Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Aristotle’s positions

Aristotle attended Platon’s Academia for 20 years before his instituted his own school in Athens 25 years later.  Platon’s Academia lasted 900 years and was closed by political decree of the Christian Church in Constantinople, and not by lack of disciples.  There is this mania among scholars to opposing Aristotle’s teachings and positions to his teacher Platon, as if it is urgently necessary in order to comprehend Aristotle works on their own values. For example, you read: “The concept of knowledge to Platon is acquired by rational dialog, while Aristotle privileges demonstrations and experimental methods for gathering facts.”  How can anyone believe that Platon could deny demonstration methods and observations?

A professional in a disciple has a toolbox of techniques and methods relevant to his profession; he is familiar with this toolbox (among many other relevant toolboxes) for demonstrating or experimenting and gathering data and observations.  I don’t have to be proficient in a particular method in order to accepting the validity of what has been proven as true or how a phenomenon behaves.  I do have to be proficient in the method if I have to critique a peer-reviewed article and discover the errors in the design and manipulation of the experiment.  That is called dissemination of knowledge, and dialog is one method transmitting knowledge.  Fact is, professionals, especially scientists, rely on dialog by sending letters and documents to one another and attending conferences.  Scientists receive most of their ideas and concepts from communicating their research topics and difficulty facing demonstrations.

Another point that scholars permitted the two philosophers to come in a face-off challenge, is how ideas are generated? Are ideas produced by transcendental ways or by experimentation? Many scientists would claim that they had the idea in a dream or a form of transcending method; fact is, most probably, the idea or method was stored in their deeper layers of memories, in a different form, resulting from dialog, reading, and communication. How and when the idea was registered in memory?  Is not recollecting the idea or concept another way of agreeing in the transcendental approach?

Most philosophical debates are not on the proper scientific methods of comprehending the universe and living creatures but mainly siding to powerful institutions at specific periods:  The powerful classes (clerics or aristocrats or middle classes) that have vested interests in opposing the dissemination of a particular concept that they view will prejudice their status-quo privileges.

Collecting data or observations from haphazard experiments lead to no where:  It is only when a reasoned method or a proper design of the experiment is contemplated, run, and analyzed for interrelations among the independent variables or controlled factors that data make sense.  Adopting abstract logical deduction from a set of axiom cannot result in anything meaningful if the theory is not submitted to experimentation for validation.  A single advantage of mathematicians is that their discipline encourages development of abstract theories, even if no scientist cared to test any of them.  Thus, scientific methods in the various philosophies do not contradict the essence for reaching truth.

Mathematicians never claimed to be scientists, and scientists know that their work will not go far unless a mathematical law is generated from data collected. Scientists may spend years categorizing and classifying samples gathered in their research and this task is intrinsically a rational method otherwise, how links can be found if no implicit or explicit hypotheses are generated to compare among samples?

Note:  After the German Hegel exposed his theory in the 18th century that “human civilization has developed by historical dialectic or the historic process of thesis, antithesis, and followed by synthesis”. The theory meant that at one period, scholars and philosophers agree on a consensus of propositions to comprehending the universe and mankind (I think due to political pressures of religious institutions and the power-to-be).  The next period witness an opposite current agreeing on contrary propositions.  The following period necessarily work out a synthesis of the two previous periods for a consensus on equitable propositions that reflect new knowledge.  This cycle begins again with a new set of propositions, transformed and modified from the initial propositions in period #1, strong with acquired new scientific facts; and civilization advances in that historical fashion of thesis periods, followed by antithesis periods, and rearranged by synthesis periods.  Since then, most philosophers and philosophy critics think they are obliged to considering opposing sets of propositions before delivering their own synthesis.




March 2023

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