Essay on Aristotle: A Comprehensive View on Nature and Society

Essay on Aristotle: A Comprehensive View on Nature and Society

Length: 1196 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Aristotle: A Comprehensive View on Nature and Society

In order to fully understand Aristotle’s views on a natural system, it is necessary to first explain some general principles of his philosophy. It is in his work the Categories that Aristotle presents the concept of substance, a concept that will serve as the foundation for much of his philosophical system.

Substance, for Aristotle, is not a universal, but rather, it is the particular; substance is not a “such,” but a “this.” Thus, substance is neither in nor is it said of a subject (as are qualities). Rather it is that which makes the subject numerically one; it is that which makes the subject the individual. Substance is “an individual man and [or] an individual horse.” Aristotle still classifies universals as substances, for they define what constitutes the substance, and without these universals, a substance would not be what is.

There are four characteristics of substances: a substance is a “this”, not a qualification or a ‘such’ (which stresses individuality); a substance has no contraries to it (there are no opposites of a substance); a substance does not admit more or less (there are not degrees of a substance); and a substance can admit contraries while remaining numerically one.

In the Physics, Aristotle addresses that which constitutes Natural Objects as substances. He states that all Natural Substances consist of both form and matter. Matter is that out of which the substance arises and form is that into which the matter develops. In building a table, the wood, nails, etc., are the matters, and the idea of a table, what the end result will be, is the form, according to Aristotle. Matter and form are inseparable from each other; there is no ‘form’ apart from concrete things. Aristotle explains that all substances contain within themselves the origin of their change and movement. He continues by stating that the change, which can occur, is due to four possible natural causes: formal cause, material cause, efficient cause, and final cause. Formal and material causes are self explanatory, in that it is the form or the matter of the substance that is responsible for the change within the substance. Efficient and final cause, however, will become clearer once we investigate Aristotle’s ideas of actuality and potentiality. We should begin the explanation of actuality and potentially ...

... middle of paper ...

... nature and our striving towards the “good,” by means of moderate actions is everyday life. Knowing this practical type of reason, we can now examine the theoretical type of reason, intellectual virtue. Happiness is an activity, it is not a passive state for Aristotle. It is our potential which allows us to be motivated by the concept of the “Unmoved Mover,” towards a state of perfection or perfect happiness. In order to achieve this state, a human, according to Aristotle, must partake in an activity which is both sought for intrinsic purposes and is in itself perfect. Intellectual virtue is this activity. It is a theoretical principle which each person knows “a priori;” it is the act of doing what is most natural for all humans to do, to reason. It is our nature according to Aristotle, to reason, and it follows that if we achieve the perfectness or excellence (arete) in our nature, we achieve perfect happiness. Specifically, for Aristotle, the best way to come close to achieving the perfect “good” is to act as a seeker of truth.

The philosopher is the way to go according to Aristotle; “Philosophical thoght is the way to consummate perfect happiness, but it doesn’t pay well.”

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Aristotle 's View On The Self Essay

- 384 B.C.E., Aristotle was born in Stagira, Greece. At the age of fourteen, Aristotle went to Athens to study Philosophy with Plato. Although he studied with Plato, he did not always agree with some of his teachings. When Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and traveled to Macedonia. While in Macedonia, Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great. Later on in his life, Aristotle returned to Athens and created a school of him own, Lyceum. When Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C.E., Aristotle fled to Euboea to avoid charges and execution....   [tags: Aristotle, Causality, Soul, Philosophy]

Strong Essays
1099 words (3.1 pages)

Politics by Aristotle Essay

- The subject which the question focuses on is the view of Aristotle’s ideal state. The distinction between hierarchy and equality is at the heart of the understanding of Aristotle’s ideal state. He claims that an ideal state ought to be arranged to maximise the happiness of its citizens. So happiness together with political action is the telos of human life. This end can be reached by living a better ethical life. However, he endorses hierarchy over equality. On one hand we have the equality which benefits everyone; on the other hand we have the distinction of classes meant in terms of diversities and differences where the middle one appears to be the means through which the state is balanced...   [tags: Aristotle's Ideal State, Happiness Politics]

Strong Essays
1847 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Comparing Aristotle 's Nicomachean Ethics

- ... On the other hand, moral virtue is given birth through habit. It is not an object that we are just born with it. Moral virtue originates from constant repetition. Aristotle state that virtues cannot just simply arise in us. The reason being is that nothing given to us by nature can be changed by our habits. For example, by nature a pebble, rock or stone are all made to move downwards, it cannot be created to move upwards. Through nature we are adapted to receive virtue and through habits we make our virtue perfect....   [tags: Virtue, Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, Human]

Strong Essays
1249 words (3.6 pages)

Aristotle and Islam: Two Views of Women's Rights Essay

- Aristotle is one of the most famous philosophers around the world. He is Greek; he lived between 384 BC and 322 BC . He wrote in many aspects such as physics, metaphysics, logic, politics, government and ethics . While concerning politics and government, it is clear that Aristotle has some effective ideas to the state and the human society. On the other hand, Islam is one of the religious that take about how the society works and how to keep the state. They both talk about justice and equality between the members of the society....   [tags: Aristotle, philosophy, women, feminism, ]

Strong Essays
1052 words (3 pages)

Essay about Human Nature and Ideal Society

- Human Nature and Ideal Society Works Cited Not Included Throughout the course of time, many brilliant philosophers have explored the concept of human nature. The question, what motivates humanity has been taken into consideration in the composure of virtually every society. By establishing that premise, many went on to create an ideal society with the intention of developing that thought. In this paper, I will review the thoughts of Plato, Aristotle, Locke, and Marx and show how each theorist's view of human nature is displayed in their own utopia....   [tags: Philosophy Society Utopia Essays]

Strong Essays
2595 words (7.4 pages)

Essay about Plato, Aristotle and Augustine’s Contrasting Views about Women

- With respect to their differing philosophical beliefs, philosophers Plato and Aristotle would ultimately argue with respect to women and their place in society, the home, and their relationship with politics. Although, Augustine was not a philosopher, he would often make references about women. Most often, Augustine would abide by the teachings of his religion in explaining women and their place not only the confines of a marriage, but also, in relation to God. The importance of their views with respect to women, politics and religion have arguably shaped the ideals and social morals of current Western thought and ideologies....   [tags: Women and Society]

Strong Essays
2967 words (8.5 pages)

The Ethics of Plato and Aristotle Essay

- This essay will be examining the ethics of Plato (428-347 BCE) and Aristotle (384-322 B.C). I will firstly attempt to summarise the three fundamental concepts of Plato and Aristotle before providing my own opinion and view on their ethics. I will concentrate on their theories on the good life as a life of justice, censorship and knowledge. Plato was a philosopher who was both a rationalist and absolutist. According to his view, people must be schooled to acquire certain kinds of knowledge, for example, mathematics, philosophy and so forth....   [tags: Philosophy]

Strong Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Aristotle on Happiness and Virtue Essay

- ... Aristotle’s work maintained practicality, which made a huge impact on upcoming moral philosophers. St. Thomas Aquinas and most of the other Christian philosophers were highly influenced by Aristotle’s work. Those people following the “Virtue Ethics" movement in the current era were, in fact, inspired by Aristotle himself. Arête & Eudaimonia The dictionary meaning of the Greek word ‘Eudaimonia’ is happiness. More accurately it means "living well” and "excellence". According to Aristotle, to achieve happiness is the ultimate goal of human life and it is the maximum goal (Carreras, 2011)....   [tags: ancient Greek philosophers]

Strong Essays
1737 words (5 pages)

Aristotle and Aquinas Essay

- Aristotle and Aquinas       Among political theorists, the debate over the rule of law has been quite intense.  From the earliest days of political philosophy through to the enlightenment, there have been varying views on what the rule of law should be.  Two thinkers in particular - Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas - are perhaps the most influential.  On the surface, they both advocate the rule of law as playing a crucial role in society.  But upon deeper analysis, one finds that Aristotle's views sharply contrast with those of Aquinas.  This essay shall attempt to elucidate the disagreement between Aristotle and Aquinas, by first outlining Aristotle's arguments for and against the rule o...   [tags: Philosophy essays]

Strong Essays
2005 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Aristotle On Tragedy

- The Nature of Tragedy:In the century after Sophocles, the philosopher Aristotle analyzed tragedy. His definition: Tragedy then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions.Aristotle identified six basic elements: (1) plot; (2) character; (3) diction (the choice of style, imagery, etc.); (4) thought (the character's thoughts and the author's meaning); (5) spectacle (all the visual effects; Aristotle considered this to be t...   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1035 words (3 pages)