The summit of Aristotle's examination of "first philosophy" occurs in Book XII of his Metaphysics. Chapters 1-5 of Book XII reiterate Aristotle's examination into the nature of thinghood (an inquiry which had previously appeared in Aristotle's Physics). Thinghood is a kind of whole (not a part of a whole) representing the sources as well as … Continue reading Reflections On Aristotle’s Prime Unmoved Mover
Aristotle's treatise on politics is the essential work on political philosophy from classical antiquity. Since the death of Socrates, philosophy had to learn to conceal itself from the wayward opinions of the majority. People are biased and occasionally these biases are directed at people in an unenlightened way. Each age and political regime carries certain … Continue reading Further Thoughts on Aristotle’s Politics
Aristotle's On The Soul (or "De Anima" as the Latins transcribed it) addresses the question of what it means to be alive. It explores the self-organization of all natural and living things, from the perspective and perception of an observer. The text is a qualified addendum to the Physics, and its corollary is a short treatise … Continue reading Perception in Aristotle’s On The Soul
In Aristotle's Poetics the poetic art (or poieses meaning "to create" in Greek) is a natural activity. It is an imitative act (mimesis) and is also a kind of reflection of nature. The Poetics begins with a larger exploration of poetry, itself, and the book concludes with a dramatic duel between the two chief forms of poetry: epic … Continue reading What is the Teaching of Aristotle’s Poetics?
Regarding the question of nature, or rather the “not-natural”, as has been commonly asked, we recall Shakespeare’s use of the word ‘natural’ in King Lear. In the play, political nature has been upset. If we accept Aristotle’s famous pronouncement that “man is a political animal”, then indeed human nature has also been upset. King Lear … Continue reading Nature in the Nicomachean Ethics