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Aristotle - Term Paper Example

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Aristotle Aristotle, the great philosopher was born in Stagira in north Greece. He was first trained in medicine as his father Nichomachus was the court physician to the Macedonian royal family. He was later sent to Athens to study philosophy under the great Greek philosopher Plato…
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Download file to see previous pages Later, he established his own school named ‘Lyceum’ in Athens when Alexander conquered Athens. The great genius is believed to have written more than 150 philosophical theses on wide range of rational problems. The subjects he mastered ranges from biology and physics to morals, aesthetics, and politics. Many of his findings in biology and physics were marvelous which pawed way for extensive research throughout several centuries. For instance, his brilliant observation unveiled several secrets of the anatomy of octopus, cuttlefish, and many other living organisms. He categorized animals into ‘genera’ according to their characteristics, and then distinguished species within genera. His treatise ‘Meteorology’ dealt with earth science through which he tried to answer the phenomena like thunder, lightning, rainbows, meteors, comets, earthquake, and the Milky Way. According to Aristotle’s view, the universe did not originate and hence never ends but only undergoes incessant changes or transforms from one condition to the other. Evidently, Aristotle’s findings on science and philosophy have been widely cherished by scholars of all times especially those of the Middle Ages under the influence of Christianity. The main cause of the acceptance of his theories was that they could be easily reconciled with Christian doctrines in many ways. Art and knowledge is one of areas where Aristotle’s ideas oppose to that of Plato. For instance, Plato argues that the appearance of poetry as a source of knowledge is rather deceptive. The opinion of Plato was contradicted by Aristotle in Poetics through the argument that poetry is capable of conveying the knowledge of universals to people (45). Thus, as McKeon purports, there arise two classes of thought; one that believes in the aesthetic value of art, and one that believes in the cognitive value of art. Aristotle comes up with three types of knowledge; theoretical, practical, and productive. The theoretical knowledge refers to the knowledge about things that are fundamental in nature. An example of this knowledge is the products and processes of nature. Practical knowledge refers to the knowledge that teaches what to do to address certain contingencies. Thirdly, productive knowledge teaches one how to make new things (241). Aristotle’s view of government also differed from Plato’s. Undoubtedly, both the scholars opposed to democracy to a great extent and according to them only members of the intellectual aristocracy constitute acceptable form of government. To be specific, Plato proposed a society that contains three classes based on their innate character. Individuals like farmers, artisans, and merchants constitute the bottom class. People like soldiers with strong wills and spirits form the middle class. Members of the intellectual aristocracy make the uppermost class because of their reasoning abilities. And the absolute control of political power is proposed for the intellectual aristocracy. Aristotle opposed monarchy, democracy, and aristocracy alike. Instead, what he proposed was polity’ which according to him was a government that situated between oligarchy and democracy. To illustrate, polity comprised of middle class people and would be a miniature of the population based on its size. However, he believed that the existence of a powerful government was essential for the welfare of the citizens. Aristotle, counts the virtue of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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