Aristotle: Reason and Nature

5.1 The Life of Aristotle

  • Appreciate why Aristotle’s works, even after nearly two and one-half millennia, are still relevant to many areas of study, and why his influence on Western thought has been so pervasive.
  • Recount the main events in Aristotle’s life, including those surrounding his connections to Plato, Alexander, and the Lyceum.

5.2 Logic, Knowledge, Truth

  • Explain how Aristotle and Plato differ in their views on sense experience, the everyday world, and the acquisition of knowledge.
  • Define deductive argument, valid, invalid, syllogism, demonstration, and necessary truth.
  • Explain Aristotle’s view of how the primary premises or axioms of science can be known.
  • Be aware of some of Aristotle’s most important contributions to modern science.

5.3 Physics and Metaphysics

  • Understand Aristotle’s concepts of substance, change, and cause.
  • Define and provide examples of form, material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, and final cause.
  • Explain Aristotle’s notion of purpose and teleology in nature.
  • Recount Aristotle’s reasoning that leads him to believe in an Unmoved Mover.

5.4 Happiness, Virtue, and the Good

  • Define virtue, instrumental good, and intrinsic good.
  • Explain Aristotle’s line of reasoning in determining the highest good for a human being.
  • Know how Aristotle defines happiness and the good life.
  • Explain how Aristotle identifies specific virtues and vices.
  • Understand Aristotle’s concept of soul and how it differs from Plato’s.
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