Natural Law - Aristotle Mindmap

This is a mindmap I made covering all asects of Aristotle's interpretation of Natural Law

Apologies for any typing mistakes as i was typing on an ipad

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  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 13-05-13 15:55
Preview of Natural Law - Aristotle Mindmap

First 1987 words of the document:

An ideological theory or viewpoint assumes that
something has a purpose or that the end result Teleology comes from metaphysics
of some action is all important
telos = goal/purpose
Aristotle built his teleology into a complete
metaphysical theory of forces or "causes"
For Aristotle everything that exists has a
purpose built int o the fabric of reality since
You cannot have a human action without a
purpose because a purpose is always existent
We often wrongly think of an objects purpose Teleology - the concept of purpose
Aristotle was more concerned with the separate
regarding its position in an ecosystem
characteristics of natural phenomena
Eg. Tree gives human shade
To achieve happiness you must have
Psuche + logos = eudaimonia
Aristotle had no compunctions about making Ethike arête = moral virtue
statements that reflected anthropocentrism (the
view that everything is for the sake of humans)
aristotle opened up the possibility of scientific,
logical and empirical thinking
To determine purpose we must observe what
the thing does best if it performs a function well
Aristotle believed that forms are not separate aristotle believed directly experiencing the forms
it is virtuous
Empirical knowledge and the realm of the from the things of the world of the senses, the
senses forms have no existence outside their objects knowledge can be directly sought and found this allowed him to think in terms of empirical
scientists today generally believe that Eg. Waterfall = cliff, waterfall falling from the world of the senses research
assumptions that there is a 'designer' fall
outside the scope of science
Knowledge can be sought and found directly This belief helped made it possible for him to
from the world of the sense think in terms of empirical research
everything in nature has a purpose although it
may not be easy to determine what it is
Behavior showing high moral standards:
To be virtuous meant to act with excellence Has to do with the proper function of a thing
"paragons of virtue"
(performing your purpose well) ERGON
A quality considered morally good or desirable
in a person.
For Aristotle virtue lies in the difference between
Not reserved for humans
doing something and doing it well
Virtue and excellence TELOS
Definitions An ultimate object or aim
Everything has potential virtue
Most important to humans is the question The quality of having experience, knowledge,
what makes humans virtuous? and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
The soundness of an action or decision with
regard to the application of such experience,
however modern scientists cannot accept
knowledge, and good judgment.
teleological explanations for purpose
That out of which a thing comes to be and
Darwin's theory of natural selection proposes Material A loaf of breads ingredients
that living creature do not come equipped with a
purpose but adapt to circumstances and those Good is defined by Rational ends &
who adapt best survive and reproduce Nina Rosenstand Efficient The primary source of change or rest The baker of the loaf of bread
People generally speak as if there is a purpose
Final causes
to things which people by nature pursue
it is arguable that there is no need to postulate Formal The form the account of the essence The idea of bread
Four causes
the concept of purpose at all the evolution of giraffes is a causal explanation
not a teleological one - looking to reasons in the The telos that for which the thing is done The consumption of the bread
therefore it can be said that because the notion past to explain why something is the way it is
of a final cause is unscientific the its application today rather than looking to some future goal
to reason and morality has no basis
CAUSE AS IT ALLOWS US TO UNDERSTAND Everything has a purpose given to it by nature
Aristotles achievements are remarkable for the
time and must not be observed dogmatically
Life, the universe and everything Aristotle - author of classical logic
Teleology adds to the empirical nature of the
Now if the function of man is an activity of soul
theory this justifying the nature of causation
which follows or implies a rational principle, and
if we say 'so-and-so-and 'a good so-and-so'
this is because he argues that matter cannot have a function which is the same in kind, e.g. a
move itself Aristotle argued 'to purpose' by maintaining tht lyre, and a good lyre-player, and so without
the motion of the heavenly bodies is possible qualification in all cases, eminence in respect of
only because of the existence of a first efficient goodness being idded to the name of the
but matter can move itself and therefore his
cause - prime mover function (for the function of a lyre-player is to
appeal to the prime unmoved mover is
play the lyre, and that of a good lyre-player is to
do so well): if this is the case, and we state the
function of man to be a certain kind of life, and
voiced by many religious believers this to be an activity or actions of the soul
implying a rational principle, and the function of Nicomachean ethics
Aristotle - The theory of causation a good man to be the good and noble Book 1 Chapter 7
this was not a problem for Aquinas who worry is that aristotles theory points at most to
integrated Aristotelian thought into a Christian belief in a prime mover whereas they wish to a metaphysical objection to causation performance of these, and if any action is well
world view exemplified both by his extensive postulate the existence of an absolute being performed when it is performed in accordance
work on moral philosophy and the series of reflecting the understanding of God present in with the appropriate excellence: if this is the
arguments for God's existence the Judaeo-christian tradition case, human good turns out to be activity of
soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are
more than one virtue, in accordance with the
Aristotle believe in the existence of a prime best and most complete.
Proved wrong by the Big Bang
mover because matter cannot move itself
But we must add 'in a complete life.' For one
Reinforced by darwins theory of natural swallow does not make a summer, nor does
evolution one day; and so too one day, or a short time,
Scientists cannot accept teleological does not make a man blessed and happy.
explanations for purpose
There is no need to postulate the concept of
purpose at all A person as a whole has a purpose beyond the
sum of the body parts
The notion of a final cause is unscientific and so
it's application to reason and morality has no Telos exists for not only individuals but humans To find the telos of a species one must observe
basis as a species what the species does best
A metaphysical objection is that the prime The purpose of humans is to REASON because
Resolved by Aquinas this is the greater purpose of being human
mover is an a absolute being
Aristotle claimed that matter is eternal meaning Men are the creatures who have the true
The purpose of man
that the universe had no beginning Evaluation capacity for reasoning
therefore there was no final cause for the Aristotle does not speak of the purpose of This concurs with typical thinking of the time but
He means MALES
universe humans being reason inclusively not of Plato
Camus and Sartre thought it was ridiculous to Women have their own purpose and their own
suppose that the universe had any meaning virtues
Russell claimed that the world was just a brute Sartre said the universe was 'gratuitious' Plato believed that the role of women depended
fact on what they were individually well suited for
some things happen by chance Practical
When we think about objects of the world
it is possible that things dont exist for a specific
it is difficult ti support the claim that things have purpose e.g. the appendix
a single purpose Wisdom Two forms When we think about higher matters
e.g. hands have multiple purposes Theoretical
Sophia Actualising the uniquely human potential for
if the final cause is unscientific then its abstract thought
application to reason and morality NL has no
basis For Aristotle there is no difference between
The purpose of man fulfilling ones purpose, being virtuous, or doing
religious believers object to the theory of something with excellence, nor being morally
causation as they worry that the theory points to To think rationally on a regular basis throughout Same as MORAL GOODNESS good
belief in a prime mover whereas they wish to ones life as a matter of habit to develop a
assume the existence of a god that is active in RATIONAL CHARACTER All is entailed in the notion of how one goes
the creative order about being virtuous
aristotle states that only humans are the only When our soul is concentrating on intellectual
animal with the faculty of reason yet many have and spiritual matters
argued that other animals have the ability to
reason also
Involves being able to learn well, think straight
and act accordingly
aristotles was writing over 2000 years ago and Virtue Two forms
his intellectual achievements are rmarkable for
any age in philosophy, as in the natural sciences When our soul is trying to control our desires
progress can only be made on the back of
previous attempts to understand/clarify Moral
in addition it cannot be said that over 2 millennia Involves use of intellect because the only way
particularly as these criticisms are of a concepts
later our current understanding of causation is humans can strive for perfection
metaphysical nature
vastly greater than Aristotle's
even if we acknowledge that Aristotle is
mistaken about there being purpose in creation
it must be acknowledged that there are a
position acknowledged by Atony Flew number of contemporary developments
(famous British Atheist) especially with regard to cosmological
explanations for weakness
arguments for god's existence maintaining the
created order seems to have some kind of
this position can be defended on certain
empirical grounds as a matter of observation,
the pursuit of moral virtue, for most, is an
important dimension of life (even if there are aristotle adopted a teleological view of ethics
debates regarding its relativist/absolutist nature meaning that it points to a moral purpose for the
lives of human beings
it can be argued that this reality exists
it is certaily a position adopted by those who
independently of disagreements about the
support aquinas' natural law theory
nature of causation


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