Aristotle

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  • Aristotle
    • Background
      • c. 366 BC - studied at P's academy for 20 years
      • An empiricist
      • developed rhetoric
        • A way of persuading people to change their point of view
    • The four causes
      • "We do not have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause"
      • Material cause
        • The components of an object
      • Formal cause
        • The shape of an object
      • Efficient cause
        • The thing that brings about actuality
          • actuality
            • a state of being, the reality in that moment of time
          • potentiality
            • the inherent, undeveloped capabilities of something
      • Final cause
        • The telos of a thing
          • telos
            • ultimate purpose
    • The Prime mover
      • What s the prime mover?
        • ultimate final cause
        • actualises potential in everything else
        • causes without being affected
          • otherwise it would be another link in the chain
        • a thing with no potential
      • How does the prime mover work?
        • causes change in all things - not in a physical way
          • otherwise the act would affect the prime mover
        • causes change by attracting other things towards itself
        • everything is drawn towards it and wants to imitate it
      • Aristotle's conclusions on the nature of God / PM
        • doesn't depend on anything else for existence
          • otherwise it would have to be capable of change
        • eternal due to lack of potential
        • perfectly good
          • badness means lacking something - PM has everything it ought
        • immateral and beyond time and space
          • not made of matter therefore cannot do anything
        • the telos of the universe
      • 'What is the telos of the universe?'
        • 'if everything is caused then how did it all start?
          • Ari. concluded that there must be a fully actualised thing that caused the universe
    • Evaluation
      • strengths
        • can see cause and effect n universe
        • relies on study of natural world which we can experience
          • strong compared to Plato
        • four causes can be applied to things in the universe
        • PM influenced early ideas of God
      • weaknesses
        • Ari. assumes there's only one explanation for movement and change
        • what about things that appear to have a negative telos?
          • cancer??
        • Russell
          • Why can't the universe jut exist? does it need a purpose?
        • idea of purpose doesn't work with inanimate objects
          • purpose is to do with mental intentions
            • flour only has purpose until humans want it to be part of a cake
        • Hawking & scietists
          • The Big Bang  goes against attraction to a God
        • where did the matter come from if not created by prime mover?
        • conflicts with religious ideas of God
          • PM is disinterested and transcendent
        • what moved prime mover?
    • Organon
      • students edited his lecture notes

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