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Aristotle (;Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης Greek pronunciation: [aristotélɛːs], Aristotélēs; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira, Chalkidice, on the northern periphery of Classical Greece. His father, Nicomachus, died when Aristotle was a child, whereafter Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC). His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government – and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy. Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great beginning in 343 BC.
- For we all agree that the most excellent man should rule, i.e., the supreme by nature, and that the law rules and alone is authoritative; but the law is a kind of intelligence, i.e. a discourse based on intelligence. And again, what standard do we have, what criterion of good things, that is more precise than the intelligent man? For all that this man will choose, if the choice is based on his knowledge, are good things and their contraries are bad. And since everybody chooses most of all what conforms to their own proper dispositions (a just man choosing to live justly, a man with bravery to live bravely, likewise a self-controlled man to live with self-control), it is clear that the intelligent man will choose most of all to be intelligent; for this is the function of that capacity. Hence it's evident that, according to the most authoritative judgment, intelligence is supreme among goods.
- at his beddes heed
- Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed,
- Of aristotle and his philosophie,
- I saw the Master there of those who know,
- Amid the philosophic family,
- By all admired, and by all reverenced;
- There Plato too I saw, and Socrates,
- Who stood beside him closer than the rest.
- Collections of works
Earth, which is cold and dry; this corresponds to the modern idea of a solid.
Water, which is cold and wet; this corresponds to the modern idea of a liquid.
Air, which is hot and wet; this corresponds to the modern idea of a gas.
Fire, which is hot and dry; this corresponds to the modern ideas of plasma and heat.
Aether, which is the divine substance that makes up the heavenly spheres and heavenly bodies (stars and planets).
Material cause describes the material out of which something is composed. Thus the material cause of a table is wood, and the material cause of a car is rubber and steel. It is not about action. It does not mean one domino knocks over another domino.
- The formal cause is its form, i.e., the arrangement of that matter. It tells us what a thing is, that any thing is determined by the definition, form, pattern, essence, whole, synthesis or archetype. It embraces the account of causes in terms of fundamental principles or general laws, as the whole (i.e., macrostructure) is the cause of its parts, a relationship known as the whole-part causation. Plainly put, the formal cause is the idea existing in the first place as exemplar in the mind of the sculptor, and in the second place as intrinsic, determining cause, embodied in the matter. Formal cause could only refer to the essential quality of causation. A simple example of the formal cause is the mental image or idea that allows an artist, architect, or engineer to create his drawings.
- The efficient cause is "the primary source", or that from which the change under consideration proceeds. It identifies 'what makes of what is made and what causes change of what is changed' and so suggests all sorts of agents, nonliving or living, acting as the sources of change or movement or rest. Representing the current understanding of causality as the relation of cause and effect, this covers the modern definitions of "cause" as either the agent or agency or particular events or states of affairs. So, take the two dominoes, this time of equal weighting, the first is knocked over causing the second also to fall over.
- The final cause is its purpose, or that for the sake of which a thing exists or is done, including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities. The final cause or teleos is the purpose or function that something is supposed to serve. This covers modern ideas of motivating causes, such as volition, need, desire, ethics, or spiritual beliefs.
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