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What was Aristotle's view of reality?

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Anybody want to take a shot at explaining that to me in layman's terms? I grasp it, but not well enough to explain it. Which is the same as not understanding it very well.





It sounds like what you are interested in would be in Aristotle's Metaphysics. I know I am not answering your question, but thought it might help you narrow your search. You can find various summaries online. I'd also recommend Mortimer Adler's Aristotle for Everybody as an introduction to understanding Aristotelian thought.



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I find it easier to contrast him with Platonic Dualism.


According to Plato we're in the cave and only seeing shadows, right? The reality is beyond and separate from what we see and perceive hear. There's a separate ideal. Think (and I think this comes from Pythagoras actually - Plato owes a bit to him) of a right sided triangle. We will never experience a perfect right sided triangle because any right-sided triangle we might try to construct will only ever be as exact as our measuring tool. Get a more precise protractor and the RS triangle that looked perfect moments before suddenly has it's flaws revealed. So the true RST is an ideal, a reality that exists somewhere else but never here. I call my desk a desk but the true and real essence of Desk exists separately.


When I think of Plato I think of philosophers seeking knowledge by thought and discussion, Natural Philosophy and Christian ideas of people whose essence derives from our soul which the body is but a vehicle for.


Aristotle rejected that. To him, every desk embodies that essence. There is no separate reality. A desk is a Desk is a desk. No wonder Aristotle was a great experimenter and cataloger. For him knowledge was not "out there" somewhere but right at the end of your fingertips.


When I think of Aristotle I think of experiments, modern science and a view of people as bodies whose essence derives from the functions of our bodies and whose life ends when our bodies die.


So Plato would say we're in a cave watching shadows and Aristotle would say, "Cave? What bloody cave?"


Simplistic and probably flawed but that's my understanding. I love them both. :)

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