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Aristotelianism ( ) is a philosophical tradition inspired by the work of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
, usually characterized by deductive logic and an analytic inductive method in the study of
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') is the philosophy, philosophical study of Physics (Aristotle), physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of mode ...
and metaphysics. It covers the treatment of the social sciences under a system of
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be Deductive reasoning, deduced and applied independently of positive law ( ...
. It answers why-questions by a scheme of four causes, including purpose or
teleology Teleology (from and )Partridge, Eric. 1977''Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English'' London: Routledge, p. 4187. or finalityDubray, Charles. 2020 912Teleology" In ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'' 14. New York: Robert Applet ...
, and emphasizes virtue ethics. Aristotle and his school wrote tractates on
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
,
biology Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells that proce ...
,
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of conscio ...
,
logic Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both Mathematical logic, formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of Validity (logic), deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating h ...
,
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, alo ...
,
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics, is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics). It examines aesthetic values, ...
,
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre The metre (Brit ...
,
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The p ...
,
music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact definition of music, definitions of mu ...
,
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or speakers utilize to inform, persuad ...
,
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguis ...
,
economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and intera ...
,
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
, and
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
. Any school of thought that takes one of Aristotle's distinctive positions as its starting point can be considered "Aristotelian" in the widest sense. This means that different Aristotelian theories (e.g. in ethics or in
ontology In metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about ...
) may not have much in common as far as their actual content is concerned besides their shared reference to Aristotle. In Aristotle's time, philosophy included
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') is the philosophy, philosophical study of Physics (Aristotle), physics, that is, nature and the physical universe. It was dominant before the development of mode ...
, which preceded the advent of modern science during the
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, fo ...
. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school and later on by the
Neoplatonists Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonism, Platonic philosophy that emerged in the 3rd century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion, religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as a chain of ...
, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings. In the
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam, traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 14th century. This period is traditionally understood to have begun during the reign ...
,
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
and
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; Arabic name, full name in ; 14 April 112611 December 1198), often Latinization of names, Latinized as Averroes ( ), was an Al-Andalus, Andalusian polymath and Faqīh, jurist who wrote about many subjects, including philosoph ...
translated the works of Aristotle into
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
and under them, along with philosophers such as
Al-Kindi Abū Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn ʼIsḥāq aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ al-Kindī (; ar, أبو يوسف يعقوب بن إسحاق الصبّاح الكندي; la, Alkindus; c. 801–873 AD) was an Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَر ...
and Al-Farabi, Aristotelianism became a major part of early Islamic philosophy. Moses Maimonides adopted Aristotelianism from the Islamic scholars and based his '' Guide for the Perplexed'' on it and that became the basis of Jewish scholastic philosophy. Although some of Aristotle's logical works were known to
western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
, it was not until the
Latin translations of the 12th century Latin translations of the 12th century were spurred by a major search by European scholars for new learning unavailable in western Europe at the time; their search led them to areas of southern Europe, particularly in central Spain and Sicily ...
and the rise of
scholasticism Scholasticism was a medieval school of philosophy that employed a Organon, critical organic method of philosophical analysis predicated upon the Aristotelianism, Aristotelian categories (Aristotle), 10 Categories. Christian scholasticism eme ...
that the works of Aristotle and his Arabic commentators became widely available. Scholars such as
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – 15 November 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German Dominican Order, Dominican friar, philosopher, scientist, and Bishop in the Catholic Church, bishop. Later Canonization ...
and
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Order, OP (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar and Catholic priest, priest who was an influential List of Catholic philo ...
interpreted and systematized Aristotle's works in accordance with Catholic theology. After retreating under criticism from modern natural philosophers, the distinctively Aristotelian idea of
teleology Teleology (from and )Partridge, Eric. 1977''Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English'' London: Routledge, p. 4187. or finalityDubray, Charles. 2020 912Teleology" In ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'' 14. New York: Robert Applet ...
was transmitted through Wolff and
Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...
to Hegel, who applied it to history as a totality. However, this project was criticized by Trendelenburg and Brentano as non-Aristotelian, Hegel's influence is now often said to be responsible for an important Aristotelian influence upon Marx. Recent Aristotelian ethical and "practical" philosophy, such as that of Gadamer and McDowell, is often premissed upon a rejection of Aristotelianism's traditional metaphysical or theoretical philosophy. From this viewpoint, the early modern tradition of political
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state (polity), state organized as a republic. Historically, it emphasises the idea of self-rule and ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular ...
, which views the ''res publica'', public sphere or state as constituted by its citizens' virtuous activity, can appear thoroughly Aristotelian. Alasdair MacIntyre is a notable Aristotelian philosopher who helped to revive virtue ethics in his book '' After Virtue.'' MacIntyre revises Aristotelianism with the argument that the highest temporal goods, which are internal to human beings, are actualized through participation in social practices.


History


Ancient Greek

The original followers of Aristotle were the members of the Peripatetic school. The most prominent members of the school after Aristotle were
Theophrastus Theophrastus (; grc-gre, Θεόφραστος ; c. 371c. 287 BC), a Greek philosopher and the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He was a native of Eresos in Lesbos Island, Lesbos.Gavin Hardy and Laurence Totelin, ''Ancient Bota ...
and Strato of Lampsacus, who both continued Aristotle's researches. During the
Roman era In modern historiography, ancient Rome refers to Roman people, Roman civilisation from the founding of the city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. It encompasses the Roman Kingdom ...
, the school concentrated on preserving and defending his work. The most important figure in this regard was
Alexander of Aphrodisias Alexander of Aphrodisias ( grc-gre, Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀφροδισιεύς, translit=Alexandros ho Aphrodisieus; AD) was a Peripatetic school, Peripatetic philosopher and the most celebrated of the Ancient Greek Commentaries on Aristo ...
who commentated on Aristotle's writings. With the rise of Neoplatonism in the 3rd century, Peripateticism as an independent philosophy came to an end. Still, the Neoplatonists sought to incorporate Aristotle's philosophy within their own system and produced many commentaries on Aristotle.


Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Aristotelianism emerged in the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
in the form of Aristotelian paraphrase: adaptations in which Aristotle's text is rephrased, reorganized, and pruned, in order to make it more easily understood. This genre was allegedly invented by
Themistius Themistius ( grc-gre, Θεμίστιος ; 317 – c. 388 AD), nicknamed Euphrades, (eloquent), was a diplomat, statesman, rhetorician, and philosopher. He flourished in the reigns of Constantius II, Julian the Apostate, Julian, Jovian (Emperor) ...
in the mid-4th century, revived by Michael Psellos in the mid-11th century, and further developed by Sophonias in the late 13th to early 14th centuries. Leo the Mathematician was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the Magnaura School in the mid-9th century to teach Aristotelian logic. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the emergence of twelfth-century Byzantine Aristotelianism. Before the 12th century, the whole Byzantine output of Aristotelian commentaries was focused on logic. However, the range of subjects covered by the Aristotelian commentaries produced in the two decades after 1118 is much greater due to the initiative of the princess Anna Comnena who commissioned a number of scholars to write commentaries on previously neglected works of Aristotle.


Islamic world

In the Abbasid Empire, many foreign works were translated into
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
, large libraries were constructed, and scholars were welcomed. Under the caliphs
Harun al-Rashid Abu Ja'far Harun ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi ( ar , أبو جعفر هارون ابن محمد المهدي) or Harun ibn al-Mahdi (; or 766 – 24 March 809), famously known as Harun al-Rashid ( ar, هَارُون الرَشِيد, translit=Hārūn ...
and his son
Al-Ma'mun Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid ( ar, أبو العباس عبد الله بن هارون الرشيد, Abū al-ʿAbbās ʿAbd Allāh ibn Hārūn ar-Rashīd; 14 September 786 – 9 August 833), better known by his regnal name Al-Ma'mu ...
, the
House of Wisdom The House of Wisdom ( ar, بيت الحكمة, Bayt al-Ḥikmah), also known as the Grand Library of Baghdad, refers to either a major Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid public academy and intellectual center in Baghdad or to a large private library be ...
in
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
flourished. Christian scholar Hunayn ibn Ishaq (809–873) was placed in charge of the translation work by the caliph. In his lifetime, Ishaq translated 116 writings, including works by Plato and Aristotle, into Syriac and Arabic.Opth: Azmi, Khurshid. "Hunain bin Ishaq on Ophthalmic Surgery." Bulletin of the Indian Institute of History of Medicine 26 (1996): 69–74. Web. 29 Oct. 2009Lindberg, David C. The Beginnings of Western Science: Islamic Science. Chicago: The
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago, Chicago, U of C, or UChi) is a private university, private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Its main campus is located in Chicago's Hyde Park, Chicago, Hyde Park neighborhood. The University of Chic ...
, 2007. Print.
With the founding of House of Wisdom, the entire corpus of Aristotelian works that had been preserved (excluding the '' Eudemian Ethics'', '' Magna Moralia'' and ''
Politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
'') became available, along with its Greek commentators; this corpus laid a uniform foundation for Islamic Aristotelianism.
Al-Kindi Abū Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn ʼIsḥāq aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ al-Kindī (; ar, أبو يوسف يعقوب بن إسحاق الصبّاح الكندي; la, Alkindus; c. 801–873 AD) was an Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَر ...
(801–873) was the first of the Muslim Peripatetic philosophers and is known for his efforts to introduce Greek and
Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is a time-frame for Western philosophy and Ancient Greek philosophy Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC, marking the end of the Greek Dark Ages. Greek philosophy continued throughout the Hellenistic pe ...
to the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, اَلْعَالَمُ الْعَرَبِيُّ '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, refers to a vast group of countries, mainly located in Western A ...
. He incorporated Aristotelian and Neoplatonist thought into an Islamic philosophical framework. This was an important factor in the introduction and popularization of Greek philosophy in the Muslim intellectual world. The philosopher Al-Farabi (872–950) had great influence on science and philosophy for several centuries, and in his time was widely thought second only to Aristotle in knowledge (alluded to by his title of "the Second Teacher"). His work, aimed at synthesis of philosophy and
Sufism Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mysticism, mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spiri ...
, paved the way for the work of
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا; 980 – June 1037 CE), commonly known in the West as Avicenna (), was a Persians, Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, philosophers, and writers of the ...
(980–1037). Avicenna was one of the main interpreters of Aristotle. The school of thought he founded became known as Avicennism, which was built on ingredients and conceptual building blocks that are largely Aristotelian and Neoplatonist. At the western end of the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the e ...
, during the reign of Al-Hakam II (961 to 976) in Córdoba, a massive translation effort was undertaken, and many books were translated into Arabic.
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; Arabic name, full name in ; 14 April 112611 December 1198), often Latinization of names, Latinized as Averroes ( ), was an Al-Andalus, Andalusian polymath and Faqīh, jurist who wrote about many subjects, including philosoph ...
(1126–1198), who spent much of his life in Cordoba and
Seville Seville (; es, Sevilla, ) is the capital and largest city of the Spain, Spanish autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville. It is situated on the lower reaches of the Guadalquivir, River Gua ...
, was especially distinguished as a commentator of Aristotle. He often wrote two or three different commentaries on the same work, and some 38 commentaries by Averroes on the works of Aristotle have been identified.Edward Grant, (1996), ''The foundations of modern science in the Middle Ages'', page 30. Cambridge University Press Although his writings had an only marginal impact in Islamic countries, his works would eventually have a huge impact in the Latin West, and would lead to the school of thought known as Averroism.


Western Europe

Although some knowledge of Aristotle seems to have lingered on in the ecclesiastical centres of western Europe after the fall of the Roman empire, by the ninth century, nearly all that was known of Aristotle consisted of
Boethius Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, commonly known as Boethius (; Latin: ''Boetius''; 480 – 524 AD), was a Roman Roman Senate, senator, Roman consul, consul, ''magister officiorum'', historian, and philosopher of the Early Middle Ages. He was ...
's commentaries on the '' Organon'', and a few abridgments made by Latin authors of the declining empire, Isidore of Seville and
Martianus Capella Martianus Minneus Felix Capella (fl. c. 410–420) was a jurist, polymath and Latin literature, Latin prose writer of late antiquity, one of the earliest developers of the system of the seven liberal arts that structured early medieval educati ...
.Auguste Schmolders, ''History of Arabian Philosophy'' in ''The eclectic magazine of foreign literature, science, and art'', Volume 46. February 1859 From that time until the end of the eleventh century, little progress is apparent in Aristotelian knowledge. The renaissance of the 12th century saw a major search by European scholars for new learning. James of Venice, who probably spent some years in
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsargrad (Slavs, Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopo ...
, translated Aristotle's '' Posterior Analytics'' from Greek into
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
in the mid-twelfth century, thus making the complete Aristotelian logical corpus, the ''Organon'', available in Latin for the first time. Scholars travelled to areas of Europe that once had been under Muslim rule and still had substantial Arabic-speaking populations. From central
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
, which had returned to Christian rule in the eleventh century, scholars produced many of the
Latin translations of the 12th century Latin translations of the 12th century were spurred by a major search by European scholars for new learning unavailable in western Europe at the time; their search led them to areas of southern Europe, particularly in central Spain and Sicily ...
. The most productive of these translators was Gerard of Cremona, (–1187), who translated 87 books, which included many of the works of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
such as his '' Posterior Analytics'', ''
Physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
'', '' On the Heavens'', '' On Generation and Corruption'', and ''
Meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences (which include atmospheric chemistry and physics) with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not ...
''. Michael Scot (–1232) translated
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; Arabic name, full name in ; 14 April 112611 December 1198), often Latinization of names, Latinized as Averroes ( ), was an Al-Andalus, Andalusian polymath and Faqīh, jurist who wrote about many subjects, including philosoph ...
' commentaries on the scientific works of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
. Aristotle's physical writings began to be discussed openly. At a time when Aristotle's method was permeating all theology, these treatises were sufficient to cause his prohibition for
heterodoxy In religion, heterodoxy (from Ancient Greek: , "other, another, different" + , "popular belief") means "any opinions or doctrines at variance with an official or orthodoxy, orthodox position". Under this definition, heterodoxy is similar to unor ...
in the Condemnations of 1210–1277. In the first of these, in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
in 1210, it was stated that "neither the books of Aristotle on natural philosophy or their commentaries are to be read at Paris in public or secret, and this we forbid under penalty of ex-communication."Edward Grant, ''A Source Book in Medieval Science'', page 42 (1974). Harvard University Press However, despite further attempts to restrict the teaching of Aristotle, by 1270, the ban on Aristotle's natural philosophy was ineffective. William of Moerbeke (–1286) undertook a complete translation of the works of Aristotle or, for some portions, a revision of existing translations. He was the first translator of the ''
Politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
'' () from Greek into Latin. Many copies of Aristotle in Latin then in circulation were assumed to have been influenced by Averroes, who was suspected of being a source of philosophical and theological errors found in the earlier translations of Aristotle. Such claims were without merit, however, as the ''Alexandrian'' Aristotelianism of Averroes followed "the strict study of the text of Aristotle, which was introduced by Avicenna, ecausea large amount of traditional Neoplatonism was incorporated with the body of traditional Aristotelianism".
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – 15 November 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German Dominican Order, Dominican friar, philosopher, scientist, and Bishop in the Catholic Church, bishop. Later Canonization ...
(–1280) was among the first medieval scholars to apply Aristotle's philosophy to Christian thought. He produced paraphrases of most of the works of Aristotle available to him. He digested, interpreted and systematized the whole of Aristotle's works, gleaned from the Latin translations and notes of the Arabian commentators, in accordance with Church doctrine. His efforts resulted in the formation of a Christian reception of Aristotle in the Western Europe. Albertus did not repudiate
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
. In that, he belonged to the dominant tradition of philosophy that preceded him, namely the "concordist tradition", which sought to harmonize
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
with
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
through interpretation (see for example Porphyry's ''On Plato and Aristotle Being Adherents of the Same School''). Albertus famously wrote:
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Order, OP (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar and Catholic priest, priest who was an influential List of Catholic philo ...
(1225–1274), the pupil of Albertus Magnus, wrote a dozen commentaries on the works of Aristotle. Thomas was emphatically Aristotelian, he adopted Aristotle's analysis of physical objects, his view of place, time and motion, his proof of the prime mover, his cosmology, his account of sense perception and intellectual knowledge, and even parts of his moral philosophy. The philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work of Thomas Aquinas was known as Thomism, and was especially influential among the Dominicans, and later, the
Jesuits The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviation: SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of clerics regular of pontifical right for men in the Catholic Church headquartered in Rom ...
. Using Albert's and Thomas's commentaries, as well as Marsilius of Padua's '' Defensor pacis'', 14th-century scholar Nicole Oresme translated Aristotle's moral works into French and wrote extensively comments on them.


Modern era

After retreating under criticism from modern natural philosophers, the distinctively Aristotelian idea of
teleology Teleology (from and )Partridge, Eric. 1977''Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English'' London: Routledge, p. 4187. or finalityDubray, Charles. 2020 912Teleology" In ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'' 14. New York: Robert Applet ...
was transmitted through Wolff and
Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...
to Hegel, who applied it to history as a totality. Although this project was criticized by Trendelenburg and Brentano as un-Aristotelian, Hegel's influence is now often said to be responsible for an important Aristotelian influence upon Marx. Postmodernists, in contrast, reject Aristotelianism's claim to reveal important theoretical truths. In this, they follow Heidegger's critique of Aristotle as the greatest source of the entire tradition of Western philosophy.


Contemporary


Ethics

Aristotelianism is understood by its proponents as critically developing Plato's theories. Some recent Aristotelian ethical and 'practical' philosophy, such as that of Gadamer and McDowell, is often premised upon a rejection of Aristotelianism's traditional metaphysical or theoretical philosophy. From this viewpoint, the early modern tradition of political
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state (polity), state organized as a republic. Historically, it emphasises the idea of self-rule and ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular ...
, which views the ''res publica'', public sphere or state as constituted by its citizens' virtuous activity, can appear thoroughly Aristotelian. Mortimer J. Adler described Aristotle's
Nicomachean Ethics The ''Nicomachean Ethics'' (; ; grc, Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια, ) is Aristotle's best-known work on ethics, the science of the good for human life, which is Teleology, the goal or end at which all our actions aim. (I§2) The aim of the i ...
as a "unique book in the Western tradition of moral philosophy, the only ethics that is sound, practical, and undogmatic." The contemporary Aristotelian philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre helped to revive virtue ethics in his book '' After Virtue''. MacIntyre revises Aristotelianism with the argument that the highest temporal goods, which are internal to human beings, are actualized through participation in social practices. He opposes Aristotelianism to the managerial institutions of capitalism and its state, and to rival traditions—including the philosophies of Hume,
Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...
, Kierkegaard, and
Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, Prose poetry, prose poet, cultural critic, Philology, philologist, and composer whose work has exerted a profound influence on contemporary philo ...
—that reject its idea of essentially human goods and virtues and instead legitimize
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, pr ...
. Therefore, on MacIntyre's account, Aristotelianism is not identical with Western philosophy as a whole; rather, it is "the best theory so far, ncludingthe best theory so far about what makes a particular theory the best one." Politically and socially, it has been characterized as a newly 'revolutionary Aristotelianism'. This may be contrasted with the more conventional, apolitical, and effectively conservative uses of Aristotle by, for example, Gadamer and McDowell. Other important contemporary Aristotelian theorists include Fred D. Miller, Jr. in politics and Rosalind Hursthouse in ethics.


Meta-ontology

Neo-Aristotelianism in meta-ontology holds that the goal of
ontology In metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about ...
is to determine which entities are fundamental and how the non-fundamental entities depend on them. The concept of fundamentality is usually defined in terms of metaphysical grounding. Fundamental entities are different from non-fundamental entities because they are not grounded in other entities. For example, it is sometimes held that elementary particles are more fundamental than the macroscopic objects (like chairs and tables) they compose. This is a claim about the grounding-relation between microscopic and macroscopic objects. These ideas go back to Aristotle's thesis that entities from different ontological categories have different degrees of fundamentality. For example, substances have the highest degree of fundamentality because they exist in themselves. Properties, on the other hand, are less fundamental because they depend on substances for their existence. Jonathan Schaffer's priority monism is a recent form of neo-Aristotelian ontology. He holds that there exists only one thing on the most fundamental level: the world as a whole. This thesis doesn't deny our common-sense intuition that the distinct objects we encounter in our everyday affairs like cars or other people exist. It only denies that these objects have the most fundamental form of existence.


Problem of universals

The problem of universals is the question of whether and in what way universals exist. Aristotelians and Platonists agree that universals have actual, mind-independent existence; thus they oppose the nominalist standpoint. Aristotelians disagree with Platonists, however, about the mode of existence of universals. Platonists hold that universals exist in some form of "Platonic heaven" and thus exist independently of their instances in the concrete, spatiotemporal world. Aristotelians, on the other hand, deny the existence of universals outside the spatiotemporal world. This view is known as immanent realism. For example, the universal "red" exists only insofar as there are red objects in the concrete world. Were there no red objects there would be no red-universal. This immanence can be conceived in terms of the theory of hylomorphism by seeing objects as composed of a universal form and the matter shaped by it.
David Malet Armstrong David Malet Armstrong (8 July 1926 – 13 May 2014), often D. M. Armstrong, was an Australian philosophy, Australian philosopher. He is well known for his work on metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and for his defence of a factualist o ...
was a modern defender of Aristotelianism on the problem of universals. States of affairs are the basic building blocks of his ontology, and have particulars and universals as their constituents. Armstrong is an immanent realist in the sense that he holds that a universal exists only insofar as it is a constituent of at least one actual state of affairs. Universals without instances are not part of the world. Taking a realist approach to universals also allows an Aristotelian realist philosophy of mathematics, according to which mathematics is a science of properties that are instantiated in the real (including physical) world, such as quantitative and structural properties.


See also

* Aristotelian ethics *
Aristotelian physics Aristotelian physics is the form of natural science described in the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC). In his work '' Physics'', Aristotle intended to establish general principles of change that govern all natural bodies, ...
* Commentaries on Aristotle * Corpus Aristotelicum * Phronesis * Platonism * Wheel of fire


Notes


Further reading

* * * Chappell, Timothy (ed.), ''Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in Contemporary Ethics'', Oxford University Press, 2006. * Ferrarin, Alfredo, ''Hegel and Aristotle'', Cambridge University Press, 2001. * Kenny, Anthony, ''Essays on the Aristotelian Tradition'', Oxford University Press, 2001. * Knight, Kelvin, ''Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre'', Polity Press, 2007. . * Knight, Kelvin & Paul Blackledge (eds.), ''Revolutionary Aristotelianism: Ethics, Resistance and Utopia'', Lucius & Lucius (Stuttgart, Germany), 2008. * Lobkowicz, Nicholas, ''Theory and Practice: History of a Concept from Aristotle to Marx'', University of Notre Dame Press, 1967. * MacIntyre, Alasdair, ''After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory'', University of Notre Dame Press, 1984 / Duckworth, 1985 (2nd edn.). * MacIntyre, Alasdair, ''Whose Justice? Which Rationality?'', University of Notre Dame Press / Duckworth, 1988. * MacIntyre, Alasdair, ''Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition'', University of Notre Dame Press / Duckworth, 1990. * MacIntyre, Alasdair, 'The Theses on Feuerbach: A Road Not Taken', in Kelvin Knight (ed.), ''The MacIntyre Reader'', University of Notre Dame Press / Polity Press, 1998. * MacIntyre, Alasdair, ''Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues'', Open Court / Duckworth, 1999. * MacIntyre, Alasdair, 'Natural Law as Subversive: The Case of Aquinas' and 'Rival Aristotles: 1. Aristotle Against Some Renaissance Aristotelians; 2. Aristotle Against Some Modern Aristotelians', in MacIntyre, ''Ethics and Politics: Selected Essays'' volume 2, Cambridge University Press, 2006. * Moraux, Paul, ''Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen, Von Andronikos bis Alexander von Aphrodisias'': Vol. I: Die Renaissance des Aristotelismus im I. Jh.v. Chr. (1973); Vol. II: Der Aristotelismus im I. und II. Jh.n. Chr. (1984); Vol. III: Alexander von Aphrodisias (2001) – Edited by Jürgen Wiesner, with a chapter on Ethics by Robert W. Sharples. * Riedel, Manfred (ed.), ''Rehabilitierung der praktischen Philosophie'', Rombach, volume 1, 1972; volume 2, 1974. * Ritter, Joachim, ''Metaphysik und Politik: Studien zu Aristoteles und Hegel'', Suhrkamp, 1977. * *Schrenk, Lawrence P. (ed.), ''Aristotle in Late Antiquity'', Catholic University of America Press, 1994. * Sharples, R. W. (ed.), ''Whose Aristotle? Whose Aristotelianism?'', Ashgate, 2001. * Shute, Richard, ''On the History of the Process by Which the Aristotelian Writings Arrived at Their Present Form'', Arno Press, 1976 (originally 1888). * Sorabji, Richard (ed.), ''Aristotle Transformed: The Ancient Commentators and Their Influence'', Duckworth, 1990. * Stocks, John Leofric, ''Aristotelianism'', Harrap, 1925. * Veatch, Henry B., ''Rational Man: A Modern Interpretation of Aristotelian Ethics'', Indiana University Press, 1962.


External links


The Rediscovery of the Corpus Aristotelicum and the Birth of Aristotelianism
with an annotated bibliography * Clayton, Edward. (2005)

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy The ''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' (''IEP'') is a scholarly online encyclopedia, dealing with philosophy, Philosophy, philosophical topics, and philosophers. The IEP combines open access publication with peer reviewed publication of ori ...

International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiry
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