In this lesson we conclude our studies of Aristotle. We will cover the topics of Aristotle's understanding of God, an idea that became quite influential in subsequent philosophical speculation. We will also touch on Aristotle's theory of happiness, and the levels of happiness that he identifies.
In church history there has been some controversy over whether the arguments that Aristotle offered for the existence of God are worthwhile from a Christian perspective. In future studies, we will consider the 'five ways' of Thomas Aquinas in which he seeks to prove the existence of God relying largely on Aristotle's approach. Others, like Augustine and Anselm, take a different approach that relies more heavily on inward intuition than outward evidence.
For now we should simply appreciate the great achievements of Aristotle, including his perceptive insight into the nature of human happiness, and the apparent rational need for a great first cause to account for creation and our own existence.
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.