Tuesday, September 29, 2015
(#8) Philip Giguere & Imran Khan- Aristotle
LIFE Aristotle was not just a philosopher but a Scientist in the subject of Physics and Astronomy and even some Psychology and Biology. Aristotle set up his own school at a place called the Lyceum. He had a habit of walking around and about when he was teaching or talking and his followers later become known as peripatetics which means “to walk about”. For the next thirteen years he had two kinds of lectures: extremely detailed ones in the mornings with his advanced students and more generic ones in the afternoons with people who were just lovers of knowledge. Athens was the city in which he set up his school and was later overthrown. When this happened a charge of impiety was trumped against him and in order to escape prosecution he fled to Chalcis in Euboea where he later dies a year later. Throughout his life he made many contributions to other sciences especially physics explaining change, motion, void, and time. Aristotle also had a major fascination with animals and said that they related to humans in many ways.
ETHICS Aristotle viewed ethics as the attempt to find our end goal in life to basically achieve our own happiness. Aristotle believes that happiness can only be achieved through personal experience and facts, not in abstract ideas or things. He further breaks down happiness in an analysis of the human soul which can be broken into three virtues that make up the human soul. The first being intellectual virtue he calls this a rational element of the human soul. This part of the human soul is responsible for giving us humans the ability to reason logically and formulate scientific principles. The second part of the human soul is our moral virtue this part of the soul is responsible for all of our emotions and desires. He claims this to be a fully rational part of the soul. Lastly we have the nutritional virtue which is solely responsible for nutrition and growth. So it is basically about eating healthy foods so you can live long and prosper. Someone who does this well is referred to as some who has a nutritional virtue Aristotle refers to this part of the soul as a completely irrational element. Aristotle also formulated several general points about the nature of moral virtues. First he says that our skill in regulating desires is not instinctive but learned throughout our lives from our families, teachers, and so on. Second he says that if we stop these desires too much or too little this can also create problems. Lastly he said that regulating our virtues are character traits and are not to be interpreted as emotions.