2Aristotle is born in Stagira. Aristotle’s Life384 BCAristotle is born in Stagira.374 BCAristotle’s father dies and he moves in with Proxenus; a close family friend. Aristotle spends most of his childhood wasting his family’s money on “high living”.367 BCAristotle moves to Athens to study at Plato’s academy (He does not fulfill family tradition to become a physician).
3Aristotle’s life continued... 347 BCLeaves Athens. Marries Pythias and their daughter, Pythias is born.344 BCHermias is murdered so Aristotle and his family move to Lesbos. He begins his studies of land.343 BCIs invited to Macedonia to tutor Alexander the Great.
4Aristotle’s life continued... Returns to Athens and founds his own school called the Lyceum.335 BCAlexander the Great dies and there are revolts against Macedonians (in Athens). Aristotle flees and settles in Chalcis.323 BCAristotle dies at age 62.322 BC
5School of thoughtUnlike Plato, Aristotle focused on examining the physical world and drawing connections between the sciences (physics, biology, etc.) and philosophy.When having knowledge of a fact, repeating it is not enough—it is necessary to give reasons why the fact is true (a process Aristotle called demonstration)Aristotle perceived the physical world as the “real world” and he insisted that there is no “perfect realm” beyond.Aristotle was very logical, and he defined knowledge as categorizing, comparing and identifying different things that can be seen in the world.Aristotle made 10 categories to differentiate between physical aspects. (All of them are related, except for the first one)
6School of thought continued… CategoriesAristotle’s TermGreekExamplesSubstance/Essence“substance” “this” “what-it-is”ousia tode ti ti estiman, horseQuantityHow muchposonfour-foot, five-footQualityWhat sortpoionwhite, literateRelationrelated to whatpros tidouble, half, greaterLocationWherepouin the Lyceum, in the marketplaceTimeWhenpoteyesterday, last yearPositionBeing situatedkeisthailies, sitsHabitHaving, possessionecheinis shod, is armedActionDoingpoieincuts, burnsPassionUndergoingpascheinis cut, is burnedIndependentdependent
7School of thought continued… Aristotle emphasized the importance of observation and he often pondered over the idea of “cause and effect” in nature, which was reflected in his theory of the four causes:Material cause, or the elements out of which an object is created;Efficient cause, or the means by which it is created;Formal cause, or the expression of what it is;Final cause, or the end for which it is.He contributed to the development of the theory of the four elements: earth, fire, air and water
8Works on Natural History Aristotle’s writingsHis works discussed many subjects: Physics, metaphysics, poetry, theatre, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology. They can be categorized into types of works:LogicPhysical WorksPsychological worksWorks on Natural HistoryPhilosophical works
9EthicsAristotle wrote many books, but one of his most prominent ones is called “Nicomachean Ethics”It consists of 10 books, in itself (numbered using roman numerals) that explore the idea of attaining happiness.
10Book IIn summary: all human activity strives for a positive end that we categorize as ‘good’The “supreme” good, is happiness, which comes hand-in-hand with being virtuous: Aristotle insists that a person cannot be happy if they are not virtuous.Aristotle states that people are “good” when they properly perform their functions, and that is how one attains happiness. i.e. a baseball player— once they learn to pitch and play well, they have served their purpose, making them “good”, and allowing them to attain happiness.
11Summary: There are two kinds of virtue: Book IISummary: There are two kinds of virtue:Intellectual: learned by instructionMoral: learned by habit and constant practicei.e. when a baseball player learns how to pitch, they learn virtue through practice not thinking about pitching.Aristotle defines human virtue as the desirable middle between two extremes (also known as the “golden mean”).
12BOOK Ii: The golden mean Vice of DeficiencyVirtuous MeanVice of ExcessCowardiceCourageRashnessInsensibilityTemperanceIntemperanceIlliberalityLiberalityProdigalityPettinessMunificenceVulgarityHumble-mindednessHigh-mindednessVainglorinessWant of AmbitionRight AmbitionOver-ambitionSpiritlessnessGood TemperIrascibilitySurlinessFriendly CivilityObsequiousnessIronical DepreciationSincerityBoastfulnessBoorishnessWittinessBuffooneryShamelessnessModestyBashfulnessCallousnessJust ResentmentSpitefulness
13Voluntary: a conscious decision to do something Book IIISummary: A person’s actions depend on if they are:Voluntary: a conscious decision to do somethingInvoluntary: not a conscious decision, but a person later recognizes their ignoranceNonvoluntary: not a conscious decision, and the person never recognizes or suffers for their ignoranceFor example, if you’re playing basketball and you deliberately throw the ball at someone’s face, that is voluntary. Or, if you lack hand-eye coordination and accidentally throw the ball in someone’s face but feel remorse, that is involuntary. Finally, if you lack hand-eye coordination and throw the ball at someone’s face without realizing (you leave before you see the end result), then your action is non-voluntary.
14Book IIIUltimately, the choice between virtue and vice is in the hands of people.Side note:CharacterEthicsActionsFor example, a religious person: they are characteristically devout to their faith and this is reflected in their ethics because they follow the ten commandments. This is also reflected in their actions because they go to Church.
15He better explains the chart of vices and virtues (in more depth) Book IVHe better explains the chart of vices and virtues (in more depth)
16The role of laws: to encourage people to act virtuously. Book VThe role of laws: to encourage people to act virtuously.Virtue (a person’s moral state) versus justice (relations between people).Two types of justice:Distributive: a fair distribution of wealth that is proportional to a person’s merit. (this is the virtuous mean) i.e. good person receives more than a bad person.Rectificatory: an unfair distribution of wealth (this is the vice) i.e. theft
17The question ‘How does one attain the golden mean?’ is answered. Soul Book viThe question ‘How does one attain the golden mean?’ is answered.SoulRational partIrrational partContemplative part: sciences and mathematicsCalculative part: practical matters in day-to-day life.Aristotle states that the right reasoning leads to making the right decisions and thus attaining the virtuous mean.
18Drawing wrong conclusions due to ignorance. Book ViiAristotle proposes four reasons for incontinence (lacking in restraint or control):A person has the knowledge of what is wrong, but does not reflect on it: thus doing something wrong without realizing it.Drawing wrong conclusions due to ignorance.A person is mentally unstable.Impulsiveness and desire for hasty success.
19Types of Friendship Book viii Goodness: admire one another’s goodness (and help maintain one another’s)UtilityPleasure: drawn by wit, charm, good looks…
20Book ixWhy friendships fall apart: i.e. a friendship of “utility” breaks apart when both parties no longer need each other, unjust treatment, people who initially misrepresent their true characters…Friendship is complicated and is often quite superficial. It is not always requited.Being independent allows a person to survive without friends, because they do not need them—but friendship is “good”, and without it one cannot attain happiness.
21Book xPeople can “amuse” themselves in many different ways, but this should not be confused with happiness.Happiness can be achieved through contemplation—only a god can spend all of their time only contemplating, but people must strive to do as much contemplation as possible.
22Knowledge issueCan mastering mathematics and the sciences, as well as understanding the physical world help us attain the virtuous mean? Is the virtuous mean even attainable? Real Life situation: The job description of a modern day scientist is to perform research in order to get a more comprehensive knowledge of the human body, and because of this there have been many medical breakthroughs over the years (i.e. vaccines for the flu, cancer treatment…). Ultimately, scientists strive to find ways to maintain human health, and as far as Aristotle goes, this would be a virtuous mean.
23Counter-argumentAristotle believes that most of humanity (if not all) is not born virtuous, but virtue is something that we must strive for. However, does attaining knowledge of the physical world truly promote the idea of the “golden mean”? After all, being a scientist is a job, not a life-style. So in this case, the end result may appear to be a virtuous act (because lives are being saved), but really, it is just superficial (it is a profession that earns money, not a charity).
24What would aristotle say? I think that Aristotle would say that a scientist has still attained the ‘golden mean’. The ultimate purpose of it is to attain happiness; whether a scientist chooses their profession because they want to help others, or simply for monetary gain, they are left satisfied. So as long as they are successful with their research, scientists are able to attain the virtuous mean.
25SynthesisAttaining the “virtuous mean” is the only way for people to attain happiness.The physical world holds many truths and people must strive to gain as much knowledge as possible in order to attain the “golden mean”.Unresolved Question:If, per say, our soul dies along with us and there is no afterlife, what is the purpose for attaining happiness? Why should people go out of their way to be virtuous (since it is not in their nature)?
26Bibliography"Aristotle (384–322 B.C.)." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 16 Feb Aristotle's Ethics (Nicomachean Ethics). New York: Sparknotes, Print. "Aristotle's Ten Categories." Aristotle's Ten Categories. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb "Aristotle." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Feb BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 17 Feb "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." AristotleÂ . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb Isle, Mick. Aristotle Pioneering Philosopher and Founder of the Lyceum. New York: Rosen Group, Print. Parker, Steve, Juliet Duff, Eirik Newth, and Rachel Cooke. Aristoteles Og Vitenskapelig Tenkemåte. Oslo: Bonnier Carlsen, Print. The Free Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb Thomson, J.A.K., trans. Aristotle Ethics. England: Penguin Group, Print. "Two Differences Between the Philosophers Plato and Aristotle." Yahoo! Contributor Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb Whiting, Jim. The Life and Times of Aristotle. United States of America: Mitchell Lane, Print.