2Aristotle and Christian Theology Thomas AquinasR.C. SproulNorm Geisler
3Aristotle’s Life384 BC – Aristotle is born in Stagira in Thrace, near MacedoniaFather is court physician to King Amyntas, grandfather of Alexander the Great367 BC – Aristotle comes to Athens to study at Plato’s academyPlato refers to Aristotle as the Nous of the AcademyAristotle builds an impressive personal library, Plato refers to Aristotle’s home as the “house of the reader”
4Ancient GossipRumor ….Aristotle said to have hinted that “wisdom would not die with Plato.”And Plato said to have referred to his student as a foal that kicks his mother after draining her dry.
5347 BC – Plato dies. After 20 years of study, Aristotle leaves Athens, travels to Asia Minor and marries.342 BC – Aristotle has stayed in touch with friends in Macedonia via Facebook. Receives 140 character Tweet from Phillip inquiring if he would be interested in returning to Macedonia for a sweet job.
6Alexander’s Three Tutors Leonidas, a kinsman of OlympiasTraining was like Marine bootcampAs an adult Alexander’s endurance was almost superhumanLysicmachusReferred to Alexander as AchillesFed the stories Olympias had told Alexander about his conception
7Conception of Alexander Olympias – a priestess of DionysusAdept at trancelike state of possessionIn trance is impregnated by celestial firePhilip sees her snuggling with a snake while asleep and is told by Oracle of Delphi that he has witnessed her sleeping with a god and that it will cost him an eye
8342 BC – Aristotle returns to Macedonia to tutor Alexander Most esteemed philosopher of his dayChildhood friend of PhillipEnduring relationshipDifferent political philosophy
9Alexander goes on to conquer the world Aristotle tutored Alexander, for 5 years until Phillip dies and Alexander assumes the throne.Alexander goes on to conquer the worldAlexander had his men collect flora and fauna from every region of the world and send to AristotleLed to Aristotle having the first zoo
10Aristotle tutors Alexander for 5 years until Phillip dies and Alexander assumes the throne. 336 BC Aristotle leaves Macedonia334 BC Aristotle establishes his own university, the LyceumNamed the Lyceum, as it was adjacent to the temple to the god Apollo Lyceus -- protector of the flock against the wolf [lycos].Morning serious lectures - - Evening public lecturesStudents had their meals with AristotlePeripatetic style of teaching
11323 BC Alexander the Great dies, Aristotle leaves Athens “lest Athens sin twice against philosophy” Demosthenes had kept the independent minded Athenians stirred up about their Macedonian conquerorsConquered by PhillipForced to stay in Corinthian League (remember Thebes?)322 BC Aristotle Dies
12Aristotle’s Library Is Buried After his death Theophrastus buries Aristotle’s library in an effort to preserve it.Lost and forgotten for about 100 years and then it is dug up, bad shape, a definitive edition of his collected works eventually put together from fragments and his student’s lecture notes.Some ancient historians credit him with having written a thousand books (probably an exaggeration)We have about 30
13Important But Difficult Many, if not most, of his writings are dense and not all that interesting.Arabian philosopher Avicenna said that he had read Aristotle’s Metaphysics 40 times without understanding it.
14Logical worksCollected by the later Peripatetics under the title of Aristotle’s Organon)CategoriesTopicsPriorPosterior AnalyticsPropositionsSophistical Refutation
15Scientific Works Physics On the Heavens Growth and Decay Meteorology Natural HistoryOn the SoulThe Parts of AnimalsThe Movement of AnimalsThe Generation of Animals
18Encyclopedia Aristotlica How is he able to write so diversely?It should be noted that his works are full of errors and absurdities.He believed that everything could be explained in as a consequence of four causes . . .
19Four Causes Everything can be explained as a consequence of Material cause – what is it made of?Formal cause – what kind of thing is it? What is its essence, its “ness”.Efficient cause – what produced it?Final cause – what is its purpose?
20What are the Four Causes What are the Four Causes? A Statue of Socrates Material Cause: Marble Formal Cause: Statueness of Socrates Efficient Cause: Sculptor Final Cause: To honor Socrates
21A Shirt Material Cause: Fabric Formal Cause: Shirtness Efficient Cause: Shirt Maker Final Cause: To keep someone warm. A Wig Material Cause: Real or synthetic hair Formal Cause: Wigness Efficient Cause: Wig Maker Final Cause: To make someone look and/or feel better.
22Ancient Philosophy & Four Causes First book of Metaphysics explains all philosophy prior to Aristotle in terms of the four causes.“I am the first to recognize all four causes.”Can you refute Aristotle?
23Aristotle’s Doctrine of Substances Substance – for Aristotle anything that existsEvery substance is composed of two thingsHule = matterMorphe = formWhat makes wood a chair rather than a bat?
24Some Contributions of Aristotle LogicSyllogismsLaw of Non-ContradictionOpponent of Plato’s DualismUnmoved First MoverRhetoricEthics
25Syllogism The key component of Aristotelian logic is the syllogism. Typical format:Major premise – a general truth, or observationMinor premise – a particular fact, or specific observationConclusion – an inference implied by the two premises together
26The classic example of the syllogism: Major premise: All men are mortal.Minor premise: Socrates is a man.Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.In other words, what applies to all members of a group applies to each and everymember.
27Law of Non-Contradiction More than just a law of thought it is a law of beingContrary properties cannot belong to the same thing, at the same time, and in the same sense.A cannot be both B and –B at the same time and in the same relationship.A proposition cannot be both True and False at the same time and in the same senseSquare Circle
28You assume the law of non-contradiction every time you take an action, think a thought, or speak a sentence.You would have to presuppose the law to try to contradict it.Aristotle said that if the law of contradiction does not exist then there is no difference between coming to hear me speak, and taking a dose of Hemlock.
29A Cannot Be Not-A For Christians Without the law of contradiction (1) significant thinking is impossible, (2) significant action is impossible, (3) significant speech is impossibleNo difference between sin and non-sinWords may have a number of meanings but not an infinite number of meanings. There may be chair sense 1, chair sense 2, chair sense 3, but a chair is not a cat.
30The TrinityDon’t Christians break the Law of Non-Contradiction in the doctrine of the Trinity?
32Aristotle vs. Plato Rejects Plato’s metaphysical dualism doctrine of two worldsRejects Plato’s epistemological dualismRationalism vs. empiricismRejects Plato’s anthropological dualismBody and soulholism
33The Rhetorical Triangle When you engage in rhetoric, you are related to the audience and your subject. A well-balanced argument gives attention to all three points of the triangle, establishing your authority (ethos), drawing the audience emotionally (pathos), and doing justice to the facts (logos).However, if you give too much emphasis to facts, you can fall into a kind of distortion: making the subject seem cold and abstract. If you lean too much toward the audience, you can start to create propaganda. And if you put to much emphasis on your own character and values, you will seem egotistical.Possible Distortion:AbstractionLogosSubjectSpeakerAudienceEthosPathosPossible Distortion:PropagandaPossible Distortion:Egotism