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Grand Theories and Everyday BeliefsScience, Philosophy, and their Histories$
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Wallace Matson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812691.001.0001

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Athens III: Aristotle

Athens III: Aristotle

Chapter:
(p.112) Chapter 14 Athens III: Aristotle
Source:
Grand Theories and Everyday Beliefs
Author(s):

Wallace Matson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812691.003.0014

Aristotle was student then junior colleague of Plato in the Academy. Later he was appointed tutor to Alexander, crown prince of Macedonia. Returning to Athens, he founded his own school, the Lyceum. Aristotle was eminent in every intellectual endeavor of his time, except mathematics. He was the first formal logician, bringing the class calculus to completion from scratch. His conception of natural science was that of starting from facts of observation, to proceed to the reasoned fact: explanation of the data by necessary truths. His account of how language works pulled the rug out from under Plato's basis for postulating Ideas. The Aristotelian universe therefore has only one story. Reality is the sum of individual substances–this man, that horse–of which qualities, relations, etc. are predicated. He analyzed movement into progression from being potential to being actual, matter taking on form. His biological outlook, however, led to his insistence on Final Causes, a reintroduction of teleology into philosophy.

Keywords:   predicate, final cause, substance, category, logic, Lyceum, biology, matter, form

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