Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aristotle:  Universals, particulars, ...

It is a relief to have completed one of the most difficult works in classical philosophy.

"And one could make this assertion evident from the actual occurrence of facts; for without universals, of course, it is not possible to attain unto scientific knowledge: but the abstraction of them from singulars is a cause of the difficulties that ensue in regard of ideas." - The Metaphysics, XIII.9

The above statement is no less evident today.  As always, much of what I have seen written in summary about Aristotle was either misleading or I misunderstood.  Aristotle has a balanced view of universals and particulars.  His main target of attack in The Metaphysics is the choice of numbers, dyads or monads as the most basic principle of entity.  These would seem to lead to numerology or dualistic philosophies which Aristotle is specifically debunking.  Instead, he advocates a first mover who is God, independent of the entities that make up creation.

3 comments:

satire and theology said...

I guess this highlights a reason why philosophy is not taught a lot in high school...

Russ;)

Looney said...

:-)

I can see a dozen or more reasons why classical philosophy isn't taught today, unless it is highly filtered and sanitized!

Hopefully I can get some time to catch up on your posts now!

Dee Ice Hole said...

Me thinks you are a glutton for punishment.