Aristotle

Aristotle Aristotle, Galileo, and Pasteur can be said to have contributed significantly, each in his own way, to the development of “The Scientific Method.” Discuss. What is the scientific method? In general, this method has three parts, which we might call (1) gathering evidence, (2) making a hypothesis, and (3) testing the hypothesis. As scientific methodology is practiced, all three parts are used together at all stages, and therefore no theory, however rigorously tested, is ever final, but remains at all times tentative, subject to new observation and continued testing by such observation. Hellenic science was built upon the foundations laid by Thales and Pythagoras. It reached its zenith in the works of Aristotle and Archimedes.

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) represents the first tradition, that of qualitative forms and teleology. He was, himself, a biologist whose observations of marine organisms were unsurpassed until the 19th century. Biology is essentially teleological–the parts of a living organism are understood in terms of what they do in and for the organism–and Aristotle’s biological works provided the framework for the science until the time of Charles Darwin. Aristotle was able to make a great deal of sense of observed nature by asking of any object or process: what is the material involved, what is its form and how did it get that form, and, most important of all, what is its purpose? What should be noted is that, for Aristotle, all activity that occurred spontaneously was natural. Hence, the proper means of investigation was observation. Experiment, that is, altering natural conditions in order to throw light on the hidden properties and activities of objects, was unnatural and could not, therefore, be expected to reveal the essence of things. However, the establishment of the importance of classifying knowledge and of observation as well as the introduction of the deductive method of reasoning can be taken as Aristotle’s most significant contributions to the scientific method.

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Even after the intellectual revolutions of centuries to follow, Aristotelian concepts and ideas remained embedded in Western thinking. The critical tradition of science began with Copernicus in the sixteenth century. It eventually led to the work of Galileo (1564-1642), which criticised the very roots of the Aristotelian world system. With the invention of the telescope Galileo, in quick succession, announced that there were mountains on the Moon, satellites circling Jupiter, and spots upon the Sun. Moreover, the Milky Way was composed of countless stars whose existence no one had suspected until Galileo saw them.

Galileo attacked the problems of the Earth’s rotation and its revolution by logical analysis. Bodies do not fly off the Earth because they are not really revolving rapidly, even though their speed is high. In revolutions per minute, any body on the Earth is going very slowly and, therefore, has little tendency to fly off. Bodies fall to the base of towers from which they are dropped because they share with the tower the rotation of the Earth. Hence, bodies already in motion preserve that motion when another motion is added.

So, Galileo deduced, a ball dropped from the top of a mast of a moving ship would fall at the base of the mast. If the ball were allowed to move on a frictionless horizontal plane, it would continue to move forever. Hence, Galileo concluded, the planets, once set in circular motion, continue to move in circles forever. Therefore, Copernican orbits exist. Galileo never acknowledged Kepler’s ellipses; to do so would have meant abandoning his solution to the Copernican problem.

Galileo’s originality as a scientist lay in his method of inquiry. First he reduced problems to a simple set of terms on the basis of everyday experience and common-sense logic. Then he analyzed and resolved them according to simple mathematical descriptions. The success with which he applied this technique to the analysis of motion opened the way for modern mathematical and experimental physics. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was a French chemist and microbiologist.

His discovery that most infectious diseases are caused by germs, known as the germ theory of disease, is one of the most important in medical history. Pasteur’s phenomenal contributions to microbiology and medicine can be summarized as follows. First, he championed changes in hospital practices to minimize the spread of disease by microbes. Second, he discovered that weakened forms of a microbe could be used as an immunization against more virulent forms of the microbe. Third, Pasteur found that rabies was transmitted by agents so small they could not be seen under a microscope, thus revealing the world of viruses. As a result he developed techniques to vaccinate dogs against rabies, and to treat humans bitten by rabid dogs. And fourth, Pasteur developed pasteurization, a process by which harmful microbes in perishable food products are destroyed using heat, without destroying the food.

Pasteur’s work is not simply the sum of his discoveries. It also represents the revolution of scientific methodology. Pasteur superimposed two indisputable rules of modern research: the freedom of creative imagination necessarily subjected to rigorous experimentation. His work became the foundation for the science of microbiology, and a cornerstone of modern medicine.

Aristotle

Aristotle An ethical issue that is debated in our society is the concern of driving while intoxicated. Although this was naturally not the case during Aristotles time, many of his ethical beliefs can be applied to refute this dilemma. I will prove the standing issue to be unethical through Aristotles discussion of virtue and his concept of voluntary/involuntary actions in the Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle believed that of the virtues learned in our youth, each has a respective excess and deficiency. The virtue is the mean (or midpoint) of the excess and deficiency.

The mean can be thought of as just right, and the extremities can be labeled as vices. The mean should not be thought of as the geometric middle of the two vices- it varies between the vices, depending on the person. Aristotle believed that the mean and the vices are within our control and of the two extremes (vices) we should choose the less erroneous. It is not always easy to choose the less erroneous of the two. For example, Bill decides he wants to drink this Friday night, but he has to drive himself home. His choice of how much to drink lies between two vices: sobriety and drunkenness.

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Although neither may be his intention for the evening, it is obvious that the less erroneous of the two is sobriety. So much, then, makes it plain that the intermediate state is in all things to be praised, but that we must incline sometimes towards the excess, sometimes towards the deficiency; for so shall we most easily hit the mean and what is right (Aristotle 387). Aristotle defines virtue (also known as excellence) of humankind as living in accordance with reason in the best kind of way. Simply put, doing what is characteristic of a thing to do. He argues that our reasoning, which is the foundation for our virtues, derives from habit and not from nature. Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do excellences arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and are made perfect by habit.

Again, of all the things that come to us by nature we first acquire the potentiality and later exhibit the activity(Aristotle 376) Hence, all of the virtues that we believe are what we practice. The point in mind is that all of our morals are instilled in us through the process of learning. What we see others (whether adults, teachers, etc.) practice when we are children has a direct bearing on our thoughts and opinions. We simply practice these thoughts and opinions in our day to day lives. Thus, in one word, states arise out of like activities (Aristotle 377). This may be the case with a child who is reared in an alcohol abusive family.

Say the childs father frequently drove while intoxicated and the child was lead to believe that this was okay. Although this does not make it ethical, or lawful for that matter, for the child to drive drunk, it simply may have been a reason why. It makes no small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or of another from our very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference (Aristotle 377). Although this may be the reason why in this situation, it does not justify the learned activity; this is the rationale of Aristotle. Aristotle believed that although our actions are the results of our learning, virtue still involves rational choice.

He is saying that if we have not been taught what is the moral excellence (the midpoint of the two vices), of a particular action or behavior, we still have the ability to attain excellence through choice. If a drunk driver chooses to continue driving drunk (the vice), he will never attain moral excellence. Aristotle believed that practicing virtue leads to a virtuous circle, in which the more you abstain from a vice, the easier it becomes to abstain. Eventually, performing virtuous activities becomes habit. This again can be related to the topic at hand. If an alcoholic (I am not assuming a person is an alcoholic simply because of driving drunk) decides to quit drinking, the first few months may be hard to cope with since the alcohol was the former solution to a problem. As time goes on, alcohol is less and less thought of and has become easier to abstain from.

Sometimes there is not a mean for an action or passion because its name already implies its badness. This is the case with drunk driving. There is no moderate way to drive drunk, its name implies that it is an extremity. By reason of being an extremity, Aristotle would condemn drunk driving: It is not possible, then, ever to be right with regard to them (the extremities); one must always be wrong (Aristotle 383). Further illustrating belief that driving drunk is not virtuous, Aristotle discusses the concept that in the case of drunkenness, an individual chooses the actions which affect his state of consciousness. The choice to drink alcohol is voluntary because it involves reason and thought.

Therefore, virtue, and the vices of this virtue are within our power. While our actions are labeled as voluntary, the outcomes can either be involuntary or non-voluntary. Involuntary actions involve regret for actions done out of ignorance, while non-voluntary actions do not involve regret for actions done out of ignorance. Indeed, we punish a man for his very ignorance, if he is thought responsible for the ignorance, as then penalties are doubled in the case of drunkenness; for the moving principle is in the man himself, since he had the power of not getting drunk and his getting drunk was the cause of his ignorance. (Aristotle 396) If a man is knowing of what he does when he is sober, the very state of drunkenness makes him unjust (in respect to virtue) since he is ignorant in this state and he has voluntarily brought himself to drink. Thus, if a man knowingly acts in a way that will result in his becoming unjust, he must be said to be voluntarily unjust (Aristotle 396).

Alcohol abuse is not debated in our society-we know it is wrong, yet this does not seem to stop our actions. Aristotles view of alcohol abuse in the fourth century BC is the same as the outlook of the modern world but todays technological advancements have drastically increased the dangers of abuse. Driving while intoxicated is a deep concern that is not taken lightly. I have discussed why his ethical system proves that this is wrong, even though we know it is wrong. The point in mind is that the problem will never cease to exist, we can only derive solutions and/or repercussions to deal with it. Bibliography Aristotle, A New Aristotle Reader. Trans.

J.L. Ackrill. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.

Aristotle

Aristotle was born in 384 BC and lived until 322 BC. He was a Greek philosopher and scientist, who shares with Plato being considered the most famous of ancient philosophers. He was born at Stagira, in Macedonia, the son of a physician to the royal court. When he was 17, he went to Athens to study at Plato’s Academy. He stayed for about 20 years, as a student and then as a teacher.


When Plato died in 347 BC, Aristotle moved to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his named Hermias was the ruler. He counseled Hermias and married his niece and adopted daughter, Pythias (wierd names, huh). After Hermias was captured and executed by the Persians, Aristotle went to Pella, Macedonia’s capital, and became the tutor of the king’s young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle went back to Athens and established his own school, the Lyceum.Since a lot of the lessons happened when teachers and students were walking, it was nicknamed the Peripatetic school (Peripatetic means walking). When Alexander died in 323 BC, strong anti-Macedonian feeling was felt in Athens, and Aristotle went to a family estate in Euboea. He died there the following year.
Aristotle, like Plato, used his dialogue in his beginning years at the Academy. Apart from a few fragments in the works of later writers, his dialogues have been wholly lost. Aristotle also wrote some short technical writings, including a dictionary of philosophic terms and a summary of the “doctrines of Pythagoras” (the guy from the Pythagorean Theorem). Of these, only a few short pieces have survived. Still in good shape, though, are Aristotle’s lecture notes for carefully outlined courses treating almost every type of knowledge and art. The writings that made him famous are mostly these, which were collected by other editors.

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Among the writings are short informative lectures on logic, called Organon (which means “instrument”), because “they provide the means by which positive knowledge is to be attained”(They’re not my words, I’m quoting him). His writing on natural science include Physics, which gives a huge amount of information on astronomy, meteorology, plants, and animals. His writings on the nature, scope, and properties of being, (I know what one of them means!) which Aristotle called First Philosophy (to him it was “Prote philosophia”), were given the title Metaphysics in the first published version of his works (around 60 BC), because in that edition they followed Physics. His belief of the “Prime Mover”, or first cause, was pure intellect, perfect in unity,immutable, and, as he said, “the thought of thought,” is given in the Metaphysics. Other famous works include his Rhetoric, his Poetics (which we only have incomplete pieces of), and his Politics (also incomplete).
Because of the influence of his father’s medical profession, Aristotle’s philosophy was mainly stressed on biology, the opposite of Plato’s emphasis on mathematics. Aristotle regarded the world as “made up of individuals (substances) occurring in fixed natural kinds (species)” (more confusing quotes, yippey!). He said “each individual has its built-in specific pattern of development and grows toward proper self-realization as a specimen of its type. Growth, purpose, and direction are thus built into nature.” Although science studies many things, according to Aristotle, “these things find their existence in particular individuals. Science and philosophy must therefore balance, not simply choose between, the claims of empiricism (observation and sense experience) and formalism (rational deduction).”
One of the most famous of Aristotle’s contributions was a new notion of causality. “Each thing or event,” he thought, “has more than one ‘reason’ that helps to explain what, why, and where it is.” Earlier Greek thinkers thought that only one sort of cause can explain itself; Aristotle said four.(The word Aristotle uses, aition, “a responsible, explanatory factor” is not the same as the word cause now.)
These four causes are the “material cause”, (the matter out of which a thing is made); the “efficient cause”, (the source of motion, generation, or change); the “formal cause”, (the species, kind, or type); and “the final cause”, (the goal, or full development, of an individual, or the intended function of a construction or invention.) Although I don’t know what these mean, they sound philosophical. An example he gave is “a young lion is made up of tissues and organs, its material cause; the efficient cause is its parents, who generated it; the formal cause is its species, lion; and its final cause is its built-in drive toward maturity.” Another example he gave is “the material cause of a statue is the marble from which it was carved; the efficient cause is the sculptor; the formal cause is the shape the sculptor realized Hermes, perhaps; and the final cause is its function, to be a work of fine art.”
In each wy, Aristotle says that something can be better understood when its causes can be said in specific terms rather than in general terms. So it is more informative to know that a “sculptor” made the statue than to know that an “artist” made it; and even more informative to know that “Polycleitus” chiseled it rather than simply that a “sculptor” did so.


In astronomy, Aristotle proposed a finite, spherical universe, with the earth at its center. The center is made up of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. In Aristotle’s physics, all of these four elements has a right place, determined by its relative heaviness, its “specific gravity.” Each moves naturally in a straight line. Earth goes down, fire up toward its proper place, where it will be at rest.


So Earth’s motion is always in a line and always comes to a halt. The heavens, though, move “naturally and endlessly in a complex circular motion”. The heavens, according to, must be made of a fifth, and different element, which he called “aither.” The strongest element, aither can’t change other than change of place in a circle movement. Aristotle’s theory that linear motion always takes place through a resisting medium is actually true for all planets that we can see motions.
Honestly, to me it seems like Aristotle was crazy. Many of his theories were completely false, and I don’t really understand why he is so famous. If I started saying the things he says now, I’d be thrown into a mental hospital.

Aristotle

Aristotle
Aristotle was born in 384 BC and lived
until 322 BC. He was a Greek philosopher and scientist, who shares with
Plato being considered the most famous of ancient philosophers. He was
born at Stagira, in Macedonia, the son of a physician to the royal court.


When he was 17, he went to Athens to study at Plato’s Academy. He stayed
for about 20 years, as a student and then as a teacher.

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When Plato died in 347 BC, Aristotle moved
to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his named Hermias was
the ruler. He counseled Hermias and married his niece and adopted daughter,
Pythias (wierd names, huh). After Hermias was captured and executed by
the Persians, Aristotle went to Pella, Macedonia’s capital, and became
the tutor of the king’s young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the
Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle went back to Athens
and established his own school, the Lyceum.Since a lot of the lessons happened
when teachers and students were walking, it was nicknamed the Peripatetic
school (Peripatetic means walking). When Alexander died in 323 BC, strong
anti-Macedonian feeling was felt in Athens, and Aristotle went to a family
estate in Euboea. He died there the following year.


Aristotle, like Plato, used his dialogue
in his beginning years at the Academy. Apart from a few fragments in the
works of later writers, his dialogues have been wholly lost. Aristotle
also wrote some short technical writings, including a dictionary of philosophic
terms and a summary of the “doctrines of Pythagoras” (the guy from the
Pythagorean Theorem). Of these, only a few short pieces have survived.


Still in good shape, though, are Aristotle’s lecture notes for carefully
outlined courses treating almost every type of knowledge and art. The writings
that made him famous are mostly these, which were collected by other editors.


Among the writings are short informative
lectures on logic, called Organon (which means “instrument”), because “they
provide the means by which positive knowledge is to be attained”(They’re
not my words, I’m quoting him). His writing on natural science include
Physics, which gives a huge amount of information on astronomy, meteorology,
plants, and animals. His writings on the nature, scope, and properties
of being, (I know what one of them means!) which Aristotle called First
Philosophy (to him it was “Prote philosophia”), were given the title Metaphysics
in the first published version of his works (around 60 BC), because in
that edition they followed Physics. His belief of the “Prime Mover”, or
first cause, was pure intellect, perfect in unity,immutable, and, as he
said, “the thought of thought,” is given in the Metaphysics. Other famous
works include his Rhetoric, his Poetics (which we only have incomplete
pieces of), and his Politics (also incomplete).


Because of the influence of his father’s
medical profession, Aristotle’s philosophy was mainly stressed on biology,
the opposite of Plato’s emphasis on mathematics. Aristotle regarded the
world as “made up of individuals (substances) occurring in fixed natural
kinds (species)” (more confusing quotes, yippey!). He said “each individual
has its built-in specific pattern of development and grows toward proper
self-realization as a specimen of its type. Growth, purpose, and direction
are thus built into nature.” Although science studies many things, according
to Aristotle, “these things find their existence in particular individuals.


Science and philosophy must therefore balance, not simply choose between,
the claims of empiricism (observation and sense experience) and formalism
(rational deduction).”
One of the most famous of Aristotle’s contributions
was a new notion of causality. “Each thing or event,” he thought, “has
more than one ‘reason’ that helps to explain what, why, and where it is.”
Earlier Greek thinkers thought that only one sort of cause can explain
itself; Aristotle said four.(The word Aristotle uses, aition, “a responsible,
explanatory factor” is not the same as the word cause now.)
These four causes are the “material cause”,
(the matter out of which a thing is made); the “efficient cause”, (the
source of motion, generation, or change); the “formal cause”, (the species,
kind, or type); and “the final cause”, (the goal, or full development,
of an individual, or the intended function of a construction or invention.)
Although I don’t know what these mean, they sound philosophical. An example
he gave is “a young lion is made up of tissues and organs, its material
cause; the efficient cause is its parents, who generated it; the formal
cause is its species, lion; and its final cause is its built-in drive toward
maturity.” Another example he gave is “the material cause of a statue is
the marble from which it was carved; the efficient cause is the sculptor;
the formal cause is the shape the sculptor realized Hermes, perhaps; and
the final cause is its function, to be a work of fine art.”
In each wy, Aristotle says that something
can be better understood when its causes can be said in specific terms
rather than in general terms. So it is more informative to know that a”sculptor” made the statue than to know that an “artist” made it; and even
more informative to know that “Polycleitus” chiseled it rather than simply
that a “sculptor” did so.


In astronomy, Aristotle proposed a finite,
spherical universe, with the earth at its center. The center is made up
of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. In Aristotle’s physics,
all of these four elements has a right place, determined by its relative
heaviness, its “specific gravity.” Each moves naturally in a straight line.


Earth goes down, fire up toward its proper place, where it will be at rest.


So Earth’s motion is always in a line and
always comes to a halt. The heavens, though, move “naturally and endlessly
in a complex circular motion”. The heavens, according to, must be made
of a fifth, and different element, which he called “aither.” The strongest
element, aither can’t change other than change of place in a circle movement.


Aristotle’s theory that linear motion always takes place through a resisting
medium is actually true for all planets that we can see motions.


Honestly, to me it seems like Aristotle
was crazy. Many of his theories were completely false, and I don’t really
understand why he is so famous. If I started saying the things he says
now, I’d be thrown into a mental hospital.

Aristotle

Prior to a look at Aristotle’s ethics, I feel it is important to look at the man and his background.
Aristotle, an Ionian, was born in Stagira, a Greek town on the northwest shores of the Aegean Sea in 384
B.C. At the age of eighteen he entered Plato’s school called the Academy, staying there for nearly twenty
years. Plato was quick to realize Aristotle’s abilities and called him the Academy’s “brightest and most
learned student”. While there he wrote “popular writings” for general discussion outside the Academy.


After Plato’s death, Aristotle left the Academy and lived with a few disciples of Plato. It was
during this period of his life that he took a wife. Her name was Pithias, the adopted daughter of his friend
Hermeias.

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In approximately 342 B.C. Aristotle was invited by King Philip II to supervise the education of his
son Alexander. After Philip II was assassinated, Alexander took over the throne. He later conquered all of
Greece and the Persian Empire and soon became known as Alexander the Great.


In 334 B.C. Aristotle returned to Athens and opened a school called the Lyceum. It was there that
he took on the teaching practices of Socrates. He wrote treatises and memoranda to be used as student
guides and lecture notes.


In 323 B.C., after the death of Alexander, Aristotle was charged with impiety by the Athenians.
This charge was thought to stem from his friendship with Alexander. Aristotle fled Athens because he
remembered what had happened to Socrates. He went to Chalcis so the Athenians would not “sin twice
against philosophy”. He died the following year.


Aristotle realized that happiness in the ultimate goal of a person’s life. All that a person is and
does should be directed toward this end. To arrive at goodness one must contemplate what universal and
eternal truths are and how these can be mastered in terms of each person’s life style. Wealth to many is a
pleasurable goal, but by itself it does not bring happiness. Wealth can limit a person’s vision setting a
person up to live in excess, while at the same time causing a deficiency in other areas. Along the same line,
being powerful might seem an ultimate goal, but it too is an example of excessive living. Powerful people
are not always happy as they miss life’s simple pleasures and often are isolated from other virtues. External
goods help someone to achieve happiness. These can include such things as friends and good looks. These
and other external goods are needed to ensure health, leisure and virtuous actions. Happiness then is
dependent on excellence, which r!
equires complete virtue and is developed over a lifetime.


Aristotle theorized that moral virtue is directly related to moderation. Virtue is a value a person
cannot have enough of because it leads to pleasure and happiness. Happiness therefore is the ultimate end
toward which all actions are directed. A man’s actions are not in isolation. They are directly tied to society
and the politics of the time. However, no matter what the time in history or a person’s place in society, a
person should use moderation in how he lives. To achieve this he must acquire knowledge, virtuous habits
and self-discipline. If a person has deficiencies he is not striving hard enough for happiness and his
ultimate goal. If he lives life in extremes he is apt to overdue in one area and be deficient in another. This
can be demonstrated by a person who uses drugs in excess and therefore does not appreciate or participate
in life’s pleasures. Aristotle could not see into the future; however, what he said hundreds of years ago still
applies today.


Aristotle was accurate when he taught that man has a moral responsibility for his actions. These
actions require a conscious choice because the person needs to be able to decide if the action is morally
correct. The good of the many outweighs the good of one. Therefore, it would be morally wrong to put
one’s needs and desires first before considering whether these actions would take away the freedoms of
others or cause harm to anyone else. Without proper moral training it might be impossible to grasp the
principles of ethical behavior. Man

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