Aristotle’s Philosophy (Summary)

April 12, 2012


Aristotle, the philosopher of the rationality (city and individuals)

Aristotle is one of the most famous Greek philosophers. Aristotle was a pupil of Plato and was first reverent to him then very critical, about Plato’s theory of ideas for example. His own work lies mainly in

Researcher and professor at the time, Aristotle has systematized all knowledge of his time. It’s his brilliant mind that has shaped the logical frameworks, theoretical, political knowledge and that we are still appropriate today. It remains primarily the creator of logic.

Aristotle and Logic


This term is unknown to Aristotle, however, is the author of the first systematic logical doctrine, disciple determining for the operations of the mind, which are valid, which ones are not. This study is conducting a formal point of view, that is to say, regardless of the content itself. The treatises of Aristotle devoted to logic (Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, etc..) Were collected, in the second century AD. J-C. under the name of Organon, that is to say, instrument of thought. Aristotle’s logic in this work focuses on the demonstration is to tell the syllogism from true premises and materials and conducting scientifically rigorous.


What does the term syllogism mean ? A speech in which, certain things being stated, something other than the data necessarily results by the mere fact of such data (eg Socrates is a man that all men are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal).

The logic of Aristotle is primarily a study of the syllogism, but the philosopher has also studied the proposal.


Expression of the sentence in words, he defined science as a set of judgments and proposals.


Concept also developed by Aristotle as the system in which everything that follows is known, necessarily, from first principles. Science represents a type of universal knowledge.

The universal

It means, for Aristotle, which applies to all cases. To arrive at science, do not neglect the induction


Consists in the passage of special cases to the universal.


Finally, Aristotle stated the principle of non-contradiction. It is the principle that it is impossible that the same attribute belongs and does not belong simultaneously to the same subject and in the same report, as well as the excluded middle.

The Excluded Middle:

Excluded third, which this time is the principle that two contradictory propositions, one is true and the other false.

By their logic and formalizing the statement of principles that shape our thinking, logical thinking and Organon of Aristotle are central in philosophy.

Aristotle and Physics:

a) Causes and random

Physics deals with “Phusis”, that is to say, nature, and considers not immutable realities (as opposed to metaphysics, which we’ll talk a little further, and whose object is stable and eternal).

It examines in particular the causes of change in Nature, the cause being defined as that which answers the question “why”?.

There are four types of cases to know and understand the production of reality:

- The material cause: what a thing is done

- The formal cause: the model and form immanent in things

- The efficient cause: the engine or the money

- The final cause: the purpose or end

To understand, consider the example of the statue of Hermes: the marble is the material cause, idea or form at work in the spirit of the sculptor’s chisel are the efficient cause and, Finally, the desire for money or glory are the final cause.

The formal cause is especially important. When the material structure, that is to say the power and potentiality, which is not completed, occurs a passage from potency to act, what is virtual which is fully realized . So what is the form in Aristotle? the principle determining the matter and giving it such gasoline determined.

b) An explanation of the living

It relates to Aristotle, Physics. It is a vitalistic explanation and not mechanistic. It is a vital principle and soul that we provide here a key explanation. Yet it must not misunderstand the meaning of the word soul is the form of an organized body, the faculty animating a body. Also can be defined independently of the body. It is in fact related to the body and life, that is to say that to feed, grow and wither away of itself.

Aristotle and Metaphysics:

(Literally: what comes after physics), she studied Being as being, that is to say, the fundamental reality, the pure form, the substance remaining behind the changes in accidents. The ultimate purpose of metaphysics God, Pure Act, in which all the perfections are updated and completed. Transcending the world, God moves it without being moved: it is the prime mover and is the result of any change in the world. It can thus be understood as a living eternal and absolutely perfect.

Aristotle, Morality and Politics:

The moral of Aristotle, developed especially in the Nicomachean Ethics a eudemonistic approach, as are all the morals of antiquity: Aristotle sees the happiness as the end of life. But what does it mean by “happiness”?

Happiness is essentially activity of reason, consisting in contemplation: a contemplative life is, indeed, to what is divine in us and allows us to understand the highest good of man, ie Although the words par excellence, only good in itself.

Then there is the pleasure that Aristotle does not neglect because the real fun is an element of happiness. But how to conceive? It is the completion of the act, which is superimposed, as the glow of beauty in the prime of life.

The moral analysis can not be divorced from politics. Like all great thinkers, Aristotle unifies the legal study of what is right and good, and political science from the City. How could we separate them, then that man is basically a political animal, born to live in the city? Analyzing the organization of the City, Aristotle comes to various forms of government and are three (in politics), called the State where the monarchy command, directed to the common interest, belongs to a alone, aristocracy, in which he is assigned to more than one, republic, one where the host government for the public. The kingdom may degenerate into tyranny, aristocracy into oligarchy, and democracy in the republic.

Aristotle, from logic to politics, has given us the vision of the structures that today still inform our lives. The figure of Sage comes off full of his work: it means the person who has knowledge of all things.

 Related articles on Aristotle :

Aristote’s Nicomachean Ethics