Aristotle

my teacher just posted this question. i require to read the chapters. i will provide the chapters ( The book I’m using is Archetypes of Wisdom, Douglas j. Soccio edition 9) and the professor instructions. this is what the teacher asked. After reading Plato, it is only natural that we read his greatest pupil, Aristotle, who studied with Plato for 20 years. I don’t know if you have ever seen the painting, “The School of Athens” by Rafael that hangs in the Vatican, but you should look it up online by Googling. In it, Rafael has depicted all the great philosophers from antiquity mingling together. Commanding the center of the composition are Plato and his famous student, Aristotle. Plato is pointing up at the ceiling and Aristotle is holding his hand out palm facing down. I like to think of this as Aristotle’s bringing Plato down to earth, where the forms live among us not up in the realm of airy nothingness. For Aristotle turned Plato on his head to give us another philosophical system, again, one based on form, but in Aristotle each form, small letter “f” comes into being through a series of four causes.The first is the “formal” cause and this cause is in homage to Plato, his teacher for twenty years. The formal cause gives us the “what” as in “what is it?” Is it a rock, or a tree, or a dog?The second cause is the “material cause,” the what’s it made of? Is it rubber, or wood, or metal, or flesh and blood?The third cause is the “efficient” cause, and this cause is something we would gather intuitively in our effort to name the agency through which a “change” occurs, like “what made this thing be this way?”The fourth and last cause, and the most mysterious in Aristotle’s metaphysics, is the “final” cause, which is the end purpose for which this preceding “change” or cause has occurred. For Aristotle, who put Plato’s “Form” into things, but not with a capital “F,” what changes then is “matter.” He had to work this out from Plato who thought all form was changeless and eternal. So an acorn, planted in the ground changes its matter and becomes in its adult and “final form” the oak tree that it was destined to become because that was its purpose toward which it had changed.Aristotle strangely defends Plato in one respect, of coming into existence and going out of existence, the problem of oneness, of offering the explanation of potential” that a thing has in it to become, like the acorn. It’s potential is to become an oak tree. For Aristotle, this is the kingdom of “Ends” that all things even people must strive for.ACORN—plant in soil—ENDS in oak tree.TELEOLOGY—PURPOSE (a sort of intelligence in the universe). “Hierarchy,” whenever you hear this word, you are hearing Aristotle, in the same way that when you hear the word “Form” you are hearing Plato.This “Kingdom of Ends” will come back with the German 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant, who used it for his system of ethics based on our behaving and acting in such a way that ultimately our actions will have their lasting purpose in this universal end realm.Aristotle borrowed Plato’s notion of the “soul” but instead of there being a fixed, permanent, and universal soul out there that we were cleaved from and from which we seek our eternal “other” in the form of a “soul mate,” Aristotle thought that there was a hierarchy (that word again) of souls starting with the lowest and going to the highest.Plants—NUTRITIVE SOULAnimals—SENSITIVE SOULHuman—MIXTURE of above plus talk, desire, INTELLECTUAL soul—the part PLATO discusses. We have all four.Now in order to nourish the SOUL, you must first take care of the lower parts of the soul, that is in a human sense since we are a mixture of the lower parts as well as the higher, we must nourish and sensitize all within the “Golden Mean,” Aristotle’s term for the right and proper balance of not too much and not too little, and then concentrate on the intellectual. For Aristotle, this meant reading and studying philosophy all day—which is what you are doing right now.Everyone borrowed ideas from Aristotle and you can see his influence all over Western thought. Take the psychological precepts of Abraham Maslow whose “Hierarchy of Needs” mirrored Aristotle notion of “Entelechy” or the “purpose” of something to actualize its meaning. For an acorn, its “Entelechy” is to become an oak tree. It becomes actualized when it has reached this goal. This type of goal is called an end goal or “teleological” goal, to fulfill its end purpose, its teleology. Go on to read Chapter 6 in our textbook, the chapter on Aristotle and answer this question:Do you feel, as Aristotle did, that this last and final cause exists, that everything has a purpose, even viruses and cancer, or is this just Aristotle’s imagination paying homage to Plato?

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