Ideas from 'Metaphysics' by Aristotle [324 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Metaphysics' by Aristotle (ed/tr Lawson-Tancred,Hugh) [Penguin 1998,0-14-044619-2]].

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
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
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
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 3. Philosophy Defined
Philosophy is a kind of science that deals with principles
Absolute thinking is the thinking of thinking
Philosophy has different powers from dialectic, and a different life from sophistry
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
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
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 7. Status of Reason
It is readily agreed that thinking is the most godlike of things in our experience
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 3. Non-Contradiction
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
A thing cannot be both in and not-in the same thing (at a given 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
There is no middle ground in contradiction, but there is in contrariety
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 5. Opposites
Not everything is composed of opposites; what, for example, is the opposite of matter?
If everything is made of opposites, are the opposed things made of opposites?
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
The parts of a definition are isomorphic to the parts of the entity
The material element may be essential to a definition
If we define 'man' as 'two-footed animal', why does that make man a unity?
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
Sometimes parts must be mentioned in definitions of essence, and sometimes not
A definition must be of something primary
Only substance [ousias] admits of definition
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'
'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
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
Aristotle's definitions are not unique, but apply to a range of individuals
2. Reason / D. Definition / 6. Definition by Essence
A definition is an account of a what-it-was-to-be-that-thing
2. Reason / E. Argument / 3. Analogy
Some things cannot be defined, and only an analogy can be given
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 2. Infinite Regress
Not everything can be proven, because that would lead to an infinite regress
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
Truth is a matter of asserting correct combinations and separations
Simple and essential truth seems to be given, with further truth arising in thinking
Truth is either intuiting a way of being, or a putting together
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 / C. Correspondence Truth / 1. Correspondence Truth
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 / 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?
The axioms of mathematics are part of philosophy
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 2. Aporiai
Aporia 4: Does metaphysics just investigate pure being, or also the characteristics of being?
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?
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 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?
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 1. Mathematics
Mathematics studies the domain of perceptible entities, but its subject-matter is not perceptible
Mathematical precision is only possible in immaterial things
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / a. Numbers
Pluralities divide into discontinous countables; magnitudes divide into continuous things
Perhaps numbers are substances?
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
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
If only rectilinear figures existed, then unity would be the triangle
Units came about when the unequals were equalised
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / p. Counting
Two men do not make one thing, as well as themselves
When we count, are we adding, or naming numbers?
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 4. Definitions of Number / b. Greek arithmetic
Each many is just ones, and is measured by the one
Number is plurality measured by unity
The idea of 'one' is the foundation of number
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
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence
Some things exist as substances, others as properties of substances
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
Things are predicated of the basic thing, which isn't predicated of anything else
There is only being in a certain way, and without that way there is no being
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 / f. Primary being
Primary being is both the essence, and the subject of predication
Primary being ('proté ousia') exists in virtue of itself, not in relation to other things
The three main candidates for primary being are particular, universal and essence; essence is the answer
Primary being is either universals, or the basis of predication, or essence
Non-primary beings lack essence, or only have a derived essence
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / g. Particular being
Aristotle discusses fundamental units of being, rather than existence questions
Being must be understood with reference to one primary sense - the being of substance
There is no being unless it is determinate and well-defined
Existence requires thisness, as quantity or quality
If nothing exists except individuals, how can there be a science of infinity?
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
Other types of being all depend on the being of substance
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
Nature is an active principle of change, like potentiality, but it is intrinsic to things
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
An actuality is usually thought to be a process
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 4. Ontological Dependence
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
The immediate divisions of that which is are genera, each with its science
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
There cannot be uninstantiated properties
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
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 2. Need for Properties
For two things to differ in some respect, they must both possess that respect
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 / 8. Properties as Modes
Whiteness can be explained without man, but femaleness cannot be explained without animal
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
Potentiality is a principle of change, in another thing, or as another thing
Active 'dunamis' is best translated as 'power' or 'ability' (rather than 'potentiality')
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
The main characteristic of the source of change is activity [energeia]
Actualities are arranged by priority, going back to what initiates process
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 4. Powers as Essence
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
Universals are indeterminate and only known in potential, because they are general
Substance is not a universal, as the former is particular but a universal is shared
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
The acquisition of scientific knowledge is impossible without universals
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
No universals exist separately from particulars
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / a. Platonic Forms
Forms are said to be substances to which nothing is prior
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / b. Partaking
If you accept Forms, you must accept the more powerful principle of 'participating' in them
There is a confusion because Forms are said to be universal, but also some Forms are separable and particular
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
Predications only pick out kinds of things, not things in themselves
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
All attempts to prove the Forms are either invalid, or prove Forms where there aren't supposed to be any
What possible contribution can the Forms make to perceptible entities?
If two is part of three then numbers aren't Forms, because they would all be intermingled
The Forms have to be potentialities, not actual knowledge or movement
Are there forms for everything, or for negations, or for destroyed things?
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
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
Individuals within a species differ in their matter, form and motivating cause
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
How is man a unity of animal and biped, especially if the Forms of animal and of biped exist?
A unity may just be a particular, a numerically indivisible thing
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
Aristotle says that the form is what makes an entity what it is
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
The Pre-Socratics were studying the principles, elements and causes of substance
Substance is prior in being separate, in definition, and in knowledge
It is wrong to translate 'ousia' as 'substance'
If substance is the basis of reality, then philosophy aims to understand substance
The baffling question of what exists is asking about the nature of substance
'Ousia' is 'primary being' not 'primary 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
Is a primary substance a foundation of existence, or the last stage of understanding?
Elements and physical objects are substances, but ideas and mathematics are not so clear
Mature Aristotle sees organisms as the paradigm substances
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
It is matter that turns out to be substance [ousia]
None of the universals can be a substance
A thing's substance is its primary cause of being
Substance [ousia] is the subject of predication and cause [aitia?] of something's existence
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
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'
Primary matter and form make a unity, one in potentiality, the other in actuality
Statues depend on their bronze, but bronze doesn't depend on statues
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / a. Hylomorphism
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 / d. Form as unifier
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
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 3. Matter of an Object
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
Every distinct thing has matter, as long as it isn't an essence or a 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
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
A subject can't be nothing, so it must qualify as separate, and as having a distinct identity
Something must pre-exist any new production
If you extract all features of the object, what is left over?
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
Wholes are continuous, rigid, uniform, similar, same kind, similar matter
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
Particulars are not definable, because they fluctuate
Individual essences are not universals, since those can't be substances, or cause them
Essence is the cause of individual substance, and creates its unity
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
The essence of a single thing is the essence of a particular
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 4. Essence as Definition
Essence is what is stated in the definition
Essence only belongs to things whose account is a definition
If definition is of universals, many individuals have no definition, and hence no essence
Things have an essence if their explanation is a definition
A thing's essence is what is mentioned in its definition
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
Having an essence is the criterion of being a substance
An essence causes both its own unity and its kind
A thing's essence is its intrinsic nature
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
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
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
'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
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
For animate things, only the form, not the matter or properties, must persist through change
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
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
We can't understand self-identity without a prior grasp of the object
You are one with yourself in form and matter
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
Necessity makes alternatives impossible
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
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
A 'potentiality' is a principle of change or process in a thing
Potentialities are always for action, but are conditional on circumstances
Things are destroyed not by their powers, but by their lack of them
We recognise potentiality from actuality
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
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
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. Pro-Empiricism
All men long to understand, as shown by their delight in the senses
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 3. Memory
Many memories make up a single experience
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 truth is relative it is relational, and concerns appearances relative to a situation
If relativism is individual, how can something look sweet and not taste it, or look different to our two eyes?
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
There cannot be a science of accidentals, but only of general truths
Demonstrations about particulars must be about everything of that type
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / a. Explanation
Universal principles are not primary beings, but particular principles are not universally knowable
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
Understanding moves from the less to the more intelligible
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
Aristotelian explanations mainly divide things into natural kinds
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / j. Explanations by 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
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
Real enquiries seek causes, and causes are essences
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
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
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / h. Conceptual priority
It is unclear whether acute angles are prior to right angles, or fingers to men
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 3. Abstracta by Ignoring
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 / E. Abstraction / 8. Abstractionism Critique
If health happened to be white, the science of health would not study whiteness
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 3. Art as Form
Beauty involves the Forms of order, symmetry and limit, which can be handled mathematically
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 10. Art and Morality
The good is found in actions, but beauty can exist without movement
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / a. Form of the Good
Is the good a purpose, a source of movement, or a pure form?
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue
Excellence is a sort of completion
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / b. Basis of virtue
Is excellence separate from things, or part of them, or both?
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / g. Contemplation
Contemplation is a supreme pleasure and excellence
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. Education / c. Teaching
Wise men aren't instructed; they instruct
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 2. Natural Purpose
Everything is arranged around a single purpose
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 3. Natural Function
A thing's active function is its end
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
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 / 6. Natural Kinds / a. Natural kinds
Unusual kinds like mule are just a combination of two kinds
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 / 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
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / a. Greek matter
Aristotle had a hierarchical conception of matter
Matter is perceptible (like bronze) or intelligible (like mathematical objects)
Matter is neither a particular thing nor a member of a determinate category
Aristotle says matter is a lesser substance, rather than wholly denying that it is a substance
Substance must exist, because something must endure during change between opposites
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / b. Prime matter
Aristotle may only have believed in prime matter because his elements were immutable
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
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / e. Greek elements
I claim that Aristotle's foundation is the four elements, and not wholly potential prime matter
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 2. Movement
It is hard to see how either time or movement could come into existence or be destroyed
There is no point at all in the theory of Forms unless it contains a principle that produces movement
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 2. Beginning
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
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
There must a source of movement which is eternal, indivisible and without magnitude
God is not a creator (involving time and change) and is not concerned with the inferior universe
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 / D. Proofs of Evidence / 2. Teleological Proof
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