Aristotle

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What do the 4 causes represent?
The 4 causes are used to explain why things exist as they do
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What state of change is everything in?
From a state of actuality to potentiality
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What is the actuality and potential of a cup of coffee?
A freshly brewed cup of coffee is actually hot but has the potential to become cold.
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What is the Material Cause?
The matter or substance from which something is made e.g. a book is made from paper, a marble statue is made of marble.
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What is the Formal Cause?
How something is arranged, what gives the matter its structure? e.g. a books pages are arranged in a particular order and a statue is arranged so it looks like somebody/something.
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What is the Efficient Cause?
The cause of an object or thing existing, how it came together. E.g. a book is formed from an author, a statue came to be cause a mason made it.
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What is the Final Cause? The Teleological Cause?
The reason why something is the way it is, the purpose of the object. E.g The purpose of a book is to read it. The purpose of a stature is to honour or remember someone.
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Who was Aristotle a student of?
Plato
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What did Aristotle's philosophy emphasis on?
The value of studying the physical world.
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Aristotle was an empiricist, what does this mean?
He believed that knowledge is gained through the observation of the world (through our senses)
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Plato was a rationalist, what does this mean?
He believed that knowledge is gained through the soul and mind. That true knowledge came from the Forms.
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Does Aristotle accept or reject Plato's theory of Forms?
He rejects the theory of Forms.
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Does Aristotle accept or reject Plato's dualistic beliefs?
He rejects the idea of dualism
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What is dualism?
The belief in the separation of the mind/soul and body, that the soul is what lives on.
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What does Aristotle think happens to the soul?
The thinks that it dies when the body dies.
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Aristotle is a Materialist, what does this mean?
Believed in the rejection of the separation of the soul and body and that there is only this current life, no hereafter.
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What does Plato think happens to the soul?
He believes that when the body dies, the soul returns back to the Form of the Good.
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What is a Prime Mover?
Something that causes the motion and changes in the universe without being moved.
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What are some characteristics of the Prime Mover?
The Prime Mover is eternal, impersonal, not capable of change, always good.
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Why must the Prime Mover always be good?
Anything that is changing is bad, if something is bad there is always room for improvement, there should be no room for improvement as the Prime Mover has already achieved their potential. They are unchanging.
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Does the Prime Mover exist on this earth?
No
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How is the Prime Mover the final cause?
He is the one that made the first cause that has caused everything, he is the explanation of why things exist, so is the ultimate reason.
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How is Aristotles Prime Mover different to the concept of a Judeo-Christian God?
The Prime Mover does not interact with anybody, he is impersonal.
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Why doesn't the Prime Mover have a physical body or exist on this earth?
A physical body is something that has the ability and potential to change.
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What is the Prime Mover capable of?
He has a 'spiritual body' that is immaterial. The Prime Mover is a form of intelligence itself, it can only do intellectual and spiritual activities.
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What did Aristotle find out when looking at potentiality and actuality?
The physical world is constantly in motion and change. The planets are moving eternally. Change or motion is always caused by something. Objects in the world are in a state of potentiality and actuality.
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What was Aristotle's conclusion about potentiality and actuality?
That something exists that causes the change without actually being moved, this thing is eternal.
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What is a cows actuality and potentiality?
A cow is actually a cow, but has the potential as a piece of beef.
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What is the actual and potential of a child?
A child is actually a child, but has the potential to be an adult.
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Why must there be something that starts change off?
Everything that has a capability to change has the potential to be something else, therefore to start all the processes off there must be a Prime Mover who doesn't have the potential to change.
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Card 2

Front

What state of change is everything in?

Back

From a state of actuality to potentiality

Card 3

Front

What is the actuality and potential of a cup of coffee?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the Material Cause?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is the Formal Cause?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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