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Aristotle claims that (i) theoretical knowledge is 'useless,' and (ii) for this reason (in part) it is the highest sort of knowledge.

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Aristotle’s influence is difficult to overestimate. Afterhis death, his school, the Lyceum, carried on for some period of time,though precisely how long is unclear. In the century immediatelyafter his death, Aristotle’s works seem to have fallen out ofcirculation; they reappear in the first century B.C.E., after which timethey began to be disseminated, at first narrowly, but then much morebroadly. They eventually came to form the backbone of some sevencenturies of philosophy, in the form of the , much of it original philosophy carried on ina broadly Aristotelian framework. They also played a verysignificant, if subordinate role, in the Neoplatonic philosophy of and . Thereafter, from the sixth through the twelfth centuries, although thebulk of Aristotle’s writings were lost to the West, they receivedextensive consideration in , and in Arabic Philosophy, where Aristotle was soprominent that be became known simply as The First Teacher (seethe entry on the ). In this tradition, the notably rigorous and illuminating commentaries ofAvicenna and Averroes interpreted and developed Aristotle’s viewsin striking ways. These commentaries in turn proved exceedinglyinfluential in the earliest reception of the Aristotelian corpus intothe Latin West in the twelfth century.

Essays and criticism on Aristotle - Critical Essays

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Before embarking on this study of substance, however, Aristotle goeson in Book Γ to argue that first philosophy, the most general ofthe sciences, must also address the most fundamentalprinciples—the common axioms—that are used in allreasoning. Thus, first philosophy must also concern itself with theprinciple of non-contradiction (PNC): the principle that “thesame attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to thesame subject and in the same respect” (1005b19). This, Aristotlesays, is the most certain of all principles, and it is not just ahypothesis. It cannot, however, be proved, since it is employed,implicitly, in all proofs, no matter what the subject matter. It is afirst principle, and hence is not derived from anything more basic.


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Equally central to Aristotle’s thought is his four-causalexplanatory scheme. Judged in terms of its influence, thisdoctrine is surely one of his most significant philosophicalcontributions. Like other philosophers, Aristotle expects theexplanations he seeks in philosophy and science to meet certaincriteria of adequacy. Unlike some other philosophers, however, hetakes care to state his criteria for adequacy explicitly; then, havingdone so, he finds frequent fault with his predecessors for failing tomeet its terms. He states his scheme in a methodological passagein the second book of his Physics:

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Free Aristotle Poetics Essays and Papers - 123HelpMe

Because of its wide range and its remoteness in time,Aristotle’s philosophy defies easy encapsulation. The longhistory of interpretation and appropriation of Aristotelian texts andthemes—spanning over two millennia and comprising philosophersworking within a variety of religious and secular traditions—hasrendered even basic points of interpretation controversial. Theset of entries on Aristotle in this site addresses this situation byproceeding in three tiers. First, the present, general entryoffers a brief account of Aristotle’s life and characterizes hiscentral philosophical commitments, highlighting his most distinctivemethods and most influential achievements.[] Second are General Topics, which offer detailed introductionsto the main areas of Aristotle’s philosophical activity. Finally,there follow Special Topics, which investigate in greaterdetail more narrowly focused issues, especially those of centralconcern in recent Aristotelian scholarship.

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Born in 384 B.C.E. in the Macedonian region of northeastern Greece in thesmall city of Stagira (whence the moniker ‘the Stagirite’),Aristotle was sent to Athens at about the age of seventeen to study inPlato’s Academy, then a pre-eminent place of learning in theGreek world. Once in Athens, Aristotle remained associated withthe Academy until Plato’s death in 347, at which time he left forAssos, in Asia Minor, on the northwest coast of present-dayTurkey. There he continued the philosophical activity he hadbegun in the Academy, but in all likelihood also began to expand hisresearches into marine biology. He remained at Assos forapproximately three years, when, evidently upon the death of his hostHermeias, a friend and former Academic who had been the ruler of Assos,Aristotle moved to the nearby coastal island of Lesbos. There hecontinued his philosophical and empirical researches for an additionaltwo years, working in conjunction with Theophrastus, a native of Lesboswho was also reported in antiquity to have been associated withPlato’s Academy. While in Lesbos, Aristotle married Pythias, theniece of Hermeias, with whom he had a daughter, also named Pythias.

An Essay on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

Two important topics that Aristotle addresses and believes to be crucial to the art work is the mimesis, or imitation of life, and that the audience has an emotional response from the work, or a catharsis....