PHIL 406 - Aristotle
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
One Philosophy course (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better); OR graduate standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

It is often said that Aristotle's philosophy is profoundly influenced by his lifelong interest in biology. The paradigmatic substances for Aristotle, unlike Plato, are individual living organisms, substances that are born, grow, reproduce, and eventually die. The ways in which their organs and body parts subserve their needs and functions in an integrated way provides a model for understanding the relation between form and matter in general. It is here above all that we would expect his theory of scientific explanation, and the logic and metaphysics that lies behind it, to apply most fully and successfully.

We will approach these themes through a close examination of the logical and metaphysical concepts that provide a foundation for these views, above all the distinctions between essence and accident; between form and matter; causation and teleological explanation; and the nature and structure of scientific explanation (including his views on definition and demonstration, division, and dialectic more generally). We will focus especially on selections from the following works: Categories, Topics, Posterior Analytics, Physics, Metaphysics, On the Soul, and On the Parts of Animals.

Course Requirements:

In addition to class participation and a final exam, undergraduate students will be required to write one short paper (4–5 pp.) and two medium length papers (6–8 pp.)

Intended Audience:

The course is intended for advanced undergraduates with some background in philosophy and graduate students.

Class Format:

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PHIL 406 - Aristotle
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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