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Aristotle: the desire to understand by Jonathan Lear

By Jonathan Lear

This can be a philosophical advent to Aristotle, and Professor Lear starts off the place Aristotle himself began. He introduces us to the essence of Aristotle's philosophy and courses us via the entire important Aristotelian texts--selected from the Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics, Politics and the organic and logical works. The publication is written in a right away, lucid kind that engages the reader with the topics in an energetic and participatory demeanour. it's going to end up a stimulating creation for all scholars of Greek philosophy and for quite a lot of others drawn to Aristotle as an incredible determine in Western highbrow background.

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One can never observe the causing which, as it were, glues the two events together. When there is a regular pattern of one type of event following another we tend to see the first event as causing the second; but, Hume argued, we never see the causing, we only witness the events. ' To isolate an event as a cause must be construed as shorthand for claiming that the event occupies a certain place in a larger regularity of events. To say that a particular event x causes an event y is to say that x is an event of type X and y is an event of type Y and, in general, when an event of type X occurs it is followed by an event of type Y.

Thus philosophy was, for Hegel, essentially retrospective. For the full meaning of human activity could only be fully understood from the vantage-point of the realized end. As Hegel put it, 'the Owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk' (Philosophy of Right, Preface, p. 13). Nature Aristotelian powers are viewed as inevitably suspect. This, I think, is a mistake. There may be a valid objection to certain explanations which have a virtus dormitiva structure, but the objection is not one of principle.

Organized in such a way: there is thus required, in addition to the organization already manifested in the liver, lungs, and limbs, a principle responsible for organizing human organs and limbs into human form. This type of reasoning is applicable all the way down. Flesh and bones are the matter of human organs and limbs, but an arm is not a mere heap of flesh and bones. It is flesh and bones organized in such a way: there is thus required, in addition to the organization already manifested in the flesh and bones, a principle which is responsible for organizing thefleshand bones into an arm.

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