Aristotle's (384BC-322BC) conflict view
still alife in western society as 'Intelligent Design'
Aristotle's works shaped cultural reality in the Western World.
But what was interpreted (in Greek language) FOUR AGES ages after his death
in a different cultural reality in Rome by a Greek philosopher was mostly written by his students.
These Aristotle interpretations in Greek were almost forgotten until NINE AGES after Aristotle's death in the early sixth century, the statesman and philosopher/logician Boethius TRANSLATED Aristotle's works on logic from Greek into Latin.
And SIXTEEN ages after Aristotle's death godfather of Catholicism Thomas Aquinas used Aristotle's view to prove the existence of the catholic God.
Writing in the 21st century about Aristotle's views surely is an interpretation of an interpretation of an interpretation of a cultural reality 2500 ages ago.
Many other interpretations are possible.
Aristotle probably was the first western example of a scientist sponsored with 'many millions' by an extremely wealthy ruler.
To produce such a vast repertoire on a myriad of subjects, the 'Science Company' under ceo Aristotle must have had many 'employees'.
Maybe it's too much asked from theologians and scientists to question basics that made their world and that furnish them with power.
It is intriguing how 2400 years after Aristotle's death the Western World could become a world of Aristotelian design.
A world where aristotle is considered the godfather of scientific thought, where people deeply believe in
the Aristotelian concept 'understanding/intelligence'. And were society is orderered around 'intelligence'. Where 'intelligent' people
are at the top, and spend their time with 'thinking'. And where physical skill is totally undervalued.
A 'world of 'war on terrorism', a 2 layer world where 'ideas' in the shape of 'rules' coldly accept 'collateral damage' (US-army killing civilians everyday)
Aristotle with his concept 'anima' as thing in itself was decisive for the Western World.
It is good to realize that words like intelligence and 'understanding' originate from western CONCEPTS,
based on Roman interpretation of Aristotle's concept 'anima'.
Skills of all kind made the Western World extremely succesful and powerful. That behind being able to perform skills is
the quality 'intelligence' is a BELIEF.
Aristotle grew up at the Macedonian court and until near death never left this world.
Nearly all his life Aristotle tried to explain all natural phenomena in a logical manner.
Aristotle wondered what made (in his view) dead stuff into plants, animals and humans that are able to change, and could make no sense of it.
Emotion Aristotle saw as 'animal intelligence', far inferior to Greek-human and barbarian intelligence.
Aristotle classified wisdom into pure wisdom (the ability to find universal truths and theories) and practical wisdom (divided
in science and skill/craft).
To do this Aristotle divided emotion in 2 parts, logical emotion and animal emotion.
That his invention 'logical emotion' or 'human emotion=ratio' has nothing emotional anymore, didn't seem to worry Aristotle at all.
This weird classification, presuming that universal truth exists, until today dominates western life.
Any outcome of practical science can be overruled by claiming that it violates universal truth, and every unaccepted cultural behavior can
be labelled as 'terrorism'.
In the 21st century the human world needs a new view on reality, because the dominance of Western World is demasked as exploitation under buzzword 'rational'.
God, the prime mover (Godfather of Catholicism)
It is near to impossible to imagine what reality looked like with Aristotle's knowledge.
In chapter 6 of the 'Metaphysics', Aristotle argues that there must be some eternal unchanging substance,
to explain the changing of in itself dead material. Material objects are seen as the sum of units of dead material plus anima,
the option that that material itself might be mutating is not considered. Every tiny part of objects then was given a push towards the final position.
Aristotle therefore (in circular way
) argued that change in the world of dead stuff (the material world) is 'predirected' and thus
there must have been a Prime Mover for the push in the ideal direction (a static and unchanging template of the universe
This Prime Mover had to be immaterial. It could not be made of any kind of stuff, because this Prime Mover according to Aristotle is absolute and does not change
(Henk Tuten: 'ideals' indeed don't change, but don't ask me why material needs an ideal model, and why some material is destined to be 'human' and other material destined to
be 'barbarian' or plant.
Since an ideal is immaterial, ideals cannot perform any kind of physical, bodily action.
Therefore, Aristotle argued that the activity of the Prime Mover, God, must be purely 'spiritual'. The activity of God is 'thought'.
The distinction between the 'thought' and 'emotion' can be traced back to Aristotle
You might say that Aristotle saw (non-material) 'thought' as 'intelligence=life' and as superior to the world of dead material.
Aristotle believed that all of the universe is based on one 'ideal intelligence'
(many ages later we fantasized that there are many intelligences in the universe, without considering the option that 'intelligence' might be a cultural illusion.
In Aristotle's model this 'God' exists necessarily, which means that in the Aristotelian universe the existence of 'God' does not depend on anything else.
God is eternal, and thus never changes. Eternal things, Aristotle claimed, must be good (Aristotle's god is static/perfect).
Aristotle in completely circular way defined life as the movement towards god (getting more 'intelligent').
Movement towards god (hunger for intelligence is the animator in the body, an 'addiction' that moves the body,
the principle that accounts for the distinction between what is alive and what is dead.'
Aristotle's circular Axiom: 'movement towards god' moves material, bodies that don't 'move towards god' are dead; problem solved
(in the 21st century a similar claim would be: a spirit motor moves a car, a car without spirit motor is broke
But in a letter that Aristotle IS SAID to have written to Alexander the Great at the end of his life he acknowledges as his chief error the claim, that truth can be found by reasoning;
It did not take me long to realize [...] [that] the axioms of philosophy are purely arbitrary.
If (as also claimed) Aristotle exchanged his belief in logic for a belief in 'god' then nothing changed. Only 1 arbitrary axiom is added: 'god' exists
In Aristotle's lifetime the Macedonians ruled Greece (Hellenic period
), and were hated.
Aristotle as man of wisdom after age forty landed in an impossible position. Aristotle had to stay friends with Alexander the Great,
who he had surely recognized as a paranoid and murderous royal madman. Aristotle did well because he survived (many other friends of Alexander didn't),
he founded an own very respected school and became a top biologer. Possibly his peculiar model of humans being steered by 'anima' had something to do
with his impossible situation, at least he now could describe Alexander the Great as a person with an extreme amount of 'anima'.
The Hellenic Greeks were almost obsessed with Persian culture. They fanatically practiced Persian-Magian-Zoroastrian skills and studied descriptions of it,
but then claimed that behind these skills was their own 'philosophy'.
Aristotle was convinced that the superior Greek culture that could unify the world.
Aristotle's view of the universe was hierarchical and earth centered, with a sharp distinction between the world of change, and the eternal ideal heavens.
Aristotle's view of man: Aristotle saw the Greeks as superior (excellent
), because they controlled their emotions.
Seeing sense control as as action of an independent 'intelligence', and not as ignoring most sense information (being emotionless), is dualism
(in the present Western World this seen as being 'rational', dropping two atom bombs on Japan at the end of WWII was result of a 'rational' decision)
The Hellenic Greeks who believed in emotionless (non-physical) 'intelligence' saw the emotional Oriental races (in fact most non-greek
) as barbarians that like animals were ruled by intuition, slaverishly devoted to their senses.
In fact compared to Persian culture Greeks were barbarians, kind of heyenas of the human world, who considered killing barbarians as similar to hunting.
Very much like how in the Western World African blacks in the beginning of American black slavery were considered to be closer to apes than to humans.
Learning from history takes the ability to treat centuries as years, and treat people in ancient ages as if living in present.
Change in cultural ways is very tough, and usually takes ages (i.e. views about Armenian Genocide). Even more unique is a "paradigm shift", a much greater change,
that takes place within a century. An aha: 'our cultural ways don't work anymore and will never do so'. It takes a huge shock of some kind to realize a 'paradigm shift'.
A few ages before birth of Jesus (in Bethlehem) Aristotle (an ancient Hellinist Greece 'thinker')
presumed non-sense' (a creation with name 'God') as Form behind the repetition in reality,
and unknowingly started a major western paradigm shift.
Aristotle saw every movement as final stage of a chain of events that brought about the movement.
Aristotle argued that this chain of events must lead back to a blueprint of the universe (creation) which causes activity but is itself is not an activity.
Aristotle's 'god' is creation, and not it's creator. This blueprint of the universe Aristotle referred to as Prime Mover.
Was Aristotle an exeptional 'thinker'? Certainly he was extremely systematic, a quality that the Hellenic Greeks valued highly.
And Alexander the Great offered him huge funds. Might it be that Aristotle overdid 'being systematic' and was too much convinced of Greek superiority
(excellence) to be open to qualities like 'use of emotion and intuition' that were lacking in Greek culture (of the happy few)?
Without being explicit about it Aristotle assumed that logic naturally mirrors the way things are.
Aristotle was a great logician thus in own definition he was great in 'the way things are'.
Aristotle many ages after death was promoted to 'the greatest 'philosopher of life' by 2 very influential people.
Alexander the Great (godfather of the Western World) spread Aristotle's idealism (dual view of reality
) as far as Northern India, and via the Romans (faithful Aristotelians
) in all of Western Europe.
Thomas Aquinas (much later godfather of Catholicism) used Aristotle's idealism around a 'Prime Mover' for his 'proof' for the existence of God and Aristotle's dual view (Prime Mover and World
) as basis for Catholicism.
Aristotle's idealism as law and order approach of life drenched Western philosophy.
This is very well known in western science
, see a youtube
. Shocking is that never a serious attempt was made (apart from Friedrich Nietzsche
and Ludwig Wittgenstein
) to give
western science a fresh start.
Aristotle's dogmatic views totally influenced Hellenism, Roman Empire, Catholicism.
And through the empire of Alexander the Great became a barrier between Europe and Buddhism.
Aristotle was a logician but also conveniently vague and open to endless interpretations.
Aristotle created a sufficient complete and quite dogmatic system of explanations around all of physical life.
Enough to suggest an opinion about all workings of the whole of the physical world.
But in fact The Church was very free in building a logical system of thought around Aristotle's ambiguous thoughts.
The question is not 'did Western man get stuck in idealism and lost contact with body = sense experience' (that is obvious), but the question is 'when did this process start?'.
The Classical Greeks were the first to invent the "immortal soul" (psuche) .
Aristotle claims in 'De Anima' that the psuche is 'unmixed' with the body.
This entity 'imprisoned in the body' and 'immaterial and immortal' was adopted by the Hellenic Greek Aristotle, and later by Catholicism and its variant Protestantism.
Related to this idea was the doctrine of eternal damnation of nonbelievers (death, rape, slavery, ...),
who were to suffer physically.
A World of Reason
450 BC - Anaxagoras (500-428 BC) introduced the concept of "Nous" (mind, reason) into Greek culture.
Nous, the infinite and self-organizing eternal 'mind' (by definition 100% pure; TRUE), is the template of reality and transforms chaos into order (the material world; FALSE).
Aristotle believed that the 'prime mover' of the universe was a cosmic 'nous'.
Aristotle is not clear about how and why this 'nous' is eternal and how
his Prime Mover as a 'thinking' force could be responsible for causing movement.
Aristotle saw the world as try outs (acts) towards level heaven (potency).
Aristotle's Prime Mover is an axiom that conveniently needs no cause.
The Greek view of 'logic using man' as a 'thinking being' (rational animal) is THE explanation why Western Civilization has become so influential in the world today,
AND seeing (cultural) juggling with memory (logic) as 'understanding' is exactly why there is recession in the 21st century Western World.
The Greeks questioned the meanings of life and began to use logic ('thinking') as way to expand.
You might say 'the Greek invented the human 'mind', they made no-thing into thing and totally influenced western society.
Product of 'thinking' were 'politics', 'laws', 'scientific thinking' (use of logic).
In later Western Civilization people began to use 'thinking' to explain human and natural events, using rational logic as 'natural law'.
At the age of thirty, Aristotle ended up in Plato's Academy.
Some twenty years later, after Plato's death Aristotle traveled for three years throughout Asia Minor.
After that Aristotle, mainly thanks to family connections, was appointed by King Philip at the Macedonian court
to teach his young son, Alexander.
Alexander (not yet The Great) greatly appreciated Aristotle's defense of slavery,
None of Aristotle's useful ideals took hold on Alexander the Great (356-323 BC),
but the Hellenic type of slavery (Aristotle's concept of a static nature with Masters with big god-factor and slaves with little god-factor; mind-body split) was spread by
Alexander (now the Great) all over the Middle East.
The influence of Aristotle's views on Europe disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire.
In the thirteenth century, Christian theologians (especially Aquinas) rediscovered Aristotle.
And the 'rational' view of Aristotle deeply influenced Western World and Middle East until the 21st century.
Blupete: Aristotle in a nutshell
Aristotle: Motion = Change
Aristotle saw change of position as one of many subcategories of change in general (=the notion motion of Aristotle).
Change in general is change of a range of qualities, position is only 1 quality.
Change in position (movement) many ages later was the exclusive subject of mechanics for Galileo and Newton.
Aristotle's 'motion' includes amongst others: growth (from seed to corn), intensity (getting hotter or colder...) and some general qualitative changes.
(like from sick to healthy).
Therefore the basics of the natural family 'Aristotelian motion' must fit changes of all sorts.
A decisive aspect of Aristotle's physics is the way it treats matter and quality.
Aristolian physics turns around 'quality' and change of quality (aristotelian motion).
Newtonian physics turns around 'matter' and the position of matter (newtonian motion).
In Aristotle's physics
, matter is only necessary to give 'shape' (quality) to 'form', matter is the substrate of which the house 'anima' (spirit) is build.
A particular house (body), is impregnated with qualities like hardness, heat, wetness, color, and so.
Change occurs by changing, replacing or removing qualities, not by changing matter.
In Newton's physics
a body is a set of particles of matter, and its qualities are the 'sum' of matterparticle-qualities.
Aristotle believed in a passive 'god as forcefield' (form = sum of qualities).
Every thing is presumed to be drawn towards its potential god-level.
'Anima' (soul/mind) is the link/god-factor between the ultimate position
(god-factor in the forcefield 'god') and the human body.
For Aristotle, the human god-factor is no different than the animal god factor, only higher.
What makes the ultimate reachable god-factor of humans much higher is their ability to use 'logic'.
Aristotle saw 'anima' as source of motion towards the potential god-level (which he saw as static for every thing) and housed in the heart
Things 'animate' (move) within the preset borders of God of their potential god-level (god's hands)
Aristotle needed a logical process like 'anima' to cause motion (animation = change of quality),
because Aristotle (without 21st century neurogical insights
) didn't recognize 'emotion' ('will') as source of decisions (change).
For Aristotle anima = soul is moving towards 'god' and is 'the what it is to be a living body (from
In trillions of years in evolution the products became awfully refined.
Humans as CHANCE product of billions of years evolution, tricked Aristotle into presuming that there is DESIGN in nature.
Making Sense of Aristotle
Aristotle is totally influence by his youth on the 'slavefarm' of Alexander's royal father.
There must have been hundreds of slaves of all kind. Many of them seen as animals, and treated
that way. Superior masters and humble slaves (with lesser 'rank' than today dogs).
Later Aristotle moved to Athens that was full of slaves, treated in similar way
Aristotle developed a world design that fitted these experiences.
In the view of Aristole, there was a superior blueprint (form, god) behind human matter like superior masters
and inferior slaves. Every human had this blueprint in him/her, masters had a near to perfect 'soul', and
slaves had a very nuch incomplete 'soul'. Slaves were born to be slave, and to serve the masters.
Like nowadays most farmers see cows as producers of milk for human masters.
Aristotle distinguishes three sorts of reality: 1) Form (Actuality);2) Dead Matter (Potentiality);
Alife Matter (matter with 'soul', mix of compound matter and 'living' form)
'Soul' is the form of a living thing (its actuality); 'soul' is what makes a thing 'living'.
In this model of life God (the Unmoved Mover) was a necessary concept
to create motion ('living'),
not a divinity to be worshipped, but a 'creator' anyway (though not recognized as such).
A kind of invisible web without spider that totally influences reality.
Aristotle's sense of God as Form but not as Creator was unacceptable to Catholics, Muhammedans, and Hebrews.
They all made their God into a Creator (spider in the web).
Aristotle himself regarded making material from nothing (creationism) as impossible,
he must have seen motion as not material.
Aristotle was convinced that processes in nature aim toward an end or goal
(fighting in the web of life is trying to make sense of God)
A view of nature that fits nicely into the
Christian conception of creation, not of God.
The medieval church considered Aristotle as The philosopher
2500 years later the in Space Superiority believing Lutheran director of NASA (and war criminal) Werner von Braun agreed wih Aristotle:
One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must
be design and purpose behind it all.
Similar to Socrates and Plato, Aristotle believed that searching knowledge was looking for harmony with God.
But only in a limit, Aristotle saw intellect as material.
Aristotle wrote in Greek language.
The 'rational' translation into Western languages, of the almighty Latin transformation,
took over the Roman views and added 'rational' prejudices, though translations of texts of Plato and Socrates
suffered much more.
Averroes' view of Aristotle (Intro 4)
The arab translation
Reading Aristotle in Latin Greek or following the Spanish Arab Averroes (1126, 1198) in his translation from Greek does matter ESSENTIALLY.
Averroes found no body mind split, contrary to the latin translation.
Possibly the Romans not only corrupted the texts of Petrus and Paul, but also those of Aristoteles.
The commentary of Aristotle's works by the Islamic philosopher Averroes gave rise to a school of philosophers known as the Averroists
who restored confidence in empirical knowledge.
However, the view of Averroes was in fight with Saint Augustine's view as HOLY in the catholic church.
Averroes' view threatened the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church
and in the eyes of orthodox thinkers was blasphemy.
Averroes saw 'soul' as material intellect,analogous to prime matter.
Only potentially able to be expressed with imagination in conceptual schemes.
When the material intellect is actualized by information received,
Averroes succeeded to join science and religion, like later Descartes failed in doing so in 'rationalism.
and the views of Averroes was by orthodox scientists seen as 'foreign to Aristotle'.
Aristotle saw human-animal keeping (slave-farming) as biological parasitism, and engineered a model of life around what for him was THE essence.
Aristotle designed not-sensible 'moving hands' from space' who controlled sinful physical body/soul's. And preferred bodies of Greek.
For Aristotle man had to be more than material, and have a function uncommon to anything else.
Aristotle imagined 'anima=moving hands' steering physical life (ANIMAted muscles = houses of flesh).
All life moves within the prescriptive borders of the 'moving hands', totally prescriptive for plants, narrow margins for 'animals', and with room for 'alternatives by anima' in the case of 'humans.
Aristotle's physics relies on an essential distinction between the material realm, within 'natural' 'zero margins' operating earth, water, wind, and fire, and a superior 'moving hands = anima' realm (imprisoning sense = non-sense).
'De Anima' (latin
) is the major writing of Aristotle on the nature of
According to Aristotle plants only can passively eat and grow (no 'anima'),
lower animals actively translate sense-experience in action (lower 'anima').
Humans interact with 'anima'.
Aristotle sees his 'moving hands = anima' as an immaterial parasite holding a living thing in hostage;
the most human shape of 'anima' is 'god', producing a 'half god'
In CATHOLIC view Aristotle's view of 'god' as 'anima' was by far superior (most excellent
) among 'heathen' thinkers.
The Catholic and 'rational' doctrines are based the translation in Latin with an un-Aristotelian belief in supremacy of 'humans' (god's people).
in immaterial 'spirit' ('rational' word = 'mind'
in higher 'substance' (mind
) controlling lower 'accident'
The World according to Greeks (Intro 5)
The World according to Aristotle / Greeks and Barbarians:
The races that live in cold regions and those of Europe are full of courage and passion but somewhat
lacking in skill and-brain power .... they lack ...the ability to rule over others.
...the Asiatic races have both brains and skill but are lacking in courage and will-power;
so they have remained enslaved and subject.
The Hellenic race .. continues to be
free, [has] the best political institutions, and [is] .. capable of ruling all others.
Aristotle Politics 7.7.
Athens has so far outrun the rest of mankind in thought and speech that her disciples are the masters of
the rest, and it is due to her that the word 'Greek' is not so much a term of birth as of mentality.
Isocrates Panegyricus 50
This attitude resulted in blocking the routes from a developed Asia to tribal Europe .
It took a Marco Polo (1254-1324) to rediscover China. Marco Polo had merchant motives, in short: how can we, merchants from Venice, exploit China.
21st century American version:
The countries in the European Union are somewhat lacking military bravety.
They lack the ability to rule the world.
The Asian countries show brains, skill, and bravety but are lacking
The United States has a superior Bill of Rights, has the best political institutions, has a superior army and is capable of ruling the world.
Aristotle: The human is the being that has the logos (Intro 6)
The Law is Reason without Emotion
For Aristotle, the human is the being that was given the logos, i.e. that can speak (and lie
Aristotle's Fiction: THE Quality of Life
is (the IDEA) 'anima' (breath, spirit, mind, ..)
added to a body.
Mind that Aristotle still imagined that mental activity took place in the heart
Greek scholars still saw the brain only as a sort of radiator.
It is tempting in modern interpretation to find that Aristotle posed that physical reality is fundamental and math is merely approximation.
But for Aristotle math is a shadow of the divine structure given by 'god' to nature ('anima' in shape of numbers).
tle as VERY influential tutor of Alexander the Great
'aristocrats' exploited 'inferior' peope (with 'arete' = excellence= supremacy= arist
ocracy). It helps to think of Klu Klux Klan like belief
in own 'being right', and readiness as 'leaders' to 'pray' war (if there had been ancient atom bombs, then Alexander Cursed would have dropped a few on Persian Persepolis, AFTER plundering
). In order to save
own simplistic VERY PROFITABLE racist good-evil
view of life
Via Aquinas Aristotle's logos (his IDEAS) were made into 'rationalism' by Descartes,
and this 'rationalism' deeply influences the Western World until today.
A conceptual scheme is how people in some culture locally 'attack' their subreality.
Example The Western World: 'Rationality' is strengthened by repeating conceptual logic ('rational' parents, 'rational' Google, 'rational' Wikipedia, 'rational' worksettings, 'rational' teaching school, 'universities' as 'rational' churches, 'rational' media, 'rational' politicians,...)
Aristotle as the most influential figure in Western thought is considered the father of scientific terminology.
Aristotle designed THE philosophic and scientific subreality of medieval Arabs and Europeans.
Aristotle this way in The Catholic World
and in the Mohammedan world (not in ALL of Islam)
caused a paradigm shift
into the tough Aristotelian Paradigm
, that until now lasted 2500 years
Parallel views on life (partly essentially different) are found in subcultures in Middle East, Buddhist Asia, Polynesia, Africa, Indian South America, ...
God-like is an IDEA and causes the BELIEF in Supremacy
For Aristotle physical life (un godlike) grounds all human knowledge.
But Aristotle also believes that reality = material reality + meta-reality.
This peculiar combination of physics + god-like reality is called metaphysics.
REASONING (= repetitive metaphysical noises
) makes Aristotle BELIEVE that 'god-like reality =
'un godlike reality + anima' = animal reality + anima = 'spiritual reality' = supremacy
and is immaterial cause of 'sensible reality' (= 'un god-like reality' = animal reality).
Apartheid: 100% man = man + anima = slave owner, manager, ..in 'mind' connection with supermind 'god'
|Or: animal reality + anima = material reality + god-like reality
god-like = anima (= breath; spirit; mind) = fantasy, like believing to be 'Batman'
man = ape with inferior spirit = slave, employee, ..bodily related with apes, mind connected with 'devil'
Situation in history (Intro 7)
399 BC Execution of Socrates
398 BC--King Arnuwanda V of Hatti (say Turkey
) grants full independence to the Greek cities on the
coast of Anatolia. This begins a new period of many years of Greek-Hittite cooperation
367 BC Aristotle enters the Academia of Plato.
359 Phillip II becomes King of Macedon. Phillip's makes his Macedonian Phalangites into professional soldiers, far better killing machines
than other armies (a kind of US Army
352-322 BC India after ending Persian rule fragments into several kingdoms.
352 BC onward--In the newly independent Indian states, Hinduism becomes very
puritan and intolerant, and followers of many other beliefs are
342 BC onward ARISTOTLE
TEACHES 'ANIMA' TO ALEXANDER THE GREAT
(the terrible), the even more ambitious/agressive son of Phillip II of Macedon.
338 BC Philip II of Macedon declares war on Athens and Thebes (chief cities of the Greek coalition which
is allied to Hatti
) and invades. Hitite forces turn the tide against Phillip of Macedon.
The Macedonian army is wiped away by the Hittites.
337 -- Peace treaty between Athens and Macedon. Hellenic League was founded by Philip II and agreed on war against Persia to avenge the wrongs of King Xerxes of Persia.
This was decisive for Alexander the Great getting the support and funds for annihilating the Persian cicilization
336 BC onward After the assasination of Philip II at age 46, the combination of young Alexander as leader of the Hellenic League, paranoid much older guru Aristotle, and Philip's very professional killing machine army becomes a disaster for especially Persia
back to top
Idealism: The Law is Reason without Emotion
Alexander the Great
worshipped Aristotle (Head of his own "Lyceum")
like Adolf the Horrible admired Wernher von Braun (later Head of "NASA")
The dictator Hitler annihilitated mainly the mass of Jews (not the very rich), but the innocent looking young handsome blue eyed dictator Alexander especially murdered leading Persian Zoroastrians
This 'spiritual' teenager followed the motto of Aristotle: "The Law is Reason free from passion".
Aristotle grew up on a slave-farm and could not imagine a society without slavery, like a 21st century dairy-farmer can't imagine milk without cows.
Aristotle learned to see slaves as bodies of flesh for serving their Masters, just like most 'thinking' 'managers' are helpless
in a world without 'working' 'employees'.
Aristotle did set the basic principles of a logical view of existence:
that reality is an absolute and can be perceived by a man's mind (human reality) and exists independently of wishes or feelings.
That man’s mind is his only tool of knowledge—that A is A.
Aristotle distinguishes 'reason' and emotion.
And made 'emotion' from invalueable 'tool of life' into inferior instinct used by animals.
'Reason' transforms sense perceptions and is by Aristotle seen as 'the source of all 'knowledge''.
That 'intuition' does exactly the same job, but endlesly more complex, was completely overseen.
Aristotle's view of knowledge was limited to his own cultural prejudices. That's why Aristotle saw slavery as 'natural'
With Aristotle as 'spiritual' guideline Roman big slave owners felt 'spiritful' = 'aristocratic'.
This simplistic 'supremacy' view faded away, but ages later this ego-thinking was revived by the 'aristocrat' monk Thomas de Aquinas, who saw
Aristote as 'THE philosopher'.
The Catholic Church realized very well, that many ideas of Aristotle were VERY dubious.
In 1277 many of Aristotle's ideas even were condemned as 'heretic' by the Roman Christian Church.
But the totally dominant 'aristocratic' circles in The Church very much liked Aristotle's clever explanation of 'slavery' as natural behavior.
Thomas Aquinas (the model teacher of catholic priesthood
) rehabilitated Aristotle's ideas so as to make them safe for Roman Christian consumption.
Catholicism started as a powertool of 'aristocracy' and this way
restrengthened the bonds. The Church became a subculture in Western culture, devoted to
serving aristocrats in power. A rigid subparadigm as anchor within another paradigm.
Aristotle was the dominant authority in upperclass 'way of life' in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Aristotle
was considered a THE example of a realist, but
apart from his biological research Aristotle was very much an idealist.
|Non-sense in a 21st century science text: Plato is an absolute universal realist while Aristotle sees reality as relative to the physical world.
Henk Tuten: I have no clue what is a 'absolute universal realist', but Plato's soul exists
in BEHAVIOR Aristotle's soul is th IDEA 'harmony of senses'.
Aristotle's belief in immaterial 'anima' (supremacy) is not relative at all.
Plato - Paradigm Shift - Aristotle
Major paradigm shifts in history are like walls.
Many words before and after the shift have different meanings, and sentences completely different meanings.
Comparison is useless. Aristotle's Hellenic account of Platonism was`seen from Plato's Classical Greece non-sense
The Dualism of Body and Soul found in the thoughts of Pythagoras influenced on Plato.
And the dualism of Plato influenced Aristotle.
As disciple of Plato Aristotle is not seen as an outspoken dualist, but he certainly was a dualist.
It's WAY too simple to say in 'rational' language: Plato’s motto is 'Mind over matter' and Aristotles motto 'Matter over mind'.
In fact Aristotle is more 'Mind over Matter' than Plato.
In ways of research Aristotle is more down to earth than Plato,
but in basic beliefs Aristotle proves to be much more fundamentalist than the common sense Plato.
Though Aristotle denied Plato's concept that absolute truth is 'out there' in the shape of 'The Forms of Reality',
he replaced Forms with an eternal God (Aristotle's Form).
Aristotle replaced open debate of leading thinkers (rethorics: onlookers/listeners decide themselves) with 'belief' with leading thinkers as highpriests of a 'church of reason'.
Plato modestly taught that the sensed world is an always changing sense-picture of ONE Reality.
Aristotle, not so modest, distinguished a twofold reality (a pure absolute absolute blueprint [Prime Mover] and impure chains of events [matter used to realize the design]; non-sense and sense)
Aristotle thought that the coherence and consistency in this world, could only be explained
by a god-directedness (soul, form) in all individual objects of nature. This god-directedness is also found in 'mind' (expressed in 'thinking'
Take care: Aristotle believed that the blueprint (form) of most humans was 'slave', and 'slaves' could get closer to the blueprint 'slave' by
serving humans with blueprint 'Masters' better. The 'form' of slaves is expressed by their 'thinking', and in Aristotle opinion Masters 'think' a lot more than slaves.
Thus Masters are 'closer to God', who is pure thought.
Aristotle defines 'motion' as:
the fulfilment of the movable as movable
, getting a bit closer to God (The Unmoved Mover, The Prime Mover
Plato is an idealist/mysticus who loves abstractions, but also PRACTICAL/modest and always tests his abstractions in dialogues.
Aristotle's approach to science differed from Plato's. Though Aristotle thought it also very important to study second philosophy'
(physics, mechanics, biology), Aristotle much more saw reason (using of mind) as the highest human faculty,
Aristotle seems 'rational' and likes THEORY (logic) and systematization.
Aristotle trusts in 'understanding', how things work, their causes and their effects, and
denies Platos modest view of ONE reality in favor of his own not so modest view of a DUAL reality (a 'god'like absolute design + realization).
Plato's views and that of Godfather of the Western World Aristotle are diametrically opposed when it comes to use of 'ideas'.
That Aristotle considers physical reality as leading is a 'rational' misreading of his Nicomachean Ethics.
Aristote sees a mathematical order in reality (nowadays called metaphysics, for Aristotle 'god').
Afterwards a priori 'math' becomes an indespensable tool for research of an absolute mathematical metareality
(in later catholic interpretation a 'godly' design
) that is
analyzed in its impure physical realities.
Whatever Plato's views were,his research tool obviously was common sense debate.
Aristotle with 'mathematical eyes' observes strictly within THE 'godly' structure,
while Plato's seemingly absolute physical laws are sense pictures that are open for discussion
Aristotle's criticizes Plato's idealism (the separation of 'ideas' from the sensible world).
Peculiar, because Aristotle introduces the duality of matter and thought (desire/form/idea).
Though in Aristotle's theory of knowledge sensation is the source of 'thought',
he doesn't realize that there is nothing between sensation and action (like form) thought, sensation is
It is usually in 'science' considered that Aristotle's merit was to have restored the union between sensible world and ideas,
Aristotle considers matter and form as unity (and God as super-form/eternal-intelligence completely above reality),
but does not mean that form = sense but that sense detects nature and that nature obeys form (eternal perfection).
In Aristotle's eyes 'Form' is perfection, absolute, god. And Laws are there to punish the inferior ones who deviate from perfection.
One already recognizes The Inquisition of Catholicism, or the 'Law and Order' in 'rationalism'.
Without comment a few quotes of in immaterial 'form' believing practical dreamer Plato and the emotionless in immaterial 'thinking' believing fundamentalist Aristotle
A constitution is the arrangement of magistracies in a state.
Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
The law is reason, free from passion.
Man is by nature a political animal.
Individual happiness also depends upon wealth and pleasure
We make war that we may live in peace.
A hero is born among a 100, a wise man is found among a 1.000,
but an accomplished one might not be found even among a 100.000 men.
All men are by nature equal, [..] as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.
Democracy passes into despotism.
Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals,
seems only to pass into excess of slavery.
Individual happiness should be sacrificed for the good of the community
The measure of a man is what he does with power.
Aristotle and Slavery
Aristotle (tutor of Alexander the Great):
Barbarians are a community of slaves, male and female.
Hellenes should rule over barbarians.
Persians are barbarians.
Aristotle (very much unlike Plato
): Men rule naturally over women, and Greeks over barbarians.
Aristotle says about what it is that makes a barbarian a slave:
Some humans (the lower sort) can do nothing better than to use their body, and are by nature slaves,
and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master.
Aristotle claims that a slave is a possession, and that 'possessions are what we simply use'.
Aristotle sees slavery as a 'mutualism', masters need slaves, and slaves need masters.
Superiority = Thymos = The Spirit in us = Immaterial Life'
Superiority = Farming of Human-Animals = Natural Paracitism is Aristotle's
explanation for human animal exploitation.
'Thymos' was a notion invented by Aristotle in his defense of 'natural slavery'.
'Thymos' seems related to 'courage'. The 'warrior class' in the Republic has
a lot of 'thymos'. Aristotle considered natural slaves exploited by natural masters as natural dualism.
Thymos = 'master quality', 'breath' or 'warrior spirit', warrior aggression, being fierce, desire to dominate,
thirst for glory. 'Thymos' was a mix of 'warrior-courage', and 'feeling invincable'.
The 'willpower' of an agressive Superman.
Male 'Humans' with 'thymos'(talking super-apes
) have dominant 'superman spirits' and
exploit 'barbarians' and women (non-greek apes with 'slave spirit'
Men rule naturally over women, and Greek super-apes over inferior barbarian apes.
|Henk Tuten: As son of a farmer I realize that for many farmers feeling superior to cows is way of life.
Like trading in cows and getting a high price for cow-milk
is a way of life. Killing all cows in Persia would be done by US Army 'efficiently' with 'Superior Force' on command of The President. Ending the slavery of humans as practiced by greed addicts worldwide is
complex and very emotional. Respectful and mutually useful coexisting of human-mammals and
other mammals for humans is hugely complex.
Aristotle had a law and order at all costs
view of life, because of growing up at Macedononian Court very near to the household of the cruel dictator King Philip (Filippos) of Macedon.
In Aristotle's fantasy immaterial 'breath' (divine 'spirits') from heaven as benign parasites control the 'soul' of superior humans,
and implicitly decide a dual 'natural law' (high quality 'breath 'superior humans' run farms of 'evil' low quality 'breath' 'barbarians'
Samuel P. Hungtington: the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values
or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.
Aristotle and Biology
Biology was a natural pursuit for Aristotle
Aristotle and the Supernatural
, given his family's medical background.
His achievements in logic/ethics are very dubious, but 2000 years after his death his research in biology is seen as
lasting success (though equally dubious). He identified near to 500 different species of animals.
A big part of his achievement was simply the huge amount of data that he
collected, but he is also praised for the skill and care with which he organized the data.
Nowadays we would lock up Aristotle as 'psychotic control freak' (Henk Tuten: I hate labels, but this one makes sense
The biologer Aristotle invented 'immaterial spirit'
Aristotle saw human-animal keeping (slave-farming
) as biological parasitism, and engineered
a model that made sense to him. THE essence of life.
Aristotle designed heavenly 'spirits from space' who steered sinful physical body/soul's.
For Aristotle psychology was 'higher' than biology, and he saw 'spiritual' motives steering
physical life (houses of flesh).
Quote Aristotle: The law is reason unaffected by desire
or "The law is reason free from passion".
Aristotle's physics relies on an essential distinction between the
material realm, made of the four elements earth, water, wind, and fire,
and the 'spiritual' realm, made of immaterial ether and seen as superior.
|That invention of the immaterial 'spirit' as superior to bodily 'emotion' (intuition) allowed commenting brutal killing in slave-raids coldly as: 'necessary'.
The 'ideal' tool for emotionless slavehunters.
Aristotle on Four Causes
Considering 'belief' as material, the basis of Catholicism
In his homemade Nicomachean Logic Aristotle claims that () 'potency' is a DIFFERENT kind of material.
Against common sense people who sense that 'potency' is only 'in your head' (not part of reality, it can't be sensed)
Aristotle claims in Metaphysics IX, 3-4 that 'potency' not being part of reality is not LOGICAL (his own logics?).
Because then one would only possess a potency when one was performing its corresponding act.
A man who is sitting, for example, would not have the potency to stand.
He would only have the potency of standing while actually standing. Aristotle believes this to be paradoxical.
That out of a block of stone you can make some statue, of course is correct.
And when statue is made, the block is diminished and a lot of potency is gone.
Nevertheless in modern terms the bright observations of Aristotle create an awful
confusion around the concept 'change'.
First Aristotle claims that a state/condition can be owned.
Like owning the state 'standing'. Or owning the state 'rich', or 'excellent'.
Of course a man who is in state 'sitting' can change to state 'standing', but as long as he sits one can only sense 'sitting'.
No use to claim that an alife soldier might be dead in a second.
A snake does not bite if you absolutely manage to stay in state 'rigid'. Because his senses don't sense
that hidden in state 'rigid' is the potency MOTION (odour is also motion).
Snakes can't sense possible states.
Aristotle sees ideas as a different materiality, that can be sensed with a different kind of sense ('spirituality').
Like claiming: God is of godly material, and godly material can be observed with the sense 'belief'
Of course every human is capable of 'inferior' behavior.
But inherently very TRICKY Aristotle claims: My extra sense 'belief' senses that 'barbarians' are stuffed with inferior 'potencies'.
Aristotle and the Jewish Mind
The Supremacy of Reason
As the Greek who most impressed the Jewish thinkers, Aristotle is one of the few foreigners who appear in Jewish legend.
By 200 BC, the priesthood in Jerusalem was thoroughly indoctrinated in Greek ways.
At that time the Jewish philosopher Aristobulus, claimed that Jewish revelation and Aristotelian philosophy were identical.
Jerusalem society became completely Hellenized, though rural society still practiced Zoroastrian ways.
The most obvious influence of the Hellenic period can be found in the early literature of the new faith, Jewish Christianity.
Around 0 BC the general opinion was modified and quite nonsensical it was claimed that Aristotle derived his doctrine directly from Judaism
Jewish believers trust that everything in the world results from design.
They ponder about that design; about good and evil, triumph and tragedy, nobility and selfishness.
Always confident in the supremacy of divine reason.
Aristotle saw metaphysics (his own abstract concepts about nature) as the knowledge of immaterial being, and calls it
first philosophy, the theologic science or being in the highest degree of abstraction; (the power of reason).
That way Aristotle became founding father of the Byzantine and Catholic Churches, believing in 'humanism' and supernatural things.
Aristotle saw 'spirit' as explanation behind natural happenings.
This belief today widely is referred to as 'metaphysics'.
Aristotle saw 'spirit' as the driving power behind the ability of natural life to adapt.
That lead to modern day 'scientific beliefs' (religion) like: sex can be learned by reading books. Common sense shows: sexual behavior is learned by copying and training. 'Sex' as IDEA =Illusion.
Supremacy of Reason is very tricky:
Once upon a time
, 2000 years after Aristotle's pupil Alexander the 'Great', an in top totally corrupted Western World
exists following the rules of nature as given by Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics.
Once upon a time ...
2000 years after Adolf Hitler.
'the world' obeyed the rules of nature as
given by Dr. Mengele and 'Head of NASA' Dr. von Braun in 'Arian Ethics' .
Dr. Mengele identified hundreds of different types of humans.
A big part of his 'research' was simply filling a huge database with collected data,
but he is often praised for the skill and care with which he organized the data in subtile medical experiments.
And Dr. von Braun is seen as a rocket technology wizard who innocently practiced with missiles by bombarding the city of London.
But who as Head of NASA with a HUGE step for humanity made humans ready for entering space.
Aristotle and Western Dualism
Aristotle was a 'dualist'
The view to split reality in IDEAS+physics (mind + matter
) Aristotle inherited from Plato.
Nevertheless Plato treats this split in common sense way.
Plato sees himself as a world citizen among 'equals'.
Aristotle believed in "dualism" which divides the world into two spheres: 'anima' and matter.
Anima and matter describe a basic duality in existence, between the design of a thing (form) and the stuff that the thing is made of (matter).
That such a duality exists is widely held since Plato and Aristotle. The problem is that 'form' suggests an eternal design and 'mind' (soul)
is an eternal active thing.
Anima (mind or soul) is a nonphysical entity, active form, which somehow 'uses' the material body .
In particular, mind-body dualism claims that neither the mind nor matter can be reduced to each other in any way,
and is sometimes referred to as "mind and body" and stands in contrast to philosophical monism,
which views mind and matter as being ultimately the same kind of thing.
According to Aristotle, the mind and body interacted through a "point of interaction" which he identified as the heart.
Aristotle used this dualism in supremacy way, the spiritual Masters and the barbarian Slaves.
Aristotle's idea of a God OUTSIDE of the world, supplying the efficient cause for the universe,
was perfectly suited for catholic church leaders who needed dominancy of The Catholic Church as way
to pretend that their own catholic laws ruled nature (and that 'Popes' are natural leaders
to trick their slaves into 'order'.
Dualism is VERY tricky, it is the source of 'judgement'. Thinking in terms of good-evil, not guilty-guilty, etcetera.
Instead is seeing life as a balance.
Henk Tuten: in a 21st-century article I found the to the point descriptions: 'law and order view' and 'partnership view'.
Quotes about Aristotle
Locke wrote about Aristotelianism: perplexed with obscure terms and useless questions
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) wrote about Aristotle: "a naive and childlike animistic view of the world"
Jeremy Bentham: Aristotle divides mankind into two distinct species that of freeman and that of slaves
Aristotle considered slavery as 'natural', because 'some men are adapted by nature to be the physical instruments of others.'
Aristotle considered the 'barbarian' as inferior, 'adapted by nature' to be slave of superior people.
Aristotle considered 'the universe' as made by 'God', though not being religious.
Aristotle considered study of theology, as a 'theoretical' (heavenly) pursuit [studying laws 'from heaven'
] , as study of the highest kind,
and Aristotle in his 'theology' imagined an immaterial (virtual
) God outside earth. God's IDEAs are desribed as 'virtue' (virtual), man's facts are seen as sin
Aristotle about Freedom (tricky): "each of us is free to become "a good person or a bad one" (Aristotle's God decides good or 'barbarian': absolutism
Aristotle's logic of duality
in the west practically separated body and 'spirit' (matter and 'mind')
resulting in man-to-man conflicts (about 'spiritual arguments'),
exploitation (in the name of 'rights'),
slavery (of man without spirit by men with 'spirit'),
Through Aquinas (1225-74), Aristotelian ethics became the official powertool of the Roman Catholic Church.
According to Aquinas 'intelligence' is an immaterial power and,
since a thing is as it acts, the soul itself is immaterial and can live without the body
Aristotle became the darling of the medieval Catholic Church, and after Enlightenment his fascist ideas were hidden by
the 'modern' Catholic Church in 'rationalism'.
The link between the idealism of Aristotle and the present Western World is very old but straightforward.
You might see Hellenism (325BC-5BC) as Greek culture in Macedonian style. The Hellenistic culture of the empire though did not even come close to the (idealized) former splendor of classic Greece.
Hellenistic philosophy is Greek philosophy as in and after the lifetime of Alexander the Great.
Alexander can be seen as a Hellenized person, especially because of his tutor Aristotle.
Aristotle can be seen as THE philosopher of Hellenism, and Alexander saw Hellenization as a desirable imperial policy,
and in a very short period spread Greek cultural and political order in all of the Middle East.
At best, Hellenized people spoke only koine Greek, a simplified language (and the language of the New Testament
Hellenism was a culture that ran on patronage and slavery, on 'who knew who' and on exploitation. Parasitism.
The Romans met Hellenism when they conquered the coastal part of the former Empire of Alexander the Great.
The Roman rulers themselves ran a successful parasite empire and obviously liked the way in which Hellenism succeeded in integrating a hard type of slavery in their society.
They incorporated a lot of the Hellenistic philosophy in their own ways.
Especially after many ages they made the mind-body split in Hellenist culture to official basic of Catholicism at the Council of Chalcedon,
maybe because this view almost seemed to be made for the practice of slavery.
The Roman Empire fell and also the dubious mind-body split ideas almost disappeared.
It was the catholic godfather Thomas Aquinas (most known for his "Five Ways of Proving the Existence of God"
) who revived the largely forgotten dubious ideas of Aristotle .
At his time only the existence of immaterial 'spirits' as basic principle in Catholic Ethics had survived.
Thomas Aquinas developed his own popular ethics for the masses: Thomistic Philosophy. Which has its roots in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
(the 'synderesis' or 'Natural Law' tradition in Catholic ethics).
Examples of 'synderesis': "Do good and avoid evil" and "Obey God."
Catholicism defined 'good' and 'evil', and if necessary organized 'inquisition'.
Aristotle made a blueprint for Catholicism, and Catholicism made the Western 'beehive' (full of parasites).
Protestantism in Puritan variant perfected 'beehive'-lifestyle.
Finally in the 21st century parisitism stops being effective. Chaos in the 'beehive' Western World.
How did man fit into Aristotle's view of the universe? Aristotle held: Man is a political animal.
Aristotle argued: Man is the one animal that tries to order his social needs according to logical arguments.
The first part of his argument is still useful in the 21st century: man is a herd animal with social needs.
The second part resulted in the western 'law and order'. Aristotle also said something like: Law is reason without emotion.
So according to Aristotle, man is a super-animal able to use The Laws of Nature, and able to suppress emotion.
It seems that in the end in Aristotle's notion 'law' is only logic, because sense = emotion.
Logic around what are seen as goals by the local 'clans in power'. Aiming at those goals with reason and without emotion
Without making things difficult, it is clear that Aristotle is at the base of the Western view of politics.
'Trade Union' behavior. Anything is allowed if you can get a law around it accepted.
How Aristotle defines 'government', 'state', 'democracy', etcetera is not really important.
And Aristotle's views about slavery and women are just local folklore.
Fact is that Aristotle completely trusts his 'political machinery' to work, and considers 'logic' as 'understanding'.
That way ignoring that his invented system leaves ample room for manipulation by the most powerful 'political animals'.
Aristotle's ideas about politics more or less work in societies with leaders who obey widely shared ethical principles
Else Aristotle's ideas about politics easily result in politics as ruthless 'trade union activity'.
Politics as 'law and order' job, as if there is wisdom in 'reason'(logic)'. Political animals? Looks more like: Freedom for the Vultures!
Through the Roman Empire the 'political animals' of Aristoteles entered Europe.
In essence, whatever the shape 'democracy' prescribed that 'the people' should have input on how their government is run.
In practice thet input of 'the people' often was very small, and the power still in the hands of the 'political animals' (a tiny rich elite).
Mid 20th century 'the 'political animals'' ruled the world.
The model nation for producing 'political animals' became the United States.
Something to worry about, given the level of corruption the 'political animals' in the US and the ease that
the 'political animals' allowed a ruthless shape of capitalism to settle in the US.