Aristotle

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  • Aristotle's ideas
    • Empiricism
      • Gaining knowledge through the senses and sensory experience
      • A posteriori: after observation
      • There's only one real world: what we experience
      • Realised that everything in the world is in a state of flux: impermanent
    • Actuality and potentiality
      • Potentiality: the possibility of doing something or becoming something
      • Actuality: when potential is achieved
      • Interested in the movement from potentiality to actuality
        • What caused them to actualize their potential/ exist?
    • The Four Causes
      • The Material Cause
        • The matter or substance that something is made of
        • Have the potential to change
          • Represents impermanence
        • Can be divided into 2
          • Prime matter
            • Has no matter at all
            • Doesn't exist, but is theoretically necessary
          • Proximate matter
            • Matter that has some properties
      • The Efficient Cause
        • The cause of something existing: pushes it into existence
        • Doesn't necessarily have to be a person e.g. could be a gust of wind
        • An object may even have more than one efficient cause
        • Every change is caused by an efficient cause
        • Answers "what" but not "how"
      • The Formal Cause
        • What gives the matter its form or structure
        • Mentally fitting an object into a category we already know
          • Gives it shape so it can be identified
      • Final cause
        • The reason why something is the way it is
          • Teleological: the function of an object of the reason an action is done
            • Telos = end, as it is the means to an end
              • Something is good when it fulfils its telos
          • The purpose of an object: the reason it exists at all
    • The Prime Mover
      • The final cause: our purpose but not doesn't bring about change, otherwise would be changed itself
        • Causes things to move by attraction
      • A cause that actualizes the potential in everything else
      • Must be God: if the PM could be caused, infinite regression would continue
      • His perfection provides a purpose for change: to achieve perfection through imitation. This is the goal/purpose for changing
      • Qualities
        • Unmoveable
        • Can only think of himself = not the efficient cause. I.e. impersonal
        • Necessary: the cause of all other things existing
        • Immaterial, beyond time and space: all matter is capable to being acted upon, and all matter is contingent
        • Perfectly good: pure actuality so contains everything that ought to be there

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