Friday, December 28, 2018

Aristotle is really only a slightly heretical Platonist?


They are both right and the way forward is my understanding that second tier material reality is as physical as the one we perceive in the third tier.   Aristotle's objection boils down to what he cannot see which has remained almost to this day.  A simple shift in spectrum and we can see it all.

Our derived universe is way more complex than most want to imagine.  Throw in alien interlopers in both three tier physical form and in second tier form reported to have the ability to transition back and forth and wow!

Of course, understanding this makes religion an organizing principle for the terching of spiritual practise and no more. 
How would one make students understand that Aristotle isn't really Plato's counter, that one might take Democritus for that, and that Aristotle is really only a slightly heretical Platonist?

Dan Myers, studied at DeVry Institute of Technology (1974)
 Answered Dec 12
I disagree with your premise that ‘Aristotle is not Plato’s counter’ and that “Aristotle is really only a slightly heretical Platonist.”
Indeed, the difference between Aristotle and Plato is profound and sets up the debate that continues to this day. The practical implications are also profound.
To use the term “mutually exclusive” may be an overstatement or at least imprecise but there is a fundamental conflict between philosophies that have as their basis spiritualism vs. reality [the primary conflict between Aristotle and Plato] , as well as tension with religion.
Aristotle believed the world to be orderly and knowable by man: "a place whose basic principles could be understood by reasoning from the data of sense impressions." "Perceptions provide us with evidence that permits us to reason with each other on the basis of common experience"... "common sense" experience is what makes consensual understanding possible... true knowledge... connects us with the realities that exist objectively as well as in our minds." (1)
Aristotle's' concept of God was that of a “detached, noninterventionist, essentially uncaring deity [whose purpose is] to inspire everything in the universe to actualize itself as far as its nature permits” (1)... [but he {God} does so passively].
Plato believed the world is, "at least in part, illusory. Platonic eras are filled with discomfort and longing. People feel divided against themselves - not ruled by reason but driven by uncontrolled instincts and desires... they believe that a better and truer self, society, and universe await them on the other side” (1) [spiritualism].
In Aristotelian epochs, “economic growth, political expansion, and cultural optimism color the intellectual atmosphere... accelerating the pace and deepening the quality of scientific and philosophical inquiry.” "The struggle between faith and reason did not begin... with Copernicus... but with the controversy over Aristotle's ideas during the 13th and 14th centuries." (1) Science confirms Aristotelian philosophy - that the natural world is knowable and that man has the ability to understand and know it.
Sadly, ‘modern’ philosophy has taken this dichotomy to the extreme: Descartes started the confusion by separating reason from the senses; Spinoza & Leibniz rejected that the senses contribute to knowledge; Locke & Hume denied reason and believed all knowledge was due to the senses; Kant, who attempted a synthesis of both, ended up believing that existence cannot be known in itself. Nietzsche's "will to power" as the ruling principle of all life and his idea that life on earth has an absolute value is only one absurd 'conclusion" that stems from the forgoing philosophies.
These ideas of philosophy: reason vs. spiritualism vs. religion; this tension, reconciliation, fusion, and outright conflict are the basis for the continued conflicts, to our own time. [and are centered around the differences between Aristotle and Plato].
Augustine rejected Aristotle's worldview in favor of that of Plato and the Neoplatonist's. He "concluded the business of faithful Christians"... "is to inhabit the world knowing that it is fallen: to pray for the grace needed to resist the devil's snares, accept the discipline and solace offered by Mother Church and hope for their initiation into the society of immortal saints.” Because “his Platonized Christianity made such good sense in the context of post-Roman society, Western Christians came to believe that it was the only possible version of the true faith,” we are told. (1)
For this reason, it is no wonder philosophy has been dismissed by so many. Aristotle, on the other hand, considered by many to the greatest mind the world has ever known, should be our starting point. He didn't get everything right but he put us on the right path. Aristotelianism is the only philosophy to withstand the ages. He was also, arguably, the first scientist and contributed in many ways to this field. While academia may provide negligible lip service to Aristotle and Plato, many also seem to ignore the real protege's of Aristotle: Avicenna, Averroes, Moses Maimonides, Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham. Many apparently spend most of their time on the 'philosophers' of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries mentioned above who did so much harm.
Sadly, philosophy is fraught with a number of errors, since the beginning but especially during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, that when corrected might get us back on track. Many of these errors happened because of "an attitude of antagonism toward or even contempt for the past - for the achievements of those who have come before." I am confident that you will agree that "contemporary philosophers are, for the most part, vastly ignorant of the great works of philosophical tradition prior to the 17th century.” The answer is to go back to the "distinctions, insights, and formulations explicitly achieved in the tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas” [vs. Plato and his proteges] and "identifying and correcting those errors." (2)
This approach has finally given us a philosophy based in reality and that is consistent with science. A philosophy that offers real world value.

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