Philosophy.09.13.10

Philosophy.09.13.10 - Patrick Cavanaugh PHIL 10100-01 I...

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Patrick Cavanaugh PHIL 10100-01 I understand that this assignment falls under the Notre Dame Honor Code. Aristotle on Science ( Met. I and IV) “All men by nature desire to know,” (Excerpts from Metaphysics I and IV, in The Basic Works of Aristotle , R. McKeon (ed.), New York 1941; 980 a 22). Aristotle clearly illuminates man’s drive for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. He immediately dives into sensation: both the faculty of it as well as the concept of sensation memory. According to Aristotle all animals naturally possess this faculty of sensation, they are born with it. Only some animals, however, maintain sensation memory; thus elevating themselves onto a higher plane of knowledge and understanding. These creatures with sensation memory possess an aptitude for learning, while the others lack such an aptitude. Aristotle examines the bee to further explain this theory. The bee is an intelligent creature. It will pollinate flowers as it continuously searches for nectar and nutrients. The bee also acts as an individual in an intricate society of bees. There is the hive, which must be protected and maintained, and there is a social network or hierarchy, which must be maintained as well. The bee understands that if the hive dies, the network of bees will soon die thereafter. There is no doubt that the bee is an intelligent creature, but it is incapable of registering sounds and sensations in order to advance his understanding; thus making it a lesser being than a human. “Connected experience[s]” are what separates animals, such as bees, and humans ( Met. 980 b 26). What are connected experiences? Connected experiences are, essentially, the big picture. Aristotle considers these experiences to include art and reasoning. “The animals other than man live by appearances and memories, and have but little of connected experience,” ( Met. 980 b 25 -26). Animals have the ability to recognize memories and certain indications like humans; however, they lack the ability to comprehend the big picture. They are less advanced than us because they fail to produce experience from memories, and from memories are born art and science. Aristotle’s interpretation of art differs from
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our modern definition. The art that he speaks of could be interpreted as more of a craftsmanship, or an artisan’s skills. Aristotle begins
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This note was uploaded on 12/11/2010 for the course PHIL 10 taught by Professor Mariandavid during the Fall '10 term at Notre Dame.

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Philosophy.09.13.10 - Patrick Cavanaugh PHIL 10100-01 I...

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