Aristotle, Matter and form (eidos). Potency and Act...


Philosophical thought of ancient Greece reached its highest height in the works of Aristotle (384-322 BC), whose views, encyclopedically incorporating the achievements of the ancient spider, are a grandiose system of concrete scientific and philosophical knowledge in its amazing depth , fineness and scale. Educated mankind has studied, learning and will learn from him in the course of centuries of his philosophical culture.

Aristotle is a disciple of Plato, but on a number of fundamental issues he disagreed with his teacher. In particular, he believed that the Platonic theory of ideas is completely inadequate to explain empirical reality. It is Aristotle who speaks: "Plato is my friend, but the truth is more precious!" He sought to overcome the Platonic gap between the world of sensory things and the world of ideas.

Matter and form (eidos). Potency and act

Proceeding from the recognition of the objective existence of matter, Aristotle considered it eternal, uncreated and indestructible. Matter can not arise from nothing, nor can it increase or decrease in its quantity. However, matter itself, according to Aristotle, is inert, passive. It contains only the possibility of the emergence of a real variety of things, as, for example, marble contains the possibility of various statues. To make this possibility a reality, it is necessary to give the matter an appropriate form. Under the form Aristotle meant the active creative factor, thanks to which the thing becomes real. The form - is the stimulus and purpose, the cause of the formation of diverse things from the monotonous matter: matter is a kind of clay. In order for a variety of things to arise from it, a potter is needed - a god (or a mind-first-engine). Form and matter are inextricably linked, so that every thing in possibility is already contained in matter and by its natural development receives its form. The whole world is a series of forms in communication with each other and arranged in an order of increasing perfection. Thus, Aristotle comes to the idea of ​​ individual being things, phenomena: they represent the "fusion of matter and eidos (form). Matter appears as an opportunity and as a kind of substratum of existence. Marble, for example, can be considered as a possibility of a statue, it is also a material principle, a substrate, and a statue carved from a peg is already a unity of matter and form. The main engine of the world is a god, defined as the form of all forms, as the pinnacle of the universe.

Categories of Philosophy

Aristotle's consideration of the relationship between matter and eidos (form), act and potency reveals the energetic dynamism of existence in its development. At the same time, the thinker sees the causal dependence of the phenomena of existence: everything has a causal explanation. In connection with this, he makes a distinction of the reasons: there is an active cause - this is an energetic force that generates something in the flow of universal interaction of the phenomena of existence, not only matter and form, act and potency, but also generating energy-cause, along with the active principle and target meaning: "for what sake". Here we are dealing with such an exceptionally important position of Aristotle's philosophy as the semantic origin of all that exists, as well as the hierarchy of its levels-from matter as a possibility to the formation of individual forms of being and further from inorganic formations to the world of plants, living beings, different species of animals and , finally, to man, to society. Consequently, Aristotle played an enormous role in the development of existence, which is organically connected with the categories of space and time, which he acts not as substances, but as "place" and the number of motion, i.e. as a sequence of real and conceivable events and states. This approach is closer to the modern understanding of these categories than, say, Newtonian.

Aristotle developed a hierarchical system of categories in which the main was essence, or substance, and the rest were considered its attributes. Striving to simplify the categorical system, Aristotle then recognized the main only three categories: essence, state, attitude.

Through his analysis of potency and act, Aristotle introduced the principle of development into philosophy. This was a response to the aporia of the Eleans, according to which the existent can arise either from the being or from the non-existent, but both are impossible, for in the former case the existent no longer exists, and in the second, something can not arise out of nothing, hence , the emergence or becoming is completely impossible and the sensory world must be referred to the realm of non-being. In this way, Aristotle introduced the philosophies of the category possibilities and of reality, and this is the potency and act.

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