He was the father of Aristotle, Plato, and Aristotle. Taught by Plato, he became the father of the Lyceum, the Academy of Athens, and the Aristotle tradition. He was born in Athens, in approximately five hundred B.C.
His early work on metaphysics dealt mainly with physical science and physical laws. In addition, he broadened the scope of metaphysics to include human understanding and its place in the world. According to Aristotle, the aim of knowledge is to produce a reasonable comprehension of reality. By reasonable comprehension we can then come to an understanding of how the world works. We can then use this knowledge to help us understand our place in the world in which we live.
Aristotle’s metaphysics includes four elements, namely matter, form, soul, and nature. Aristotle maintained that matter consists of atoms and that the atoms vary in size, shape, number, composition, and arrangement. The soul is composed of immaterial forms such as soul spirits, mind, body, and emotions.
Forms are the combination of matter into an indivisible whole. It is the form that give the appearance of being divided into parts and this whole into parts is what Aristotle called a divisible part. Matter and form are two independent principles. Aristotle claimed that we cannot talk about the combination of these two independent principles in reality because it is impossible.
Aristotle maintains that there is no difference between the mind and body. In his metaphysics, matter consists of soul and body. Therefore, our bodies are made up of soul and mind. In his physical metaphysics, therefore, matter consists of form and body.
The soul is immortal because it is part of the formless nature. In contrast, for the body to be made up of soul it must be made part of matter. The soul is part of the body but does not occupy the space occupied by the parts of the body. The body and soul occupy different places and are joined through the nerves. The nerves enable the brain and other organs of the body to function. This connection enables the mind to think and perceive things.
Aristotle distinguished five metaphysics from his competitor Plato. He regarded materialism as the most important among these. He denied the possibility of a soul being part of the formless nature. He denied that mind and body were distinct. According to Aristotle, physical touch is not affected by faith but by the power of desire.
Aristotle was the first thinker to state the physical and metaphysical concepts of his science in one sentence. His works on metaphysics form the basis for all later natural science. Aristotle is credited with developing syllogistic, an approach to science in which all ideas are examined by means of arguments. He presented physical reality and its laws in a clear and concise manner, thereby making science more systematic. Aristotle’s works on metaphysics form the foundation of present-day physics and other branches of natural science.
The physical world consists of bodies in motion and composed of matter in their various forms. Aristotle distinguished five elements for bodies. These elements are fire, earth, water, air and spirit. The soul is distinct from all these bodies and Aristotle claimed that it alone has the authority to rule over all others.
Aristotle distinguished a soul from a body when the former loses its identity through death and the body continues to exist until death ceases to be. A soul is immortal because it is immortal in nature. It is immortal, because it does not experience death, unlike the body. It does not die, because the soul is not part of the physical body and does not die when it loses its connection with the body.
The soul is part of the body but it exists separately from the body and the mind. Therefore, the mind plays a greater role in determining what happens in the body than does the body. In short, the mind owns the body owns the mind. Therefore, if the mind is divided into parts and is connected with the body, then the part that is removed from the body will decide what happens to the rest of the part.
When a part of the body dies, it no longer has an influence on the other parts and the mind does not control them anymore. A soul is immortal because it does not die when it loses its connection with the body. This conclusion was further strengthened by Aristotle when he demonstrated that each and every part of the body can be united to one another through a process that he called the soul-body union. However, this union cannot occur unless the mind is united with the body and if the mind is not united with the body, then the soul cannot be united with the other parts of the body.