Presentation on theme: "L18-01-30-14-205 More recording problems. This is a reconstruction: approximate, with some additional information."— Presentation transcript:
L More recording problems. This is a reconstruction: approximate, with some additional information.
What has a nature Aristotle starts with the issue of principles. In the background is a question of earlier philosophers who sought a FIRST PRINCIPLE, from which they held that the whole reality was derive. The Earlier philosophers tended to look for an ARCHE, or FIRST PRINCIPLE from the traditional elements (stoicheia): Air, Earth, Fire and Water.
Presocratics Homer ca 8 th cent BC Illiad, Odyssey Olympian Gods Hesiod ca BC Theogony from Chaos & Night->Gaia (earth) Thales, Miletus BC, arche: Water (hylozoist—earth is alive) Anaximander, Miletus , arche: opposites:earth water; air fire the unlimited (apeiron) Anaximenes, Miletus , arche: Air Pythagoras, Samos, Croton BC; mathematics, harmony Heracleitus,Ephesus, ; Flux Anaxagoras, Clazomenae, BC, arche: Mind Leucippus, Ionian, ? 5 th cent BC, division to smallest part, atom Democritus, Abdera, Thrace, BC; atoms in motion Empedocles, Sicily, BC; Love and Strife Parmenides,Elea, 5 th cent BC, The One, Being Zeno,Elea, BC, Eleatic, paradoxes: esp Achilles & the Tortoise Mellissus,Elea, 5 th cent BC, last of the Eleatics, Unity of uncreated being
Aristotle’s Nature as cause Anything having a nature contains an intrinsic principle that governs its change, motion, or staying in place. The search for the nature of particular things follows the strategy of Categories, but is looking for principles that operate across predicates.
The classic Aristotelian causes Not the arche, but a set of specific causes: 1.Matter: the exact properties matter, relative to the other causes 2.Form: the entity is accessible to us as matter having been shaped into a particular form 3.Efficient cause: the WORK of shaping matter to a form 4.Final cause: the telos, end or purpose
Final cause (telos) In Metaphysics, Aristotle distinguishes two uses of “telos”: that for the sake of which, and that for the benefit of which. This is pivotal in the working of his system of causes. The most evident fact is that this system, taken in a simple form, applies principallly to things made by ART, TECHNE, with is a collection of rules and practices by which something is made. How to see an “art” in Nature is thus the pivotal point at which what we now recognize as science could be said to start. The distinction between telos as “for the sake of” and as “for the benefit” of which is exactly what allows him both to examine form as a substance that can be intelligible, while on the other hand, distinguishes between the sequence by which something comes to be or is caused. That for the sake of breaks down the process to discrete steps: the footings for a house are for the sake of the foundation walls, which are for the sake of the floor joists, which are for the sake of the floor and the interior walls, which are for the sake of supporting the roof. Then one understands end, telos, purpose as the last step: when you have complete the house, it is for the benefit of human beings who need shelter.
How does this work in nature? Aristotle has already begun to use the distinction between an essential property of a thing and an accidental property, the first determining what it means to be an X, and the second allowing wide variation (and even mistakes). But the key conceptual terms pertain to POTENTIAL (dynamis) and ACTUALITY (both entelechy, a completed real whole, and energeia, a power or energy that is actually being USED. When Aristotle distinguishes between Knowledge and Contemplation, the former is entelechy: you already HAVE the knowledge, complete; but in energeia, you have the power to think and comtemplate (which is open ended), but when you are actually contemplating, it is actual: energeia. (Ackrill does not incorporate the former as actuality, i.e., Entelechy: when the potential of matter is realized in a living creature, it is a move from dynamis to entelechy, from potential to actuality. The huge problem is how to answer the question of PURPOSE. If this only works in Art, how can one get to what we call science as the rules and practices (the laws) of nature? WHY does the model of purpose apply, if you cannot say, for example, why there should be flies, or the common cold, or termites. In On the Soul, he takes the up, but the core problem is this: can an ART develop from Nature, as the potential in matter that, once in motion will “yearn for” and, will develop to entelechy. See Physics Book I, 92: “It is the matter which does the yearning. You might say that in yearsn asl the female for the male and as the base for the beautiful; excet that it is neither base nor female, except by virtue of concurrence.” In Physics, the problem is how to show that the potential in matter is shaped to the entelechy of form, presuming that the is SOME purpose. In on the Soul, it is to show how that “yearning” puts the dynamis (potential) into motion, so as to realize the end that one only sees when it is actualize.
Potential (dynamis), Actuality (entelechy for objects, energeia for activity) δύν ᾰ μις, power, faculty, capacity, potential ἐ ντελέχεια, full, complete reality, ἐ νεργεια, activity, operation ;actuality in the sense of actually being used: knowledge & contemplation.