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Aristotle on the Perfect Life$
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Anthony Kenny

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240174.001.0001

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Theology, Science, and Contemplation

Theology, Science, and Contemplation

Chapter:
(p.103) 8 Theology, Science, and Contemplation
Source:
Aristotle on the Perfect Life
Author(s):

Anthony Kenny

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240174.003.0008

It is not easy to specify precisely what makes a truth a scientific truth; many distinguished philosophers of science have failed in the task. But, again taking our cue from Aristotle, we can say that it is clear that it is connected intimately with the notions of necessity and universality. Contemplation is the exercise of the intellectual virtue of sophia or understanding. It is concerned with the most splendid of knowable objects, and especially, in the Eudemian Ethics, with God. The most important information given about it is that it is related to philosophy as finding is to seeking. It is not knowledge (episteme), the mere possession of correct conclusions, which constitutes the distinguishing mark of the sophos. It is knowledge coupled with the intelligence to see how individual items of knowledge fit together with the whole systematic context in which they are embedded. In mathematics, contemplation is the appreciation of the beauty of the proof itself. In linguistic philosophy, contemplation can be thought of as the goal of analysis. Furthermore, the contemplation of God in the Eudemian Ethics will include the vision of how the first mover is related to all the levels of motion and causation in the glorious cosmos.

Keywords:   contemplation, knowledge, theology, science, understanding, philosophy, intelligence

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