AS Philosophy: Aristotle

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Aristotle was the pupil of which famous philosopher?
Plato.
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Plato believes in a transcendent reality. Does Aristotle agree with this?
He believes that our own world is an object of tremendous richness and beauty in it's own right and we can never go coherently beyond our own experience.
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Plato and Aristotle share similar beliefs about what in relation to human beings?
The dualist conception. They both believe as humans we are composed of a body and a soul.
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What word does Aristotle use to describe the soul?
Entelechy.
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What does this word refer to?
The organisation in virtue of which a thing is capable of functioning in the ways of its life giving activity-achieving its telos.
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What is different about Aristotle's beliefs about the life of the soul?
He believes the soul is immortal and dies with the body, in contrast to Plato who believes the life of the soul exceeds the life of the body.
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What is different about Aristotle's beliefs about the nature of the soul?
He believes the soul is the animating and organising principle of the body.
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Plato believes only human beings have souls, does Aristotle believe similarly?
No, he believes all living things have souls.
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Like Plato, Aristotle has three levels or grades of souls. What are these levels?
Rational soul: human beings, Appetitive souls: animals, Vegetive souls: plants.
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What are Aristotle's beliefs in regards to the senses?
He believes that humans use the mind to make sense of our sensual reactions and believes in the mind and the senses.
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How do Aristotle's and Plato's ideas of how we learn differ?
Plato believes we learn through remembering, whereas Aristotle believes we learn through experience.
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How many worlds does Aristotle believe in?
One.
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How did Aristotle attempt to make sense of the world?
He used a formula to make sense of the world and to define the essence of something in a systematic way.
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Plato believed in forms. What does Aristotle believe in?
The Four Causes.
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What are the Four Causes?
The formulaic system Aristotle uses to define the essence of something.
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What is the first of the four causes and what does it define?
The Material Cause: what something is made from. It's "matter".
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What is the second of the four causes and what does it define?
The Formal Cause: how the matter is arranged, and objects "form".
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What is the third of the four causes and what does it define?
The Efficient Cause: how the object came together.
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What is the last of the four causes and what does it define?
The Final Cause: also known as the teleological cause, the purpose of the object.
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Why is the final cause the most important of the causes?
It is the teleological cause, the cause that defines something's purpose. Aristotle believed everything had a telos, or a purpose, and every living thing strived to achieve the ultimate telos of happiness, or the energia.
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How could energia be described?
Energia is a hexis, or a state of being, all humans strive to achieve through all their actions.
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What does Aristotle believe everything is made up of?
Matter.
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What is matter?
The material from which the physical world is made.
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There is one exception to this. What, in Aristotle's universe, is NOT made up of matter?
His God.
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Could you have matter and no form?
Yes.
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Could you have form and no matter?
Only god.
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What is the correlation between everything made up of matter and telos?
Everything that is made up of matter is imperfect and therefore cannot achieve it's ultimate telos.
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What is Aristotle's God know as?
The thought of thought, also known as the unmoved mover.
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What are some 'qualities' of the thought of thought?
It is immaterial, unchanging, unmoving, and impersonal.
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What is Aristotle's universe pivotal around?
The earth.
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How is Aristotle's universe composed?(ie, what order, starting with earth, does everything go in)?
Earth, air, fire, planets(starting with the moon, finishing with Saturn), the sun, thought of thought.
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What did Aristotle believe planets and stars were on?
Concentric crystalline spheres centered on the earth. Each planet was on it's own sphere and the stars were placed on the largest sphere surrounding all the rest.
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How is the earth different to everything else in Aristotle's universe?
The earth is filled with change, death, and decay, therefore making it imperfect, whilst everything else is unchanging, perfect.
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What are the four main elements that make up the earth?
Earth, fire, air, and water.
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What was the fifth element Aristotle believed in and what was made up of this element?
Quintessence, celestial bodies(i.e. the planets and stars), were made up of this.
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What does Aristotle say about gravity?
He says that all bodies move towards their natural place. The natural place is presumably earth, the place towards which all objects fall.
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In which direction do physical elements move?
Vertically.
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In which direction do celestial bodies move?
They circle the earth as 'orbs' carrying heavenly bodies around it and all motion as uniform and unchanging.
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What is God in Aristotle's universe?
The unmoved mover.
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What does his god represent?
The pinnacle of goodness.
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Is Aristotle's god alike or similar to other philosopher's gods?
Different.
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Aristotle's god lives completely in a ________ and ________ state. What state does Aristotle's god exist in?
Transcendant and abstract.
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Is Aristotle's god personal or impersonal?
Impersonal. It asserts that it is a living creature, however has no interest in the world and no recognition of man.
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Could Aristotle's god be described as "active"?
No. The activity of god is simply knowledge.
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What is the order of Aristotle's Ladder of Nature?
Man-Mammals-Whales-Reptiles and Fish-Octopusses and Squids-Jointed Shellfish-Insects-Molluscs(incl. jellyfish and ascidians)-Inanimate Matter.
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How does W.D.Ross describe Aristotle's god's influence on mankind?
"It is the sort of influence that one person may unconsciously have on another, or that even a statue or a picture may have on it's admirer.".
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