Aristotle was born in Macedonia, not Athens, the outer regions. Born
to a relatively prominent family. His father was a physician for the
royal family. Aristotle was sent to Athens to learn from Plato. Plato
dies and somebody else not Aristotle was named to lead the school,
whoever did take over the school there was some conflict in the
school the fact that he participated and lost to become the leader of
the school. He leaves and enjoys the patronage by various rich
families. He is invited by Phillip, father of Alexander to become the
tutor of Alexander. We have no immediate direct historical accounts
that Alexander and Aristotle spent hours and hours for studying.
In 323 Alexander the great dies. His empire which went way east,
Athenians did not like being under the control of the Macedonians.
When Alexander dies there is this sort of feeling in Athens that they
are going to liberate themselves from the control of Macedonian.
Aristotle was not going to give the Athenians the opportunity to sin
twice against philosophers. I.e. Socrates. The concept of citizenship is
central to Aristotle but he was never a citizen of Athens. When things
got tough he felt unsafe due to his political affiliations or where he
was born. Lives only for one more year. We have his will.
Plato versus Aristotle.
Geometry vs biology (first love was biology, one of the things he liked to do
was classify. The method of biology, “observation shows us”. Plato on the
other hand always said to turn away from this world but focus on the world
that we can’t observe, the intelligible world. )
Systemic vs aporetic (aporia=puzzle, something that hasn’t been figured
out, controversy, a wrinkle) philosophy
Good vs Nature (the world outside has a logic to it and we can call it nature,
and there are forms. You’ve got matter for example and then you give it a
form such as a human for example. Everything is here for a reason. The whole system from the beginning of time until now is not chaotic and is not
unnatural it has a system of laws.
Hedgehog versus Fox (?) (Supposed to articulate two different ways of
approaching the world. The hedgehog has one really good idea, it’s a big
idea and pursues that idea and everything they look at they fit into that
idea. For example if you’re a author you stick to one genre. Plato is a classic
hedgehog. The second is a fox, Shakespeare is considered a fox. Aristotle is
not specifically arguing for a system, many contradictions. Do you think
Aristotle is a hedgehog or a fox?)
Aristotle on Human Nature
1. What is a.polis?
2. Man is by nature a political animal(zoon politikon)
4. Politics and the good life
-Good in the material/cultural sense
-Good in the moral sense
Human beings are first and foremost individuals, in their natural state they
are just individuals. Whereas Aristotle says that in their natural state they