PHILOSOPHY – Aristotle
- Articles, Blog

PHILOSOPHY – Aristotle


Aristotle was born around 384 BC in the ancient
Greek kingdom of Macedonia where his father was the royal doctor.
He grew up to be arguably the most influential philosopher ever, with modest nicknames like
‘the master’ and simply ‘the philosopher’. His first big job was tutoring Alexander the
Great who, soon after, went out and conquered the known world Aristotle then headed off to Athens, worked
with Plato for a bit, then branched out on his own. He founded a little school called
the Lyceum. French secondary schools – ‘the lycees’ – are named in honour of this venture.
He liked to walk about while teaching and discussing ideas. His followers were nicknamed ‘peripatetics’
– ‘the wanderers.’ His many books are actually lecture
notes Aristotle was fascinated by how many things actually work: how does a chick grow in an
egg? How do squid reproduce? Why does a plant grow well in one place and hardly at all in another? And – most
importantly – what makes a human life, and a whole society, go well?
For Aristotle, philosophy was about practical wisdom.
Here are four big philosophical questions he answered.
One : what makes people happy? In the ‘Nicomachean’ ethics (the book
got it’s name because it was edited by his son, Nicomachus) Aristotle set himself the
task of identifying the factors that lead people to have a good life – or not. He suggested that good and successful people
all possess distinct ‘virtues’ – and proposed that we should get better at identifying what
these are, so that we can nurture them in ourselves and honour them in others. Aristotle
zeroed in on 11 virtues Courage
Temperance Liberality
Magnificence Magnanimity
Pride Patience
Truthfulness Wittiness
Friendliness Modesty Aristotle also observed that every virtue
seems to be bang in the middle of two vices. It occupies what he termed ‘the golden mean’
[a perfectly balanced plank on triangle] between two extremes of character.
For example, in Book IV of his Ethics, under the charming title of ‘Conversational Virtues:
wit, buffoonery and boorishness’, Aristotle looks at ways people are better or worse at
conversation. (knowing how to have a good conversation is one of the ingredients of
the good life, Aristotle recognised). Some people go wrong because they lack a subtle
sense of humour: that’s the “boor”, someone “useless for any kind of social
intercourse, because he contributes nothing and takes offence at everything.’ But others carry humour to excess: ‘The
buffoon cannot resist a joke, sparing neither himself, nor anybody else provided that he
can raise a laugh, and saying things that a man of taste would never dream of saying.’ So the ‘virtuous’ person is in the golden
mean in this area: witty, but tactful. A particularly fascinating moment is when
Aristotle draws up a table of ‘too little’ ‘too much’ and ‘just right’ around
the whole host of virtues. We can’t change our behaviour in any of
these areas just at the drop of a hat. But change is possible, eventually. ‘Moral goodness’
says Aristotle ‘ is the result of habit’. It takes times, practice, encouragement. So,
Aristotle thinks, people who lack virtue should be understood as unfortunate rather than wicked.
What they need is not scolding or being thrown in prison but better teachers, more guidance. Two: what is art for? The blockbuster art at that time was tragedy.
Athenians watched gory plays at community festivals in huge open air theatres. Aeschylus,
Euripides and Sophocles were household names. Aristotle wrote a ‘how to write great plays’
manual: the Poetics. It’s packed with great tips.
For example, make sure to use: peripeteia – a change in fortune, when for
the hero things go from great to awful [in Titanic, Leonardo de Caprio gets Kate Winslow
(great) then they hit the iceberg (awful) and
anagnoresis – a moment of dramatic revelation when suddenly the hero works out their life
is a catastrophe But what is tragedy actually for? What is the point of a whole community coming together
to watch horrible things happening to the lead characters? Like Oedipus (in the play
by Sophocles) who by accident, kills his father, gets married to his mother, finds out he’s
done these things [on screen: anagnoresis!) and gouges out his own eyes in remorse and
despair. Aristotle’s answer is Katharis – which is
greek for … Catharsis. Catharsis is a kind of cleaning – you get rid of bad stuff. In this case cleaning up
our emotions, specifically our confusions around the feelings of fear and pity.
We’ve got natural problems here: we are hard hearted: we don’t give pity where it
is deserved. And we’re prone to either exaggerated fears or not getting frightened enough Tragedy reminds us that:
terrible things can befall decent people including ourselves): a small flaw can lead to a whole
life unravelling and so
we should have more compassion (or pity) for those whose actions go disastrously wrong.
We need to be collective re-taught these crucial truths on a regular basis. The task of art
– as Aristotle saw it – is to make profound truths about life stick in our minds.
Three: What are friends for? In books eight and nine of the Nicomachean
Ethics Aristotle identifies three different kinds of friendship.
There’s friendship that comes about when each person is seeking fun; their ‘chief
interest is in their own pleasure and the opportunity of the moment’ which the other
person provides. We need other people to have a nice time around. We need pleasant companions. [on screen, beer drinking festival]
Then there are friendships that are really strategic acquaintances: ‘they take pleasure
in each other’s company only in so far as they have hopes of advantage of it.’ [on screen: faux-jovial business meeting]
Then there’s the true friend: Not someone who’s just like you. But someone who isn’t
you – but about whom you care as much as you are about yourself.
The sorrows of a true friend are your sorrows to, their joys are yours. It makes you more
vulnerable – should anything befall this person. But it is hugely strengthening: you are relieved
from the too small orbit of your own thoughts and worries, you expand into the life of another,
together you become larger, cleverer, more resilient, more fair minded. You share virtues
and cancel out each other’s defects. Friendship teaches us what we ought to be. It is – quite
literally – the best part of life. Four: how can ideas cut through in a busy
world? Like a lot of people, Aristotle was struck
by the fact that the best argument doesn’t always win the debate or the battle. He wanted to know why this happens and what we can do about it. He had lots of opportunity for observations:
in Athens lots of decisions were made in public meetings (often in the Agora – the town square);
orators would vie with one another to sway popular opinion. Aristotle plotted the ways audiences and individuals
are influenced by many factors that don’t strictly engage with logic or the facts of
the case. It’s maddening. And many serious people
[especially Plato] can’t stand it. They avoid the marketplace and populist debate. Aristotle was more ambitious. He invented
the art of what we still today call Rhetoric: the art of getting people to agree with you.
He wanted thoughtful, serious and well-intentioned people to learn how to be persuasive – to
reach those who don’t agree already. He makes some timeless points: You have to
recognise, acknowledge and sooth people’s fears. You have to see the emotional side
of the issue – is someone’s pride on the line, are they feeling embarrassed – and edge
round it accordingly. You have to make it funny – because attention
spans are short. And you might have to use illustrations and
examples to make your point come alive. We’re keen students of Aristotle.
Today ‘Philosophy’ doesn’t sound like the most practical activity. Maybe that’s
because we’ve not paid enough attention, recently, to Aristotle

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

100 thoughts on “PHILOSOPHY – Aristotle

  1. Hi guys. I have a channel about philosophy not history of phlisophy .I'm asking some questions and I try to find the answers .Can you watch my first video and help me to find the answer ?

  2. Aristotle learned from Plato then after was given the job of teaching 13 year old Alexander the great

  3. The philosopher’s time is over and so is for our daily comments. Now is time for people to get into yellow vests like in France 🇫🇷 fight for your lives and never stop if you want real changes. If you won’t do it for yourself, your family and your country no one else would. Just wake up for once or will be a time when you’ll regret.

  4. I wish i was more focused about philosophy in school, we had it in high school, i always fail ,now i like it after all these years.

  5. In a time most difficult find your personal character Aristotle would be the perfect remedy such as the high school education system. Im sorry but learning about some books that tried to tell an important story and were popular 10 years ago isn't as important as looking at these philosophers and seeing what they are trying to fix within their society and how that could help us today. Im speaking as a high school student who personally thinks that if English class was cut from education past middle school we would be just fine and if anything it would let me like reading more than hate it. My bad for this rant that'll most likely be looked over in this old ass video, but i like the food for thought.

  6. Maybe politics and religion is Catharsis. It is so absurd and turns us into hypocrites and fools and in that way when the wake up comes, you clean up your self,, hopefully.

  7. Aristotle was wrong about heavy objects falling faster than lighter objects. He wasn't so smart, cause a simple test would have proved this belief wrong. It took Galileo hundreds of years latter to show Aristotle didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Just think, nobody tested it for hundreds of years. What this shows is that people are like sheep, and don't question things. We just follow the crowd. Today people are too busy feeling and not thinking for themselves.

  8. While TED is an example of rhetoric it is not one of logic. Aristotle would be deeply troubled at the number of fallacious arguments put up in support of TED talks.

    Crash course does a great job given their time limits.

  9. I don't understand how the world became so messed up,when there were people like Aristotle around back in the day!

  10. This is the first ( 4th watched ) of your videos that i was slightly annoyed with; as on at least 2 occasions you chose individuals to illustrate some notion which were exactly backwards ! ( ! )

  11. Books by Aristotle:

    ·       
    Of Justice, four books.

    ·       
    On Poets, three books.

    ·       
    On Philosophy, three books.

    ·       
    Of the Statesman, two books.

    ·       
    On Rhetoric, or Grylus, one book.

    ·       
    Nerinthus, one book.

    ·       
    The Sophist, one book.

    ·       
    Menexenus, one book.

    ·       
    Concerning Love, one book.

    ·       
    Symposium, one book.

    ·       
    Of Wealth, one book.

    ·       
    Exhortation to Philosophy, one book.

    ·       
    Of the Soul, one book.

    ·       
    Of Prayer, one book.

    ·       
    On Noble Birth, one book.

    ·       
    On Pleasure, one book.

    ·       
    Alexander, or a Plea for Colonies, one book.

    ·       
    On Kingship, one book.

    ·       
    On Education, one book.

    ·       
    Of the Good, three books.

    ·       
    Extracts from Plato's Laws, three books.

    ·       
    Extracts from the Republic, two books.

    ·       
    Of Household Management, one book.

    ·       
    Of Friendship, one book.

    ·       
    On being or having been affected, one book.

    ·       
    Of Sciences, one book.

    ·       
    On Controversial Questions, two books.

    ·       
    Solutions of Controversial Questions, four books.

    ·       
    Sophistical Divisions, four books.

    ·       
    On Contraries, one book.

    ·       
    On Genera and Species, one book.

    ·       
    On Essential Attributes, one book.

    ·       
    Three note – books on Arguments for Purposes of Refutation.

    ·       
    Propositions concerning Virtue, two books.

    ·       
    Objections, one book.

    ·       
    On the Various Meanings of Terms or Expressions where a
    Determinant is added, one book.

    ·       
    Of Passions or of Anger, one book.

    ·       
    Five books of Ethics.

    ·       
    On Elements, three books.

    ·       
    Of Science, one book.

    ·       
    Of Logical Principle, one book.

    ·       
    Logical Divisions, seventeen books.

    ·       
    Concerning Division, one book.

    ·       
    On Dialectical Questioning and Answering, two books.

    ·       
    Of Motion, one book.

    ·       
    Propositions, one book.

    ·       
    Controversial Propositions, one book.

    ·       
    Syllogisms, one book.

    ·       
    Eight books of Prior Analytics.

    ·       
    Two books of Greater Posterior Analytics.

    ·       
    Of Problems, one book.

    ·       
    Eight books of Methodics.

    ·       
    Of the Greater Good, one book.

    ·       
    On the Idea, one book.

    ·       
    Definitions prefixed to the Topics, seven books.

    ·       
    Two books of Syllogisms.

    ·       
    Concerning Syllogism with Definitions, one book.

    ·       
    Of the Desirable and the Contingent, one book.

    ·       
    Preface to Commonplaces, one book.

    ·       
    Two books of Topics criticizing the Definitions.

    ·       
    Affections or Qualities, one book.

    ·       
    Concerning Logical Division, one book.

    ·       
    Concerning Mathematics, one book.

    ·       
    Definitions, thirteen books.

    ·       
    Two books of Refutations.

    ·       
    Of Pleasure, one book.

    ·       
    Propositions, one book.

    ·       
    On the Voluntary, one book.

    ·       
    On the Beautiful, one book.

    ·       
    Theses for Refutation, twenty-five books.

    ·       
    Theses concerning Love, four books.

    ·       
    Theses concerning Friendship, two books.

    ·       
    Theses concerning the Soul, one book.

    ·       
    Politics, two books.

    ·       
    Eight books of a course of lectures on Politics like that of
    Theophrastus.

    ·       
    Of Just Actions, two books.

    ·       
    A Collection of Arts [that is, Handbooks], two books.

    ·       
    Two books of the Art of Rhetoric.

    ·       
    Art, a Handbook, one book.

    ·       
    Another Collection of Handbooks, two books.

    ·       
    Concerning Method, one book.

    ·       
    Compendium of the "Art" of Theodectes, one book.

    ·       
    A Treatise on the Art of Poetry, two books.

    ·       
    Rhetorical Enthymemes, one book.

    ·       
    Of Degree,29 one book.

    ·       
    Divisions of Enthymemes, one book.

    ·       
    On Diction, two books.

    ·       
    Of Taking Counsel, one book.

    ·       
    A Collection or Compendium, two books.

    ·       
    On Nature, three books.

    ·       
    Concerning Nature, one book.

    ·       
    On the Philosophy of Archytas, three books.

    ·       
    On the Philosophy of Speusippus and Xenocrates, one book.

    ·       
    Extracts from the Timaeus and from the Works of Archytas, one
    book.

    ·       
    A Reply to the Writings of Melissus, one book.

    ·       
    A Reply to the Writings of Alcmaeon, one book.

    ·       
    A Reply to the Pythagoreans, one book.

    ·       
    A Reply to the Writings of Gorgias, one book.

    ·       
    A Reply to the Writings of Xenophanes, one book.

    ·       
    A Reply to the Writings of Zeno, one book.

    ·       
    On the Pythagoreans, one book.

    ·       
    On Animals, nine books.

    ·       
    Eight books of Dissections.

    ·       
    A selection of Dissections, one book.

    ·       
    On Composite Animals, one book.

    ·       
    On the Animals of Fable, one book.

    ·       
    On Sterility, one book.

    ·       
    On Plants, two books.

    ·       
    Concerning Physiognomy, one book.

    ·       
    Two books concerning Medicine.

    ·       
    On the Unit, one book.

    ·       
    Prognostics of Storms, one book.

    ·       
    Concerning Astronomy, one book.

    ·       
    Concerning Optics, one book.

    ·       
    On Motion, one book.

    ·       
    On Music, one book.

    ·       
    Concerning Memory, one book.

    ·       
    Six books of Homeric Problems.

    ·       
    Poetics, one book.

    ·       
    Thirty – eight books of Physics according to the lettering.

    ·       
    Two books of Problems which have been examined.

    ·       
    Two books of Routine Instruction.

    ·       
    Mechanics, one book.

    ·       
    Problems taken from the works of Democritus, two books.

    ·       
    On the Magnet, one book.

    ·       
    Analogies, one book.

    ·       
    Miscellaneous Notes, twelve books.

    ·       
    Descriptions of Genera, fourteen books.

    ·       
    Claims advanced, one book.

    ·       
    Victors at Olympia, one book.

    ·       
    Victors at the Pythian Games, one book.

    ·       
    On Music, one book.

    ·       
    Concerning Delphi, one book.

    ·       
    Criticism of the List of Pythian Victors, one book.

    ·       
    Dramatic Victories at the Dionysia, one book.

    ·       
    Of Tragedies, one book.

    ·       
    Dramatic Records, one book.

    ·       
    Proverbs, one book.

    ·       
    Laws of the Mess-table, one book.

    ·       
    Four books of Laws.

    ·       
    Categories, one book.

    ·       
    De Interpretatione, one book.

    ·       
    Constitutions of 158 Cities, in general and in particular,
    democratic, oligarchic, aristocratic, tyrannical.

    ·       
    Letters to Philip.

    ·       
    Letters of Selymbrians.

    ·       
    Letters to Alexander, four books.

    ·       
    Letters to Antipater, nine books.

    ·       
    To Mentor, one book.

    ·       
    To Ariston, one book.

    ·       
    To Olympias, one book.

    ·       
    To Hephaestion, one book.

    ·       
    To Themistagoras, one book.

    ·       
    To Philoxenus, one book.

    ·       
    In reply to Democritus, one book.

    ·       
    Verses beginning Ἁγνὲ θεῶν πρέσβισθ᾽ ἑκατηβόλε ("Holy One
    and Chiefest of Gods, far-darting").

    ·       
    Elegiac verses beginning Καλλιτέκνου μητρὸς θύγατερ
    ("Daughter of a Mother blessed with fair offspring").

    In all 445,270 lines.

  12. Remeber when the school of life made these kind of good videos instead of "How to fuck a fucked partner with the sexiest sex that has ever been sexed with a cock and a vagina in bed with your significant other who you have sexy sex with"

  13. It is very oversimplified.If you want to know Aristotle, you better read his books. Katharsis is what you feel going to the theatre or to the moovies etc, You get cleaned somehow from your anger,passion or you are pleased by lafter etc. So, the virtues too should be explained thoroghly and not like cartoones.Aristotles philosophy is not understandandable as cartoon! Descartes,Kant and other philosophers have STUDIED him in order to create their philosophy!

  14. The moment things improved immensely for humanity is when the LORD God the Father gave Moses the divinely written Ten Commandments at around 1300 B.C. on the summit of the Horeb.

  15. Somone probably said it before me, but the Nichomachean Ethics was not edited by his son, who was around 10 years old at that time. It was almost without no doubt named in honor of his own father.

  16. i don't usually left any comment on YouTube.
    but this video is really useful and interesting
    so i can't help but left a comment to let you know your video is awesome.

  17. The Academy of Plato virtually lasted until
    Nicholas Copernicus was given the Pope's blessing.

  18. Aristotle & his contemporaries were well before the scientific method…they actually believed that if one merely thought hard enough, one would be embued with knowledge. This was not the case in several endeavours. Postulate a theory, design an experiment to confirm or deny its premise using logic & reason. Make it a repeatable experiment so your fellow man can replicate it, Agree by consensus that it is now an emergent truth.

  19. Kindly also visit the website=www. alislam. Org to increase your religious as well as spiritual knowledge.

  20. The only thing all the great minds of the universe can agree on, is that life is meaningless. Count Leo Tolstoy.

  21. Ok but are we gonna talk about his view on women? Like it's really hard to take his ethics seriously once you know he was kinda a dick

  22. Dude figured out 2300 years ago how to not be an asshole and yet so many among us still struggle with baseline decency. Ah, humans.

  23. In his later years Aristotle went back to Macedonia because of the hate for Macedonia and Aleksander the Great in Athens. Macedonia was clearly not an Ancient Greek Kingdom, it was a kingdom of its own.

  24. I didn’t understand anything
    Because you talk very quickly
    I think if Aristotle was talking quickly as you ,he wouldn’t find someone to listen to his philosophy and he wouldn’t be famous by Now .

  25. I live just 30 minutes away by car from Aristotle's school here in Makedonia. Walking around makes you travel back in time and think of him teaching people like Alexander the Great at that same place…Greetings from northern Greece, Pella-the heartland of Makedonia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *