Aristotle and Aquinas's Views on the Human Good – Essay Example

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The paper “ Aristotle and Aquinas’ s Views on the Human Good“ is a meaty variant of essay on philosophy. Aristotle was a great Greek philosopher who lived from 384 to 322 B. C. Aristotle was born in the town of Stagirus. His father was a court physician to king amounts of Macedonia. Aristotle was still a boy when his father died but the links to the Macedonian court greatly influenced his early life. Aristotle is associated with many radical contributions to humanity which range from logic, politics, ethics, medicine, agriculture, mathematics, physics, biology and theatre arts.

Aristotle was a student of Plato even though he differs from Plato with regards to forms (internet encyclopedia of philosophy, 2005). Basing on the metaphysics and the existence of matter, Aristotle gives the view that is totally different from that of Plato. Aristotle thinks that form cannot be totally independent of matter and that matter can also not be totally independent of form. According to Aristotle’ s thinking, all that one can see is changeable and thus things that are in the world are always changing even though there is an element within them that remains consistent even with the change going on.

According to Aristotle this element that does not change is what he refers to as matter. Aristotle also possesses that matter simply keeps on being persistent and will always assume different conditions in change due to matter having qualities and the various forms which animate it (Internet encyclopedia of philosophy, 2005).   According to Aristotle, all things in the world are always driven by an internal or inner need to always outgrow and realize their full purpose in the very form that exists in the matter referred to as potential.

Aristotle thinks that both form and matter exist and that the lowest of the matter being the highest form the lower while the lower the form of the highest. Aristotle suggests that there is always change going on from the highest forms to those of lowest forms and this is in existence as matter or the potentiality of the higher. Aristotle believed that form is what gives the existence of a person is, being able to become what he or he wishes or being able to execute what he or he is willing to do.

This is basically so because the form is the total force that is residing in a human being (internet encyclopedia of philosophy, 2005). Aristotle also believes when one has achieved full development he or he is has achieved form or the realization of true being, and when this happens the purpose of basic existence is said to have been fully achieved. Aristotle goes ahead to also suggest that human beings always will continue to change and this change is mainly attributed to humans being able to reach their highest form.

In order to achieve this, the humans are always guided by their purpose and the end. And this is the basic goal which is the humans being able to actualize and grasp the highest forms (Internet encyclopedia of philosophy, 2005). Aristotle thinks that matter which includes human beings is always endeavoring to achieve or realize its full form and to be able to achieve this man is always finding it necessary to achieve the realization of the form being guided with a purpose to achieve.

Aristotle also suggests that there are some humans who would not work towards achieving their highest form and he considers this difference to be a defect (internet encyclopedia of philosophy, 2005). Aristotle also gives a view that the process of realization of purpose in man will involve the stages of a fourfold cause and this would include the potential or the form of idea and this is the cause of action to achieve the highest form. The second being the matter or basis of action and this is the material form.

The third being the instrument or the person who is performing the action and the fourth is the purpose of action (Internet encyclopedia of philosophy, 2005).


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