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  • Aristotle
    • Aristotle’s Perspective
      • Aristotle was a scientist, and his whole philosophical approach was based on scientific evidence and observation.
      • Philosophy (and ethics) belongs in this world. Aristotle argued that if we want to work out what is good, we need to study good examples of the thing in question.
    • The Four Causes
      • Formal: How it is organized (shape)
      • Efficient: What brings it about
      • Final: Its goal or purpose (telos)
      • Material: What it is made of
    • The Prime Mover
      • The Prime Mover attracts things towards it like a Magnet. It is immutable and transcendent and cannot change. For Aristotle, the way it moves things is through objects attraction towards it.
      • The Prime Mover fits into SUBSTANCE 3 as it does not change or die.              - We are Substance 1 as we die & change.       -  Substance 2 are things that change but do not die. This includes things like time.            - ONLY substance 1 is subject to the 4 causes.
      • The Prime Mover can be likened to a God, but a God that is very different to the J-C God.
      • Everything is in motion (or change).There must have been something that started this off – The Prime Mover.The Prime Mover is not the first push on a domino chain. It is the Final Cause.
    • Aristotle vs. Plato
      • Aristotle was an empiricist. Empiricism is the doctrine that all knowledge of matter of fact derives from experience and the mind is not furnished with a set of concepts in advance of experience.
      • Plato was a rationalist. Rationalism is the doctrine that all knowledge of matter or fact derives from reason alone without recourse to experience.
    • Evaluating Aristotle
      • Strength
        • He recognises that reason can only offer partial truth. Full knowledge only comes through experience.
        • His ideas fit in with modern scientific method.
        • He proposes that the human person is body and soul and a well-balanced person uses all aspects ofself.
        • It gives purpose to life
        • Teaches us about the world: Categories of objects/things and the purpose of objects.
      • Weakness
        • He does not accept that there is anything beyond the sensory experience > are our senses that reliable?
        • What if there is no final cause? What if the universe is just brute fact (Russell)? There is noevidence.
        • Relationship between the prime mover and the universe is unclear.
          • The causal relationship between the prime mover thinking and the universe is unclear.
        • Aristotle’s prime mover is transcendent and cannot interact in the universe in the way that believers often talk about God’s activity in the world.
        • It depends on the existence of the Prime Mover – there is no proof!
    • The Final Cause & The Prime Mover:
      • The final cause of our existence is the Prime Mover. It gives us purpose i.e. to move in and out of potentiality and actuality. This is the cause of our movement therefore gives us our purpose.
        • Think: How is this similar to a Christian concept of God?


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