In this lesson we turn to one of the most important aspects of Aristotle's metaphysics, his categories. At this point we see an expansion of the scientific frame of mind, as inherited from the Ionians. Aristotle describes how we are able to put things into classes, and describe them by names, as well as by attributes. This, of course, is the heart of science as a discipline of observation.
As you consider this material, think about how important it is to our rationality that we are able to do this. This ability involves recognizing similarity among objects, and applying names to things sharing similar characteristics. In many ways, this power lies at the heart of that which is most distinct about human beings compared to other earthly creatures! It should not surprise us that the Bible itself begins by highlighting this very aspect of human abiity, as Adam is commanded to 'name' the animals.
Be sure to think of how different is Aristotle's approach from that of Plato, as you consider this information. Plato is an 'idealist'; Aristotle, a 'nominalist.' You should be able to see the difference between those two approaches by the end of this discussion.
This wide ranging course starts with the pre-Socratic philosophers of the ancient world, and traces the history of philosophical speculation across the ages up to the present. Included along the way is special attention to the greatest Christian thinkers in history, including Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and many others.