the complete adult
A state is plural, and needs education to make it a community
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. Education / c. Teaching
Men learn partly by habit, and partly by listening
Intellectual virtue arises from instruction (and takes time), whereas moral virtue result from habit
Wise men aren't instructed; they instruct
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 1. Nature
'Nature' refers to two things - form and matter
Nature is a principle of change, so we must understand change first
Nature does nothing in vain
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 2. Natural Purpose
The nature of any given thing is determined by its end
It is folly not to order one's life around some end
The nature of a thing is its end and purpose
A thing's purpose is ambiguous, and from one point of view we ourselves are ends
Nature has purpose, and aims at what is better. Is it coincidence that crops grow when it rains?
Teeth and crops are predictable, so they cannot be mere chance, but must have a purpose
An unworn sandal is in vain, but nothing in nature is in vain
There has to be some goal, and not just movement to infinity
Everything seeks, not a single good, but its own separate good
Eyes could be used for a natural purpose, or for unnatural seeing, or for a non-seeing activity
The best instruments have one purpose, not many
If nature makes everything for a purpose, then plants and animals must have been made for man
Everything is arranged around a single purpose
Aristotle needed to distinguish teleological description from teleological explanation
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 3. Natural Function
A thing's active function is its end
Each thing that has a function is for the sake of that function
Each thing's function is its end
Is ceasing-to-be unnatural if it happens by force, and natural otherwise?
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 4. Pythagoreanism
Pythagoreans say the whole universe is made of numbers
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 1. Basis of Nature
Nothing natural is disorderly, because nature is responsible for all order
Why are some things destructible and others not?
It doesn't explain the world to say it was originally all one. How did it acquire diversity?
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / c. Substantival space
If everything has a place, this causes an infinite regress, because each place must have place
The universe as a whole is not anywhere
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / d. Relational space
Place is not shape, or matter, or extension between limits; it is the limits of a body
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / a. Time
Time has parts, but the now is not one of them, and time is not composed of nows
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / e. Existence of time
If all of time has either ceased to exist, or has not yet happened, maybe time does not exist
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / h. Growing block of time
Things may be necessary once they occur, but not be unconditionally necessary
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / i. Time and change
There is no time without movement
Time is not change, but requires change in our minds to be noticed
Time does not exist without change
Time is an aspect of change
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / j. Time as subjective
Would there be time if there were no mind?
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / a. Natural kinds
Unusual kinds like mule are just a combination of two kinds
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / b. Defining kinds
All water is the same, because of a certain similarity
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / e. Necessity of kinds
Whatever holds of a kind intrinsically holds of it necessarily
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / b. Types of cause
Types of cause are nature, necessity and chance, and mind and human agency
The 'form' of a thing explains why the matter constitutes that particular thing
A 'material' cause/explanation is the form of whatever is the source
Causes produce a few things in their own right, and innumerable things coincidentally
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / c. Final causes
The four causes are the material, the form, the source, and the end
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / d. Naturalised causation
Is there cause outside matter, and can it be separated, and is it one or many?
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / e. Direction of causation
People assume events cause what follows them
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation
We exercise to be fit, but need fitness to exercise
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / b. Nomological causation
Pure Forms and numbers can't cause anything, and especially not movement
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
When a power and its object meet in the right conditions, an action necessarily follows
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
It is not possible for fire to be cold or snow black
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / d. Knowing essences
Scientists must know the essential attributes of the things they study
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / a. Greek matter
Matter desires form, as female desires male, and ugliness desires beauty
The primary matter is the substratum for the contraries like hot and cold
Matter is the limit of points and lines, and must always have quality and form
Aristotle's matter can become any other kind of matter
Matter is neither a particular thing nor a member of a determinate category
Matter is perceptible (like bronze) or intelligible (like mathematical objects)
Substance must exist, because something must endure during change between opposites
Aristotle had a hierarchical conception of matter
Aristotle says matter is a lesser substance, rather than wholly denying that it is a substance
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / b. Prime matter
Ultimate matter is discredited, as Aristotle merged substratum of change with bearer of properties
The traditional view of Aristotle is God (actual form) at top and prime matter (potential matter) at bottom
Primary matter is what characterises other stuffs, and it has no distinct identity
Aristotle may only have believed in prime matter because his elements were immutable
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / c. Atoms
Bodies are endlessly divisible
Wood is potentially divided through and through, so what is there in the wood besides the division?
If a body is endlessly divided, is it reduced to nothing - then reassembled from nothing?
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / e. Greek elements
When Aristotle's elements compound they are stable, so why would they ever separate?
An element is what bodies are analysed into, and won't itself divide into something else
The Four Elements must change into one another, or else alteration is impossible
Fire is hot and dry; Air is hot and moist; Water is cold and moist; Earth is cold and dry
I claim that Aristotle's foundation is the four elements, and not wholly potential prime matter
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 2. Movement
When there is unnatural movement (e.g. fire going downwards) the cause is obvious
If the more you raise some earth the faster it moves, why does the whole earth not move?
Practical reason is based on desire, so desire must be the ultimate producer of movement
If all movement is either pushing or pulling, there must be a still point in between where it all starts
There is no point at all in the theory of Forms unless it contains a principle that produces movement
It is hard to see how either time or movement could come into existence or be destroyed
If movement can arise within an animal, why can't it also arise in the universe?
Motion fulfils potentiality
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 1. Cosmology
The heavens seem to be infinite, because we cannot imagine their end
The Earth must be spherical, because it casts a convex shadow on the moon
The earth must be round and of limited size, because moving north or south makes different stars visible
If each thing can cease to be, why hasn't absolutely everything ceased to be long ago?
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 2. Beginning
Do things come to be from what is, or from what is not? Both seem problematical.
Everyone agrees that the world had a beginning, but thinkers disagree over whether it will end
Even if the world is caused by fate, mind and nature are still prior causes
Something which both moves and is moved is intermediate, so it follows that there must be an unmoved mover
The first mover is necessary, and because it is necessary it is good
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 3. Infinite in Nature
There are potential infinities (never running out), but actual infinity is incoherent
Continuity depends on infinity, because the continuous is infinitely divisible
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 4. Unique Cosmos
It seems possible that there exists a limited number of other worlds apart from this one
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
God is not a creator (involving time and change) and is not concerned with the inferior universe
The source of all movement must be indivisible and have no magnitude
There must a source of movement which is eternal, indivisible and without magnitude
God is not blessed and happy because of internal goods, but because of his own nature
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 7. God Reflecting Humanity
Men imagine gods to be of human shape, with a human lifestyle
28. God / B. Proving God / 1. Proof of God
For Aristotle God is defined in an axiom, for which there is no proof
28. God / C. Proofs of Reason / 1. Ontological Proof
Being is better than not-being
28. God / C. Proofs of Reason / 2. Ontological Proof critique
'Being' and 'oneness' are predicated of everything which exists
Properties must be proved, but not essence; but existents are not a kind, so existence isn't part of essence
28. God / D. Proofs of Evidence / 2. Teleological Proof
An Order controls all things
The world can't be arranged at all if there is nothing eternal and separate
29. Religion / B. Polytheistic Religion / 2. Paganism
There are as many eternal unmovable substances as there are movements of the stars