Aristotle (The Routledge Philosophers)
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In this extensively revised new edition of his excellent guidebook, Christopher Shields introduces the whole of Aristotle’s philosophy, showing how his powerful conception of human nature shaped much of his thinking on the nature of the soul and the mind, ethics, politics, and the arts.
Beginning with a brief biography, Shields carefully explains the fundamental elements of Aristotle’s thought: his explanatory framework, his philosophical methodology, and his four-causal explanatory scheme. Subsequently he discusses Aristotle’s metaphysics, the theory of categories, logical theory, and his conception of the human being as a composite of soul and body.
The last part concentrates on Aristotle’s value theory as applied to ethics and politics, and assesses his approach to happiness, virtue, and the best life for human beings, before turning to a consideration of Aristotle's theory of rhetoric and the arts, with a special focus on his perennially controversial treatment of tragedy.
This second edition includes an expanded discussion of Aristotle's method, and new sections on key issues in perception, thought, akrasia, and mimesis. It concludes with an expanded assessment of Aristotle's legacy, sketching currently emerging Neo-Aristotelian movements in metaphysics and virtue ethics.
case of these later authors we have reliably accurate information regarding their intentions and very accurate information regarding their dates of publication. For Aristotle, we are in the dark in both regards – and we are not even able to speak nonanachronistically in terms of ‘publication’ at all. 30 Aristotle These considerations are consequential in many interrelated ways for our understanding of Aristotle’s philosophy. To take one central example, we can consider a work often taken to
Moreover, even when we appreciate Aristotle’s solution, we shall find a more intractable if less paradoxical problem following in its wake. To see why, let us follow Aristotle’s judicious methodological precept: ‘For those who wish to solve problems, it is helpful to state the problems well.’15 Here, then, is a formulation of Parmenides’ argument Against Change (AC) which lays bare its essential structure: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Necessarily, what is and what can be thought are co-extensive. Hence, it is
slightly more expansive. Once a discussion of some topic is joined, it serves the interests of all parties to run through the basic, common opinions accepted by the interlocutors. For so much is a kind of control on the likely direction the discourse may take. If an interlocutor is permitted to draw indifferently upon just any presuppositions, regardless of their credibility or indeed their provenance, then the discussion is likely to descend into idle Thinking 129 polemic. Accordingly, if the
encountered. In the first sentence of this treatise, Aristotle announces, without any orienting introduction, that some things are homonymous, and after briefly illustrating what is meant by this suggestion, he adds that other things are synonymous and still others paronymous (Cat. 1a1–11). A bit further along in the work, Aristotle claims, again abruptly and without any trace of justification, that there are ten categories of being (Cat. 1b25–2a3). One might wonder first why one should attend to
Assos and remained there for only three years. During that time, he married the niece or adopted daughter (or both) of Hermeias. She was named Pythias,13 and with Aristotle she had a daughter, also named Pythias. After his three years there, probably because of the deposition of the tyrant Hermeias, Aristotle moved to the nearby island of Lesbos, to the town of Mytilene. While the move was perhaps in some ways significant, it was geographically inconsequential: Lesbos is sufficiently close to