does nothing uselessly.
Aristotle pens MetaPhysics.
matter and form and the four causes - material, formal, efficient and final.
For example, to explain a statue, one can offer:
cause, that out of which the statue is made, is the marble or bronze.
The formal cause, that according to which the statue is made, is the
shape that the sculptor has learned to sculpt.
The efficient cause, or
agent, is the sculptor.
The final cause, is the purpose for which the
statue is made.
There can be no potentiality without
Aristotle argues that, although motion is eternal, there
cannot be an infinite series of movers and of things moved.
there must be an Initial Cause or
Mover itself must remain unmoved
and thus the Mover sits remaining
unmoved contemplating its own navel.
Nothing reaches the Mover and
this is why it remains unmoving.
three ingredients in the scientific outlook of the eighteenth century that were
(i) Statements of fact be based on
observation, not on unsupported authority.
(ii) The inanimate world is
a self-acting, self-perpetuating
system, in which all changes conform to natural laws.
earth is not the center of the universe, and man is not its only purpose;
moreover, "purpose" is a concept
which is scientifically useless.
(1) Observation versus Authority:
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; children
will be healthier if conceived when the wind is in the north; a man bitten by a
mad dog will not go mad, but any other animal will; the bite of the shrewmouse
is dangerous to horses, especially if the mouse is pregnant; elephants
suffering from insomnia can be cured by rubbing their shoulders with salt,
olive oil, and warm water. Nevertheless, classical dons, who have never
observed any animal except the cat and the dog, continue to praise Aristotle
for his fidelity to observation.
(2) Autonomy of the Physical World:
First law of motion says that a body which is moving will go on moving
in the same direction with the same velocity until something stops it.
Only living beings could move without help of some external
Aristotle thought that the heavenly bodies were pushed by gods.
(3) Dethronement of "Purpose''':
Aristotle maintained that
causes are of four kinds; modern science admits only one of the four. Two of
Aristotle's four need not concern us; the two that do concern us are the
"efficient" and the "final" cause. The "efficient" cause is what we should call
simply "the cause"; the "final" cause is the purpose.
In human affairs
this distinction has validity.
In human affairs, the question "why?" is
more naturally answered, as a rule, by assigning the final cause than by
setting out the efficient cause.
(4) Man's place in the universe:
effect of science upon our view of man's place in the universe has been of two
opposite kinds; it has at once
degraded and exalted
It has degraded him from the
contemplation, and exalted him from
that of action.
To get this effect with its full impact, you should
read simultaneously Dante's Divine Comedy and Hubble on the Realm of the Nebulae in each case with active
imagination and with full receptiveness to the cosmos they portray." - Bertrand
Russell, Impact of Science on Society
Aristotle showed a preference
for the investigation of the facts and laws of the physical world.
tutored Alexander III of
Aristotle forged syllogisms with modalities (modal
The word modal refers to the word 'modes', explaining the fact
that modal logic deals with the modes of truth.
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