Mortimer J. Adler made this book about Aristotle and how he came to the truths of life. Adler made this book very understandable by making the conclusions to life’s questions, by using everyday situations that people can relate to. He explains Man as the Philosophical Animal, the Maker, the Doer, the Knower, and Difficult Philosophical Questions. Aristotle was very skilled. He was great in classifying things and asking questions. He showed the difference between all living things. Plants grow, reproduce, and have nutrition.
Animals have what plants have but they also have engage in the 5 senses. Man has all of what the plants and animals have, but Man has knowledge. He called Man Rational Animals because we have the ability to think and question. He explained it as the scale of living things gets higher it contains the characteristics of the lower forms of living things. Aristotle also showed the difference between all living things and everything else. He called it the Great Divide. Where livings things were on one side and all other non-living things were on the other side.
Things such as mathematics, and fictional characters were not living things. He made another distinction. He divided bodies on one side and their characteristics on the other side. He showed how things change, but how it will always be the same thing that you started out with. Things change in quality, quantity, and position. He said Man has three dimensions; making, doing, and knowing. Making is the producer of things. Doing is someone who can do either right or wrong. Knowing is someone who can gain knowledge.
He used terms to describe the differences of these “Productive Thinking” was to describe making of things, “Pratical Thinking” was to describe the doing of things, and “Speculative Thinking” was to describe the knowing of things. Aristotle thought Man should be able to understand when he is going to make something change. When Man does not helps change or make something, it is done Naturally. But if Man helps change of make something then it is done Artificially. Everything in the world is always changing. But in every change there must be something remaining the same while turning into something different.
One of the most recognized change is Local motion. It is the movement from one place to another. There is also another kind of change in quality. It is when the object is changing some characteristic like color or size, it is still the same thing. Another kind of change is in quantity. It is adding to the amount of things already having. In all of the kinds of changes there is still a perment object remaining the same. There are “four causes”, they are the answers to the four questions that man questions about the changes which we experience.
One of the first questions is: What is it going to be made of? This is the material cause. It is the idea. Another question is: Who made it? It is the efficient cause. It is the person who made the thing. The next question is: What is it being made? That is the formal cause. It is the thing being made. The last question is: What is it being ade for? That is the final cause. Finally achieving what was being made. These four causes must be present when producing something. Aristotle also recognizes that man has ideas to make things. He called this “Productive Idea”.
That is the person who is the first to make up a plan to make an ,object. To have the “Know-how” to make a thing. Man must posses a skill to make that thing. Aristotle described means and ends as thinking about a goal you want to reach and in what way will it be done to get it. Aristotle also thought that to live a well life we must have developed a life plan. He thought that an unplanned life with no direction was seless and not worth it because it can not be lived well. To live a well life in Aristotle’s view was to nourishing and keeping good care of our bodies.
And the extra things like money and education also make life better. In the end everyone wants to have happiness in their life. That is their ultimate goal in life. Aristotle explains that when we say “want” and “need” we are desiring a certain thing. But both desires are wants of different desires. Need is when you need it to survive, like, when humans need food to nourish their bodies. Want is something you want but might not nessceraly need, like, when a uman may want a new car every year, but can not afford it. To pursue happiness it involves Man trying to get real goods for themselves.
Habits, as Aristotle explains, is some action well developed that we get pleasure from doing and are hard to get rid of. Both good and bad habits are hard to get rid of and painful. Aristotle thought that every time you engage in a good habit it is one step closer to achieve you ultimate goal of life. And when you engage in a bad habit you are moving in the opposite direction. Ideas come form our experiences, which first comes from our senses. The senses re every important because everything we do happens first from our senses and then is put into our mind.
Sensation is input into our minds. Aristotle was a great logician. To say something is existing and is not existing in the same time is contradiction. It is not possible to have this. You can not say that all dogs are brown and then say that all dogs a black. That would be a contradiction. Telling a lie consist of telling someone something that you think can be something else. Telling the truth consists with agreeing with what you are thinking, not turning it around into something else. Our senses help us determine if something is true or false.
Opinions are answering questions without knowledge. Knowledge is what we have learned and understand. Aristotle thought that the potential infinities are involved in the endless process of addition and subtraction. According to Aristotle, time is also infinite because one moment proceeds another moment and so on, and so on. He also thought the world had no beginning and no end. He thought that the world was eternal. That it was timeless. The immaterial being in which is a perfect being is what Aristotle called God, the prime mover of the universe.