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Aristotle Essay

1341 words - 6 pages


Aristotle was born in Stagira, a “Grecian colony. His father was a court physician to the King Amyntas of Macedonia. It is believed that his purse of studies is due to his father’s influence of practicing medicine. He died at his country house at Chalcis, in Euboea at the age of sixty-two years old in the year of 322 B.C. He died to an illness he suffered from for a long period of time. There were legends that told his death to be because of hemlock poisoning, as well as another legend, it was said he couldn’t explain the tides so he threw himself into the sea. Aristotle was a ...view middle of the document...

In physics his findings were that our universe is spherical with the earth in its center. The four elements he found were earth, air, fire, and water. He said that each element has its own gravity in which terrestrial motion is always linear and comes to a stop. He thought the heavens were a fifth element called aither since they move naturally and endlessly in a complex circular motion. The only change aither is capable of is in a circular motion. He was wrong in one of his findings, in which, two objects of the same size when dropped from a building one of them being a heavier weight would fall faster then the one with the lighter weight. Galileo changed Aristotle’s’ views when he conducted his experiments from the Leaning Tower of Pisa (“Encarta: Aristotle”).
In biology his findings were that through a linear succession of individuals a pattern which repeats itself is a common life cycle or epicycle. Life cycles are connected between the linear movement of terrestrial elements and the changeless circles of the heavens. He believed that evolution is not possible but species are on a scale with flies and such at the bottom and humans at the top (“Encarta: Aristotle”).
In Aristotelian Psychology the meaning to him was the study of a human beings’ soul. Aristotle’s definition of the soul was a “kind of functioning of a body organized so that it can support vital functions.” He insisted that form and matter always exist together. He did not believe that the soul was outside the body as in the Platonic notion at that time. However, he did believe that the human insight and the senses were what grounded our knowledge in sense experience. “There is nothing in the intellect,” he wrote, “that was not first in the senses” (“Encarta: Aristotle”).
Ethics is what he is famous for. His views were that ethics are mainly people wanting happiness. His teachings were that this goal could be attained in certain ways. This is what he wrote about in the Nicomachean Ethics book. It is an analysis of intelligence and character as they relate to a person’s happiness. Virtue is the main component for finding happiness in his belief. There are two types of virtues moral and intellectual (“Encarta: Aristotle”). His belief was that intellectual virtue owes both its birth and growth to teaching and moral virtue was due to a result of habit which meant nothing comes to us by nature (“Nicomachean Ethics”). He believed the path to virtue through righteousness was first to be dutiful to the gods and then to the spirits. Righteousness is also accompanied by holiness, truth, loyalty, and hatred of wickedness (“Aristotle, Virtues and Vices”). He also believed to be virtuous you needed self-love. Aristotle tried tirelessly to distinguish true self-love from vulgar self-love, which can make you morally defective. A person with true self-love is able to recognize and enjoy the value of developing their rational powers which they can use to guide their decisions. They in turn...

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