Aristotles Doctrinestheories

The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was a student in Plato's Academy in Athens, where he was schooled in the theory of ideas (cf., Ackermann, 1965). Aristotle argued that man is a rational animal endowed with an innate capacity for attaining knowledge from sense perception and "memory-associations," and that knowledge is the result of deduction of universals and principles from perceptual information and not the recovering of innate ideas, as Plato taught. Aristotle's empirical methodology parallels his psychological theory when he advocated the use of close observation and accurate classification of natural phenomena; he also formalized a system of deductive propositional logic. The term Aristotelian is used to indicate the principle of careful deduction of scientific or personal knowledge from systematic observation of natural events. Aristotle's work exerted a powerful influence on medieval philosophy (especially through St. Thomas Aquinas), on Islamic philosophy, and on the whole Western intellectual and scientific tradition. In the Middle Ages, Aristotle was referred to simply as "the Philosopher," and the uncritical and almost religious acceptance of his doctrines was to hamper the progress of science until the scientific revolution of the

16th and 17th centuries. Aristotle's writings represent an enormous encyclopedic output over virtually every field of knowledge: logic, metaphysics, ethics, politics, rhetoric, poetry, biology, zoology, physics, and psychology. See also ASSOCIATION, LAWS/PRINCIPLES OF; HEDONISM, THEORY/LAW OF; LEARNING THEORIES/LAWS; PLEASURE-PAIN, DOCTRINE/THEORY/LAW OF.

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