Aristotle theory and the four causes. (need to

Aristotle was an acient Greek
philosopher and scientist releasing a number of books for both professions. He was
born in the city of Stagira, Chalkidice which is located in northern classical Greece.
His father, Nicomachus, died when he was young so the philosopher/scientist
lived under the care of a guardian. At the age of 18 he joined Plato’s Academy
in Athens and stayed there for a long time, until the age of 37. He created an impressive
variety of writings on topics like; physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater,
music, logic, biology, politics, and government. Such knowledge and amount of
writing lead him to establish a library in Lyceum and also a Peripatetic school
of philosophy. He died in 322 B.C.E in Euboea in central Greece. One of his
great ideas was the one of matter, what are these ideas of matter according to
Aristotle? With his principals of nature and a little help he used from Democritus
points he developed his idea of matter.

A modern definition of matter is the
substance with inertia and occupies physical space. Modern physics suggest that
matter consists of various types of particles, each with mass and size. Examples
of this material matter are electrons, the proton and the neutron. Matter can exist
in several states know as phases. Matter according to Aristotle is something
else, he said matter and form combine to make a substance and that without
form, matter would have no properties or activity at all. He backs this up
using the substance theory and the four causes. (need
to expand)  

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The four causes by Aristotle can be summarized
to material cause, what is something made of? Efficient cause, what brings
something about? Formal cause, what are the characteristics of the object? And Final
cause, what is the reason for something to exist? All these together are what
he used to base his theory on matter. That is, he did not really see the
material components or the shape, he was more interested in the purpose or
function. The fourth cause is said to be the most important one, final cause,
because it is when he explains it the best. The final cause when realized gives
the object full reality, basically what the object is doing, what it is meant
to do or developed to do so. So to conclude on the four causes the purpose for Aristotle
is the object itself, and not something which we might choose for it. Even if
we don’t know what the purpose is Aristotle believed it had its own intrinsic
purpose, he view for this is not only objects and substances but also the
universe.

            Aristotle argues
that every physical object is a compound of matter and form. He introduces his
notion of this in his book Physics. He
states that form is the determinant structure which gives everything their attributes.
Then matter, as mentioned before is the substrate out of all physical things
are made of. This theory goes by the name of hylomorphism which explains all
actual things or substances in the terms form and matter. He uses several
examples to explain this theory, like for example, and consider a plant. The plant
is a material substance which means it has matter and form. The form in this
case is the arrangement. As the plant matures internal growth happens, it gains
nutrients from the soil and removes wastes. The matter is determined by the
plant so that the activities and properties appear.

 

Aristotle was not the only
philosopher at his time, not at all, he was interested in Democritus’s
philosophy. Democritus developed the idea that the end point of all division
was an atom. This basic matter particle was thought to be indestructible. In constrast
Aristotle opposed the atomic theory developed by Democritus. He believed that
instead of matter being made of tiny particles (atoms) that they were all
fundamentally air, fire, water, and earth. These theories differ a lot, Democritus
believed that the atom did exist and that is was the smallest unit of matter. Aristotle
on the other hand did not, he argued against the existence of the atom. In the
end Aristotle’s theory has been proven incorrect and Democritus has been proved
correct. Both theories were developed around the same time which was around 400
and 300 B.C. during the era of ancient Greek philosophy.

In conclusion Aristotle’s philosophy continues
to be relevant in studies today. Which is so hard to believe since it was so
long ago, but even then at his time people believed in what he believed in. he
is credited with the earliest study of formal logic. His philosophy impacted
political thoughts in many ways, people’s views of his philosophy comes from
the easy understanding of it. However Christian church did not believe him or
his ideas. He is considered one of the great foundation figures of both
philosophy and natural science.  

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