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Aristotelianism (/ˌærɪstəˈtliənɪzəm/ ARR-i-stə-TEE-lee-ə-niz-əm) is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. Aristotle was a prolific writer whose works cover many subjects including physics, biology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, and government. Any school of thought that takes one of Aristotle's distinctive positions as its starting point can be considered "Aristotelian" in the widest sense. This means that different Aristotelian theories (e.g. in ethics or in ontology) may not have much in common as far as their actual content is concerned besides their shared reference to Aristotle.

In Aristotle's time, philosophy included natural philosophy, which preceded the advent of modern science during the Scientific Revolution. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school and later on by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings. In the Islamic Golden Age, Avicenna and Averroes translated the works of Aristotle into Arabic and under them, along with philosophers such as Al-Kindi and Al-Farabi, Aristotelianism became a major part of early Islamic philosophy.

Moses Maimonides adopted Aristotelianism from the Islamic scholars and based his Guide for the Perplexed on it and that became the basis of Jewish scholastic philosophy. Although some of Aristotle's logical works were known to western Europe, it was not until the Latin translations of the 12th century and the rise of scholasticism that the works of Aristotle and his Arabic commentators became widely available. Scholars such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas interpreted and systematized Aristotle's works in accordance with Catholic theology.

After retreating under criticism from modern natural philosophers, the distinctively Aristotelian idea of teleology was transmitted through Wolff and Kant to Hegel, who applied it to history as a totality. Although this project was criticized by Trendelenburg and Brentano as non-Aristotelian, Hegel's influence is now often said to be responsible for an important Aristotelian influence upon Marx.

Recent Aristotelian ethical and "practical" philosophy, such as that of Gadamer and McDowell, is often premissed upon a rejection of Aristotelianism's traditional metaphysical or theoretical philosophy. From this viewpoint, the early modern tradition of political republicanism, which views the res publica, public sphere or state as constituted by its citizens' virtuous activity, can appear thoroughly Aristotelian.

The most famous contemporary Aristotelian philosopher is Alasdair MacIntyre. Especially famous for helping to revive virtue ethics in his book After Virtue, MacIntyre revises Aristotelianism with the argument that the highest temporal goods, which are internal to human beings, are actualized through participation in social practices.

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), the pupil of Albertus Magnus, wrote a dozen commentaries on the works of Aristotle.[23]<

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), the pupil of Albertus Magnus, wrote a dozen commentaries on the works of Aristotle.[23] Thomas was emphatically Aristotelian, he adopted Aristotle's analysis of physical objects, his view of place, time and motion, his proof of the prime mover, his cosmology, his account of sense perception and intellectual knowledge, and even parts of his moral philosophy.[23] The philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work of Thomas Aquinas was known as Thomism, and was especially influential among the Dominicans, and later, the Jesuits.[23]

Using Alber

Using Albert's and Thomas's commentaries, as well as Marsilius of Padua's Defensor pacis, 14th-century scholar Nicole Oresme translated Aristotle's moral works into French and wrote extensive comments on them.

After retreating under criticism from modern natural philosophers, the distinctively Aristotelian idea of teleology was transmitted through Wolff and Kant to Hegel, who applied it to history as a totality.[citation needed] Although this project was criticized by Trendelenburg and Brentano as un-Aristotelian,[citation needed] Hegel's influence is now often said to be responsible for an important Aristotelian influence upon Marx.[24] Postmodernists, in contrast, reject Aristotelianism's claim to reveal important theoretical truths.[25] In this, they follow Heidegger's critique of Aristotle as the greatest source of the entire tradition of Western philosophy.

Contemporary

Aristotelianism is understood by its proponents as critically developing Plato's theories.[26] Recent Aristotelian ethical and 'practical' philosophy, such as that of Gadamer and McDowell, is often premised upon a rejection of Aristotelianism's traditional metaphysical or theoretical philosophy.[citation needed] From this viewpoint, the early modern tradition of political republicanism, which views the res publica, public sphere or state as constituted by its citizens' virtuous activity, can appear thoroughly Aristotelian.[citation needed]

The contemporary Aristotelian philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre is specially famous for helping to revive virtue ethics in his book After Virtue. MacIntyre revises Aristotelianism with the argument that the highest temporal goods, which are internal to human beings, are actualized through participation in social practices. He opposes Aristotelianism to the managerial institutions of capitalism and its state, and to rival tradition

The contemporary Aristotelian philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre is specially famous for helping to revive virtue ethics in his book After Virtue. MacIntyre revises Aristotelianism with the argument that the highest temporal goods, which are internal to human beings, are actualized through participation in social practices. He opposes Aristotelianism to the managerial institutions of capitalism and its state, and to rival traditions—including the philosophies of Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche—that reject its idea of essentially human goods and virtues and instead legitimize capitalism. Therefore, on MacIntyre's account, Aristotelianism is not identical with Western philosophy as a whole; rather, it is "the best theory so far, [including] the best theory so far about what makes a particular theory the best one."[27] Politically and socially, it has been characterized as a newly 'revolutionary Aristotelianism'. This may be contrasted with the more conventional, apolitical and effectively conservative uses of Aristotle by, for example, Gadamer and McDowell.[28] Other important contemporary Aristotelian theorists include Fred D. Miller, Jr.[29] in politics and Rosalind Hursthouse in ethics.[30]

Neo-Aristotelianism in meta-ontology holds that the goal of ontology is to determine which entities are fundamental and how the non-fundamental entities depend on them.[31] The concept of fundamentality is usually defined in terms of metaphysical grounding. Fundamental entities are different from non-fundamental entities because they are not grounded in other entities.[31] For example, it is sometimes held that elementary particles are more fundamental than the macroscopic objects (like chairs and tables) they compose. This is a claim about the grounding-relation between microscopic and macroscopic objects.

These ideas go back to Aristotle's thesis that entities from different ontological categories have different degrees of fundamentality. For example, substances have the highest degree of fundamentality because they exist in themsel

These ideas go back to Aristotle's thesis that entities from different ontological categories have different degrees of fundamentality. For example, substances have the highest degree of fundamentality because they exist in themselves. Properties, on the other hand, are less fundamental because they depend on substances for their existence.[32]

Jonathan Schaffer's priority monism is a recent form of neo-Aristotelian ontology. He holds that on the most fundamental level there exists only one thing: the world as a whole. This thesis doesn't deny our common-sense intuition that the distinct objects we encounter in our everyday affairs like cars or other people exist. It only denies that these objects have the most fundamental form of existence.[33]

The problem of universals is the problem of whether and in which way universals exist. Aristotelians and Platonists are in agreement that universals have actual, mind-independent existence. They therefore oppose the nominalist standpoint. Aristotelians disagree with Platonists about the mode of existence of universals. Platonists hold that universals exist in some form of "Platonic heaven" and therefore exist independently of their instances in the concrete spatiotemporal world. Aristotelians, on the other hand, deny the existence of universals outside the spatiotemporal world. This view is known as immanent realism.[34] For example, the universal "red" only exist insofar as there are red objects in the concrete world. There would be no red-universal if there were no red objects.

David Armstrong is a contemporary defender of Aristotelianism concerning the problem of universals. States of affairs are the basic building blocks of his ontology. States of affairs have particulars and universals as their constituents. Armstrong is an immanent realist in the sense that he holds that a universal exists only insofar as it is

David Armstrong is a contemporary defender of Aristotelianism concerning the problem of universals. States of affairs are the basic building blocks of his ontology. States of affairs have particulars and universals as their constituents. Armstrong is an immanent realist in the sense that he holds that a universal exists only insofar as it is a constituent of at least one actual state of affairs. Universals without instances are not part of the world.[35]