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Metaphysics

analytical Essay
1835 words
1835 words
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Metaphysics

Whereas sciences deal with particular kinds of beings, metaphysics is concerned with beings as such. According to Aristotle, there is no such thing as mere being; to be is always to be a substance or object, a quantity, a quality, or a member of some other basic category.

I. Substance and Accidents

Substance is the primary mode of being according to Aristotle. The world is not one of atoms or particles, even though they have a place in the world. The basic notion of Aristotle's logic reflects a distinction in the way reality is structured and reflects the basic way that we view reality. Substance is whatever is a natural kind of thing and exists in its own right. Examples are rocks, trees, animals and the like. For instance, a dog is basically the same whether it is black or brown. A dog would be substance because it exists in its own right; it does not exist in something else, the way a color does.

Accidents are the modifications that substance undergoes, but that does not change the kind of thing that each substance is. Accidents only exist when they are the accidents of some substance. For Aristotle, there are ten categories into which things naturally fall. They are substance and a total of nine accidents: quantity, quality, relation, action, passion, time, place, disposition (the arrangement of parts) and "rainment" (whether a thing is dressed or armed, etc)

All of these distinctions are basically logical, but in a sense they reflect the structure of reality. One never finds any substance that we experience without some accidents, or an accident that is not the accident of a substance.

II. Matter and Form

Aristotle utilized the concept of matter and form in an entirely new way, statin...

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...he true moral value of friendship lies in the fact that the friend presents to us a mirror of good actions, and makes us more aware of our conscious and our appreciation of life. Aristotle believed that to be happy you need good friends—not too many as it is more practical to have just a few intimate friends.

"For without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods."

Our virtues and morals form our ethics. Choice is critical in ethics. We have the ability to choose between good and evil. Good conduct arises from habits that occur because of repeated action and correction. Socrates believed that knowing what is right always results in doing it. Aristotle disagreed. Not doing what is right, even after giving it much thought, is a failure in morality.

According to Aristotle, we are genuinely happy when we are virtuous and moral.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that metaphysics is concerned with beings as such. according to aristotle, there is no such thing as mere being.
  • Explains that the material cause of a house, for example, would include all building materials used in its construction. an explanation of the house could not exist unless they were present.
  • Explains that the formal cause is the pattern or essence in conformity with which materials are assembled. this is part of the explanation of a house.
  • Explains that the efficient cause is the agent or force immediately responsible for bringing this matter and that form together in the production of the thing.
  • Explains that aristotle's logic reflects a distinction in the way reality is structured, and the basic way that we view reality.
  • Analyzes how aristotle utilized the concept of matter and form in an entirely new way.
  • Opines that aristotle's doctrine of the four causes is easily misunderstood. he drew from the attempts of his predecessors and learned from their mistakes.
  • Explains that the final cause is the end or purpose for which a thing exists, and the various goals or ends that are sought along the way are secondary causes.
  • Explains how aristotle distinguishes between two types of potentiality, namely substance and motion.
  • Analyzes how aristotle distinguishes between necessity-as-compulsion and simple necessity. he explains the possibility of enduring substances that endure through time by distinguishing potentiality and actuality.
  • Explains that aristotle viewed ethics as an attempt to find out our chief end or highest good. he believed that happiness must be based on human nature and begin from personal experience.
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