Aristotelianism

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Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

. 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
Commentaries on Aristotle
Commentaries on Aristotle refers to the great mass of literature produced, especially in the ancient and medieval world, to explain and clarify the works of Aristotle. The pupils of Aristotle were the first to comment on his writings, a tradition which was continued by the Peripatetic school...

. In the Islamic world, the works of Aristotle were translated into Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, and under philosophers such as Al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

, Al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

, and Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

, Aristotelianism became a major part of early Islamic philosophy
Early Islamic philosophy
Early Islamic philosophy or classical Islamic philosophy is a period of intense philosophical development beginning in the 2nd century AH of the Islamic calendar and lasting until the 6th century AH...

. Although some knowledge of Aristotle's logical works was known to western Europe, it wasn't until the Latin translations of the 12th century that the works of Aristotle and his Arabic commentators became widely available. Scholars such as Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus, O.P. , also known as Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is a Catholic saint. He was a German Dominican friar and a bishop, who achieved fame for his comprehensive knowledge of and advocacy for the peaceful coexistence of science and religion. Those such as James A. Weisheipl...

 and Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 interpreted and systematized Aristotle's works in accordance with Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

.

Ancient Greece



The original followers of Aristotle were the members of the Peripatetic school, which derives its name from the ancient Greek word peripatetikos, which means "of walking" or "given to walking about". Aristotle's school came to be so named because of the peripatoi ("colonnades" or "covered walkways") of the Lyceum
Lyceum (Classical)
The Lyceum was a gymnasium and public meeting place in Classical Athens named after the god of the grove that housed the Lyceum, Apollo Lyceus...

 gymnasium where the members met. The most prominent members of the school after Aristotle were Theophrastus
Theophrastus
Theophrastus , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age, and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and...

 and Strato of Lampsacus
Strato of Lampsacus
Strato of Lampsacus was a Peripatetic philosopher, and the third director of the Lyceum after the death of Theophrastus...

, who both continued Aristotle's researches. During the Roman era the school concentrated on preserving and defending his work. The most important figure in this regard was Alexander of Aphrodisias
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Alexander of Aphrodisias was a Peripatetic philosopher and the most celebrated of the Ancient Greek commentators on the writings of Aristotle. He was a native of Aphrodisias in Caria, and lived and taught in Athens at the beginning of the 3rd century, where he held a position as head of the...

 who commentated on Aristotle's writings. With the rise of Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 in the 3rd century, Peripateticism as an independent philosophy came to an end, but the Neoplatonists sought to incorporate Aristotle's philosophy within their own system, and produced many commentaries on Aristotle
Commentaries on Aristotle
Commentaries on Aristotle refers to the great mass of literature produced, especially in the ancient and medieval world, to explain and clarify the works of Aristotle. The pupils of Aristotle were the first to comment on his writings, a tradition which was continued by the Peripatetic school...

.

Islamic world


In the Abbasid Empire, many foreign works were translated into Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, large libraries were constructed, and scholars were welcomed. Under the caliphs Harun al-Rashid
Harun al-Rashid
Hārūn al-Rashīd was the fifth Arab Abbasid Caliph in Iraq. He was born in Rey, Iran, close to modern Tehran. His birth date remains a point of discussion, though, as various sources give the dates from 763 to 766)....

 and his son Al-Ma'mun
Al-Ma'mun
Abū Jaʿfar Abdullāh al-Māʾmūn ibn Harūn was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833...

, the House of Wisdom
House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom was a library and translation institute established in Abbassid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age...

 in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 flourished. Christian scholar Hunayn ibn Ishaq
Hunayn ibn Ishaq
Hunayn ibn Ishaq was a famous and influential Assyrian Nestorian Christian scholar, physician, and scientist, known for his work in translating Greek scientific and medical works into Arabic and Syriac during the heyday of the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate.Ḥunayn ibn Isḥaq was the most productive...

 (809–873) was placed in charge of the translation work by the caliph. In his lifetime, Ishaq translated 116 writings, including works by Plato and Aristotle, into Syriac
Syriac language
Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

 and Arabic. Al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

 (801–873) was the first of the Muslim Peripatetic philosophers, and is known for his efforts to introduce Greek
Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire...

 and Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.-Pythagoreanism:...

 to the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

. He incorporated Aristotelian and Neoplatonist thought into an Islamic philosophical framework. This was an important factor in the introduction and popularization of Greek philosophy in the Muslim intellectual world.

The philosopher Al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

 (872–950) had great influence on science and philosophy for several centuries, and was widely regarded to be second only to Aristotle in knowledge (alluded to by his title of "the Second Teacher") in his time. His work, aimed at synthesis of philosophy and Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

, paved the way for the work of Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (980–1037). Avicenna was one of the main interpreters of Aristotle. The school of thought he founded became known as Avicennism, which was built on ingredients and conceptual building blocks which are largely Aristotelian and Neoplatonist.

At the western end of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, during the reign of Al-Hakam II
Al-Hakam II
Al-Hakam II was the second Caliph of Cordoba, in Al-Andalus , and son of Abd-ar-rahman III . He ruled from 961 to 976....

 (961 to 976) in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

, a massive translation effort was undertaken, and many books were translated into Arabic. Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 (1126–1198), who spent much of his life in Cordoba and Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, was especially distinguished as a commentator of Aristotle. He often wrote two or three different commentaries on the same work, and some 38 commentaries by Averroes on the works of Aristotle have been identified. Although his writings had only marginal impact in Islamic countries, his works would eventually have a huge impact in the Latin West, and would lead to the school of thought known as Averroism
Averroism
Averroism is the term applied to either of two philosophical trends among scholastics in the late 13th century: the Arab philosopher Averroës or Ibn Rushd's interpretations of Aristotle and his reconciliation of Aristotelianism with Islamic faith; and the application of these ideas in the Latin...

.

Europe


Although some knowledge of Aristotle seems to have lingered on in the ecclesiastical centres of western Europe after the fall of the Roman empire, by the ninth century nearly all that was known of Aristotle consisted of Boethius's commentaries on the Organon
Organon
The Organon is the name given by Aristotle's followers, the Peripatetics, to the standard collection of his six works on logic:* Categories* On Interpretation* Prior Analytics* Posterior Analytics...

, and a few abridgments made by Latin authors of the declining empire, Isidore of Seville
Isidore of Seville
Saint Isidore of Seville served as Archbishop of Seville for more than three decades and is considered, as the historian Montalembert put it in an oft-quoted phrase, "le dernier savant du monde ancien"...

 and Martianus Capella
Martianus Capella
Martianus Minneus Felix Capella was a pagan writer of Late Antiquity, one of the earliest developers of the system of the seven liberal arts that structured early medieval education...

. From that time until the end of the eleventh century, little progress is apparent in Aristotelian knowledge.

The renaissance of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th century
The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots...

 saw a major search by European scholars for new learning. James of Venice
James of Venice
James of Venice was a significant translator of Aristotle of the twelfth century. He has been called the first systematic translator of Aristotle since Boethius. Not much is otherwise known about him....

, who probably spent some years in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, translated Aristotle's Posterior Analytics
Posterior Analytics
The Posterior Analytics is a text from Aristotle's Organon that deals with demonstration, definition, and scientific knowledge. The demonstration is distinguished as a syllogism productive of scientific knowledge, while the definition marked as the statement of a thing's nature, .....

from Greek into Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

 in the mid-twelfth century, thus making the complete Aristotelian logical corpus, the Organon, available in Latin for the first time. Scholars travelled to areas of Europe that once had been under Muslim rule and still had substantial Arabic-speaking populations. From central Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, which had come under Christian rule in the eleventh century, scholars produced many of the Latin translations of the 12th century. The most productive of these translators was Gerard of Cremona
Gerard of Cremona
Gerard of Cremona was an Italian translator of Arabic scientific works found in the abandoned Arab libraries of Toledo, Spain....

, (c. 1114–1187), who translated 87 books, which included many of the works of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 such as his Posterior Analytics
Posterior Analytics
The Posterior Analytics is a text from Aristotle's Organon that deals with demonstration, definition, and scientific knowledge. The demonstration is distinguished as a syllogism productive of scientific knowledge, while the definition marked as the statement of a thing's nature, .....

, Physics
Physics (Aristotle)
The Physics of Aristotle is one of the foundational books of Western science and philosophy...

, On the Heavens
On the Heavens
On the Heavens is Aristotle's chief cosmological treatise: it contains his astronomical theory and his ideas on the concrete workings of the terrestrial world...

, On Generation and Corruption
On Generation and Corruption
On Generation and Corruption , , also known as On Coming to Be and Passing Away) is a treatise by Aristotle. Like many of his texts, it is both scientific and philosophic...

, and Meteorology
Meteorology (Aristotle)
Meteorology is a treatise by Aristotle which contains his theories about the earth sciences. These include early accounts of water evaporation, weather phenomena, and earthquakes....

. Michael Scot
Michael Scot
Michael Scot was a medieval mathematician and scholar.- Early life and education :He was born in Scotland, and studied first at the cathedral school of Durham and then at Oxford and Paris, devoting himself to philosophy, mathematics, and astrology...

 (c. 1175–1232) translated Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

' commentaries on the scientific works of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

.

Aristotle's physical writings began to be discussed openly, and at a time when Aristotle's method was permeating all theology, these treatises were sufficient to cause his prohibition for heterodoxy
Heterodoxy
Heterodoxy is generally defined as "any opinions or doctrines at variance with an official or orthodox position". As an adjective, heterodox is commonly used to describe a subject as "characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards"...

 in the Condemnations of 1210–1277. In the first of these, in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 in 1210, it was stated that "neither the books of Aristotle on natural philosophy or their commentaries are to be read at Paris in public or secret, and this we forbid under penalty of excommunication
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

." However, despite further attempts to restrict the teaching of Aristotle, by 1270 the ban on Aristotle's natural philosophy was ineffective.

William of Moerbeke
William of Moerbeke
Willem van Moerbeke, O.P., known in the English speaking world as William of Moerbeke was a prolific medieval translator of philosophical, medical, and scientific texts from Greek into Latin...

 (c. 1215–1286) undertook a complete translation of the works of Aristotle or, for some portions, a revision of existing translations. He was the first translator of the Politics
Politics (Aristotle)
Aristotle's Politics is a work of political philosophy. The end of the Nicomachean Ethics declared that the inquiry into ethics necessarily follows into politics, and the two works are frequently considered to be parts of a larger treatise, or perhaps connected lectures, dealing with the...

(c. 1260) from Greek into Latin. Many copies of Aristotle in Latin then in circulation were assumed to have been influenced by Averroes, who was suspected of being a source of philosophical and theological errors found in the earlier translations of Aristotle. Such claims were without merit, however, as the Alexandrian Aristotelianism of Averroes followed "the strict study of the text of Aristotle, which was introduced by Avicenna, [because] a large amount of traditional Neo-Platonism was incorporated with the body of traditional Aristotelianism". Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus, O.P. , also known as Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is a Catholic saint. He was a German Dominican friar and a bishop, who achieved fame for his comprehensive knowledge of and advocacy for the peaceful coexistence of science and religion. Those such as James A. Weisheipl...

 (c. 1200–1280) was among the first among medieval scholars to apply Aristotle's philosophy to Christian thought. He produced paraphrases of most of the works of Aristotle available to him. He digested, interpreted and systematized the whole of Aristotle's works, gleaned from the Latin translations and notes of the Arabian commentators, in accordance with Church doctrine. His efforts resulted in the formation of a Christian reception of Aristotle in the Western Europe. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 (1225–1274), the pupil of Albertus Magnus, wrote a dozen commentaries on the works of Aristotle. 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
Aristotelian ethics
Ethics as a subject begins with the works of Aristotle. In its original form, this subject is concerned with the question of virtue of character , or in other words having excellent and well-chosen habits. The acquisition of an excellent character is in turn aimed at living well and eudaimonia, a...

. The philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work of Thomas Aquinas was known as Thomism
Thomism
Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, his commentaries on Aristotle are his most lasting contribution...

, and was especially influential among the Dominicans, and later, the Jesuits.

Modern era


After retreating under criticism from modern natural philosophers, the distinctively Aristotelian idea of teleology
Teleology
A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek τέλος, telos; root: τελε-, "end, purpose...

 was transmitted through Wolff
Christian Wolff (philosopher)
Christian Wolff was a German philosopher.He was the most eminent German philosopher between Leibniz and Kant...

 and Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 to Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

, who applied it to history as a totality. Although this project was criticized by Trendelenburg
Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg
Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg was a German philosopher and philologist.-Early life:He was born at Eutin, near Lübeck. He was educated at the universities of Kiel, Leipzig, and Berlin...

 and Brentano
Franz Brentano
Franz Clemens Honoratus Hermann Brentano was an influential German philosopher and psychologist whose influence was felt by other such luminaries as Sigmund Freud, Edmund Husserl, Kazimierz Twardowski and Alexius Meinong, who followed and adapted his views.-Life:Brentano was born at Marienberg am...

 as un-Aristotelian, Hegel’s influence is now often said to be responsible for an important Aristotelian influence upon Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

. Postmodernists, in contrast, reject Aristotelianism’s claim to reveal important theoretical truths. In this, they follow Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

’s critique of Aristotle as the greatest source of the entire tradition of Western philosophy.

Contemporary Aristotelianism


Aristotelianism is understood by its proponents as critically developing Plato’s theories. Recent Aristotelian ethical and ‘practical’ philosophy, such as that of Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher of the continental tradition, best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method .-Life:...

 and McDowell
John McDowell
John Henry McDowell is a South African philosopher, formerly a fellow of University College, Oxford and now University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Although he has written extensively on metaphysics, epistemology, ancient philosophy, and meta-ethics, McDowell's most influential work...

, is often premised upon a rejection of Aristotelianism’s traditional metaphysical or theoretical philosophy. From this viewpoint, the early modern tradition of political republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

, which views the res publica, public sphere or state as constituted by its citizens’ virtuous activity, can appear thoroughly Aristotelian.

The contemporary Aristotelian philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre
Alasdair MacIntyre
Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre is a British philosopher primarily known for his contribution to moral and political philosophy but known also for his work in history of philosophy and theology...

 is specially famous for helping to revive virtue ethics
Virtue ethics
Virtue ethics describes the character of a moral agent as a driving force for ethical behavior, rather than rules , consequentialism , or social context .The difference between these four approaches to morality tends to lie more in the way moral dilemmas are...

 in his book After Virtue
After Virtue
After Virtue is a book on moral philosophy by Alasdair MacIntyre. MacIntyre provides a bleak view of the state of modern moral discourse, regarding it as failing to be rational, and failing to admit to being irrational. He claims that older forms of moral discourse were in better shape,...

. 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
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

 and Nietzsche—that reject its idea of essentially human goods and virtues and instead legitimate capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

. 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." 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. Other important contemporary Aristotelian theorists include Fred D. Miller, Jr. in politics and Rosalind Hursthouse in ethics.

Further reading

  • Chappell, Timothy (ed.), Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in Contemporary Ethics, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Ferrarin, Alfredo, Hegel and Aristotle, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Kenny, Anthony
    Anthony Kenny
    Sir Anthony John Patrick Kenny FBA is an English philosopher whose interests lie in the philosophy of mind, ancient and scholastic philosophy, the philosophy of Wittgenstein and the philosophy of religion...

    , Essays on the Aristotelian Tradition, Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Knight, Kelvin, Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre, Polity Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0745619767.
  • Knight, Kelvin & Paul Blackledge (eds.), Revolutionary Aristotelianism: Ethics, Resistance and Utopia, Lucius & Lucius (Stuttgart, Germany), 2008.
  • Lobkowicz, Nicholas, Theory and Practice: History of a Concept from Aristotle to Marx, University of Notre Dame Press, 1967.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, University of Notre Dame Press, 1984 / Duckworth, 1985 (2nd edn.).
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, Whose Justice? Which Rationality?, University of Notre Dame Press / Duckworth, 1988.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition, University of Notre Dame Press / Duckworth, 1990.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, ‘The Theses on Feuerbach: A Road Not Taken’, in Kelvin Knight (ed.), The MacIntyre Reader, University of Notre Dame Press / Polity Press, 1998.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues, Open Court / Duckworth, 1999.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, ‘Natural Law as Subversive: The Case of Aquinas’ and ‘Rival Aristotles: 1. Aristotle Against Some Renaissance Aristotelians; 2. Aristotle Against Some Modern Aristotelians’, in MacIntyre, Ethics and Politics: Selected Essays volume 2, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Moraux, Paul, Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen, Von Andronikos bis Alexander von Aphrodisias: Vol. I: Die Renaissance des Aristotelismus im I. Jh.v. Chr. (1973); Vol. II: Der Aristotelismus im I. und II. Jh.n. Chr. (1984); Vol. III: Alexander von Aphrodisias (2001) – Edited by Jürgen Wiesner, with a chapter on Ethics by Robert W. Sharples.
  • Riedel, Manfred (ed.), Rehabilitierung der praktischen Philosophie, Rombach, volume 1, 1972; volume 2, 1974.
  • Ritter, Joachim, Metaphysik und Politik: Studien zu Aristoteles und Hegel, Suhrkamp, 1977.
  • Schrenk, Lawrence P. (ed.), Aristotle in Late Antiquity, Catholic University of America Press, 1994.
  • Sharples, R. W. (ed.), Whose Aristotle? Whose Aristotelianism?, Ashgate, 2001.
  • Shute, Richard, On the History of the Process by Which the Aristotelian Writings Arrived at Their Present Form, Arno Press, 1976 (originally 1888).
  • Sorabji, Richard (ed.), Aristotle Transformed: The Ancient Commentators and Their Influence, Duckworth, 1990.
  • Stocks, John Leofric, Aristotelianism, Harrap, 1925.
  • Veatch, Henry B., Rational Man: A Modern Interpretation of Aristotelian Ethics, Indiana University Press, 1962.

External links