By J. L. Ackrill
Discusses Aristotle's perspectives on swap, traditional technology, the brain, common sense, philosophical process, metaphysics, and ethics, and indicates why the Greek thinker nonetheless provokes controversy.
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Extra resources for Aristotle the Philosopher (OPUS)
These are basic notions which we all use and rely on, but it proves very hard to analyse and understand them. Where do I go when I die? Do I, like a flame, just vanish; or do I survive in some shape or form? The question is not one that calls just for religious faith or for scepticism. Before we can take a position about the truth of the claim that a person survives death we need a clearer understanding of the claim itself. What sort of a thing is an 'I'? Does it make sense to suggest that a soul, having been the soul of a living person, might go on existing after that person's death -- after the body has stopped functioning?
So although it is quite right to insist that belief enters into the analysis of memory, bringing it in does not solve the particular problem Aristotle starts from, the problem -- to put it generally -- of how thought can go beyond or transcend the immediately given. Tomorrow's sea-battle: a famous argument about determinism One of Aristotle's most provoking stretches of argument is contained in Chapter 9 of his short logical work De Interpretatione. He develops a plausible argument to show that everything that will ever happen will happen necessarily, brings out the extraordinary and unacceptable implications of this conclusion, and finally offers a solution to the problem.
But since the development of a rigorous mathematical logic we have come to see that the theory was in fact an extraordinary achievement in formal logic. Starting more or less from scratch Aristotle produced an almost perfect and impressively rigorous piece of logic -- which can be properly valued only at a time when the ideals of completeness and rigour in logic are themselves understood and accepted. Philosophy of mind The mind-body problem (see Chapter 5) is a perennial. Traditionally seen as the problem of how two fundamentally different kinds of thing can interact (or how two totally different sets of events can be interrelated), it has recently been tackled in refreshingly new ways.