(384-322 BC): A Greek Polymath
The student of Plato and teacher of Alexander, Aristotle wrote treatises on various
topics: Philosophy (ethics, metaphysics, logic), Social sciences (political science,
economics, psychology, rhetoric), Natural sciences (physics, biology, zoology,
anatomy, geography, geology, astronomy, psychology), Art (literature, theatre, and
In this selection we see Aristotle grounding his ethics in his metaphysics.
The question is: can we derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’?
For Aristotle, well-being (eudaimonia) is the goal of practical philosophy (ethics).
Every creature has a nature, and every nature specifies its own type of well-being
(eudaimonia); this is its goal (telos).
So to find out what you ought to do, first examine your nature and telos.
In this way the ethical derives from the metaphysical
All physical things composed of form and matter.
Wax and signet ring, statues and lumps of clay, buildings and blueprint