What were the achievements of Aristotle

The Plato student Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) has many merits. For example, he was the first western philosopher to write systematic treatises on ethics. He has also developed a complex structure of ideas that - apart from all traditional forms of religious mythology - provides a comprehensive view of the world for the (self) orientation of people. Aristotle did not present his view of the world as the result of a happy enlightenment, but always represents it as the result of wise consideration, as something that can be defended against its critics with arguments. This is exactly what makes the Aristotelian view of the world, despite all its errors and inadequacies, such an important stage in the development of the western intellectual culture. This Aristotelian view of the world impresses scholars of later epochs so much that its effects can still be clearly felt well into the Renaissance.

In addition to all of this, Aristotle is considered to be Founder of formal logic and can with some justification as Father of the philosophy of science to be viewed as. Only these services from the field ancient logic and methodology should be the topic here.

The principle of excluded contradiction;
The principle of the excluded third party (tertium non datur).

A little vague formulations in the wider context of these two basic principles can be found in philosophers before Aristotle (especially in Plato), but Aristotle was the first to express these basic principles with all determination and clarity. Even more: Aristotle, as the founder of formal logic, sees with all clarity that such basic principles, which are so elementary for logical thinking, Not can derive from other, even more elementary principles. And so Aristotle declares to be Principle of excluded contradiction, according to Aristotle safest of all principles:

All people are mortal.
All Greeks are human.
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All Greeks are mortal.

Aristotle distinguishes three types of science:

  • Theoretical sciences;

  • Practical sciences;

examples for theoretical sciences are mathematics like astronomy, but also theology. As practical sciences apply ethics and politics, as manufacturing science E.g. rhetoric, as it deals with the production of good speech.

Aristotle also designed the picture strictly systematically structured individual scienceswho not only find their results (empirically), but always find them derive (explain). It almost seems like Aristotle had them elementsEuclid read and would now recommend the other sciences to orientate themselves on this model. Just: Euclidelements were written only after Aristotle. However, we know that efforts to systematically structure mathematics started earlier (e.g. there were the "elements" of Hippocrates of Chios). We know next to nothing about the details of such pre-euclidean endeavors to improve the systematics in mathematics. But it may well be that Aristotle is in his Doctrine of Evidence based on such texts:

Aristotle thought through the foundations required for a demonstrative science and presented it systematically. It can hardly be determined with certainty whether he has read it from perhaps already existing "elements" of mathematics.2

By choosing his general model for (theoretical) sciences as if he had orientated himself on the example of an axiomatically constructed, demonstrative geometry, Aristotle got himself into considerable difficulties: The axioms of geometry can perhaps still be motivated by appeals to an inner, abstract view and at the same time be justified (at least according to ancient standards), but how is this supposed to work in many other sciences? A somewhat dubious solution for this is provided by the Aristotelian essential philosophy. By Definitions of essence the necessary indisputable first premises are to be found, with the help of which everything else can then be deduced.