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					Philosophy 311                                           Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown

STUDY QUESTIONS 4: Aristotle: Logic and the Four Causes
Due in class Monday, November 8 (may be submitted for partial credit no later than Nov. 22)
Answer the questions as you read the text in preparation for class. Bring your answers to class each day ready to modify your
initial answers in reference to class discussions. Be ready to ask about any of the questions you have difficulty answering, or
to raise other questions inspired by your preparations for class. Bring a hard copy of your answers to class o n the due date
listed above to receive credit for your work. Late study questions may be submitted for partial credit until the second date
listed above. This set of study questions will be worth a maximu m of 4 points, scored according to the following criteria (see
the syllabus for more information about study questions):
  (a)   Properly submitting your packet of study questions in person and in class on the day they are due earns one point.
  (b)   Properly citing the texts relevant to each of the questions for over 90% o f the questions in the packet earns one point.
  (c)   Thoughtfully addressing over 75% of the questions in the packet earns one point.
  (d)   Thoughtfully addressing all of the questions in the packet earns one point.
  (e)   Failing to collect your packet of study questions in class on the first day that I return them to the class loses one point.
Plato: Logic
PROPER CITATION: Works of Plato are often marked with an additional set of page numbers running down the margins.
This additional pagination, called "Stephanus pages" after the man who collected Plato's works together in the 16th Century,
allo w readers to quickly find passages in different editions of the works, and the letters "a" through "e" divide each page into
five smaller portions. We shall refer to passages in Plato's works by these Stephanus pages. For each question, clearly
indicate the Stephanus pages and letters for the texts that contributed to your answers to each question.

Euthydemus (298e-299a) Available on Library E-Reserve through Blackboard
Our reading is a very short selection from the middle of a dialogue on the exercise of verbal reasoning pursued entirely for its
own sake apart from considerations of truth or falsehood. Socrates begins the dialogue urging Crito to join him and become
pupils of Euthydemus and his older brother Dionysodorus, formerly experts in armed conflict and legal oratory, but now
skilled in verbal refutation. In the end, Crito remains unconvinced of the value of this new sort of sophistry and is baffled by
the praise Socrates heaps so willingly on the brothers. Our selection picks up after the brothers have been badgering young
Clin ias trying to persuade him that only the knowing can learn and that the knowing can't learn, that everything that is said
must be and that no phrase can ever have any sense (because then it would have a soul and be alive), as well as that those
who know one thing know all and those who don't know one thing thus know nothing. Ctesippus, trying to protect Clinias
and by now thoroughly fed up with the brothers, is quick to take up the argu ment whenever Socrates pauses. Consider what it
would take to utterly defeat these Sophists' arguments; this will be our entry point into Aristotle.

 1. How does Socrates qualify the claims about the fatherhood of Chaeredemus and Sophroniscus?

 2. How does Dionysodorus reach the conclusion that Socrates is fatherless?

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Philosophy 311                              Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 3. How does Euthydemus conclude that his father is the father of all?

 4. How does Dionysodorus get Ctesippus to say that his dog is a father?

 5. How does this dog turn out to be Ctesippus' own father?

 6. How are the puppies fathered by this dog the brothers of Ctesippus?

 7. How is it that Ctesippus beats his own father?

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Philosophy 311                                         Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
Aristotle: Logic
PROPER CITATION: As with Plato's works, Aristotle's works have a standard pagination, called "Bekker" nu mbers after the
editor of an early 19th century edition of Aristotle's works. The format is [page number]['a' or 'b' for columns of text][lin e
numbers].For examp le, our selection fro m Categories cuts off at page 4b19, which is at appro ximately the 19th line of text on
the right side column of the fourth page of Bekker's Greek text. Note that our text offers the Bekker pages at the top of the
pages, as well as along the margins. Occasionally you will see the line numbers or even the Bekker pages get scrambled; in
those cases our translators have determined that the Greek text in the Bekker edit ion is in error and needs rearranging. Cite all
texts fro m Aristotle by the Bekker page numbers, colu mn letters and line number ranges, as in the examp le above fro m
Categories chs 1-5
Our first selection from Aristotle provides some of the fundamental basics of his logic and account of language. Aristotle
offers the oldest focused studies on formal logic. By a few centuries after his death, editors of his surviving works assembled
them into groupings and ordered these groupings into a comprehensive sequential course of study. The work that has
survived under the title "Categories" is first in the grouping on logic and argumentatio n, known as the "Organon" (or
Instrument), and seems to be on the different ways in wh ich things are said to be such that we can say that they are or are
not—a theme clearly under the influence of Parmen ides, and definitely of great interest to the members of Plato's Academy,
where Aristotle would likely have written this work (if indeed he is its author).

 8. Why do you think that Aristotle distinguishes homonyms, synonyms and paronyms?

 9. What is the difference between that which is "said of" a subject and tha t which is "in" a subject?

 10. Genera are general categories or classes of things. Differentiae are differentiating features of
     things which can set some members of a genus off from other members of that genus. How can
     differentiae of different genera be predicated of the same subject?

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Philosophy 311                               Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 11. List all the categories of things said without combination and add more examples to the list than
     what Aristotle provides. Why can't one of the examples of one of the categories be true or false on
     its own?

 12. A primary substance is a given individual, such as Socrates. A secondary substance is a category
     or class of things, such as man or animal. What is the relationship between primary substance and
     a subject?

 13. Why is a species more of a substance than a genus?

 14. Why are primary substances the subjects of all other things?

 15. Why are secondary substances said of a subject, but are not present in a subject?

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Philosophy 311                                         Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 16. Think of saying "a this" as being equivalent to pointing at a given individual thing. Primary
     substances therefore signify a this. Why don't secondary substances also signify a this?

 17. Why don't substances have something contrary to them?

 18. How is it that the very same substance can receive contraries (e.g. contrary qualities such as hot
     and cold), but statements and opinions cannot admit contraries (viz. truth and falsehood)?

Metaphysics Book IV (Gamma) chs. 3-4
Ancient commentators combined together various works attributed to Aristotle whose themes are centered on the inquiry into
fundamental princip les of being and other topics they considered related to that general theme, and placed this collection after
the works on Nature in Aristotle's canon. Thus these works came to be called "Metaphysics" in virtue of their place beyond
the texts on "physics.". The books of Metaphysics are given Greek letters for their names. The fourth book is called Gamma,
which is odd since Gamma is the third letter in the Greek alphabet. This is because another text was inserted between books
Alpha and Beta, and called "little A lpha." In the third and fourth chapters of Metaphysics Gamma Aristotle identifies the
avoidance of contradiction as an irrefutable assumption for the possibility of any discourse whatsoever. As you read this
selection, think of how this firmest principle sits with Plato's way of distinguishing one thing from many (Republic 436 b-c),
and with the two ways of inquiry for Parmenides in his poem Truth. For the selection fro m Metaphysics Gamma, you need
not continue in chapter 4 beyond 1006b 11.

 19. Why is the firmest principle "that it is impossible for the same thing both to belong and not to
     belong at the same time to the same thing and in the same respect" not an assumption?

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Philosophy 311                                          Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 20. Why is it impossible to demonstrate the firmest principle?

 21. How does the rejection of rational discourse assume rational discourse?

Aristotle: The Four Causes
Metaphysics Book 1 (Alpha) chs. 1-4, 6, 9
Metaphysics Alpha provides Aristotle's account of the relation of philosophy to the natural sciences. He surveys the
philosophical significance of the work of his predecessors, taking careful note of his sense of their prominent failures. His
own project turns out to be a culmination of what all the previous philosophers were trying but failing to achieve (what a
surprise!). The centerpiece of Aristotle's project is his schema of four "causes," or modes of exp lanation. In the canon of
Aristotle's philosophy as established by the ancient editors of his surviving works, the collection of texts under the title
"Metaphysics" comes after a wealth of texts on natural science. It is unclear if Aristotle would have written Metaphysics
Alpha as an introduction to natural science, or as a kind of summat ion afterwards to prepare for an inquiry into being itself , as
it came to be emp loyed by later editors. But at any rate, try to see what the chief failures of the earlier philosophers,
especially Plato, seem to be in the eyes of Aristotle.

 22. How is a craft better than mere experience?

 23. Why is wisdom knowledge of principles and causes?

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Philosophy 311                              Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 24. Why is knowledge of the most universal things furthest from sensory perceptions?

 25. Why are the other sciences more necessary than, but not better than the science of philosophy?

 26. What are the four ways causes are spoken?

 27. Why were the views of Anaxagoras better than those of his predecessors?

 28. What was the extent of the atomists's account of motion?

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Philosophy 311                                        Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 29. In what way does Aristotle think that Socrates differed from the other philosophers?

 30. In what ways does Plato's account of the Forms differ from the views of the Pythagoreans?

 31. How did Plato account for "the cause involving the what-it- is" in addition to the material causes?

 32. Why would the number of Forms be at least no fewer than the number of things in this world?

 33. What problems with the doctrine of the Forms does Aristotle mention? (The rest of ch 9 beyond
     what's in our edition elaborates on some of these objections.)

Aristotle's Physics is an inordinately influential work of ancient philosophy. Aristotle set the most dominant agenda for the
study of nature fro m the rediscovery of his works in the 11th and 12th centuries, until the great scientific revolutions of the

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Philosophy 311                                       Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
17th Century. And even then, the rejection of Aristotle's methods and doctrines was neither simple nor co mplete. Descartes
considered the elimination of final causes from physics to be his prime goal. Decades after Descartes, Leibniz championed
the new physics of dynamics that repudiated Cartesian physics, but nonetheless considered the Aristotelian doctrine of final
causes to be utterly essential for the metaphysical foundations of physical principles of force and activity. Our selections
fro m Books I and II present the basic agenda for the study of nature through the four causes.

Physics Bk I chs 1, 7-8 (IR)
 34. What is the difference between how substances and how other things are said to come to be?

 35. What is the error of previous philosophers concerning something coming to be from what is not?

 36. How can Aristotle correct the error of such early philosophers so as to allow for some things to
     come to be?

Bk II, chs 1-3, 6-9 (IR)
 37. What sort of principle and cause is nature?

                                                                                                             page 9 of 13
Philosophy 311                                 Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 38. Why does Aristotle think it is ridiculous to try to prove that there is such a thing as nature?

 39. Why would the nature of a bed be found in the wood and not in the bed being a bed?

 40. Why is form more the nature of things than matter?

 41. Why is nature found in what something becomes and not in what something came from?

 42. Why should the study of nature consider matter and form both relative to what they each are for?

                                                                                               page 10 of 13
Philosophy 311                               Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 43. How can there be many non-coincidental causes of the same thing?

 44. How are genera the causes of genera and particulars the causes of particulars?

 45. What is the definition of luck?

 46. How does luck differ from chance while being a species of chance? (Note that in some other
     translations "luck" is rendered as "chance," and "chance" as "spontaneity," or even "the

 47. Why must we consider all four kinds of causes in our enquiries into nature?

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Philosophy 311                               Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 48. Which three causes often amount to one?

 49. What kinds of things are outside the study of nature?

 50. How does the analogy with artificial things show that action in nature is for the sake of an end?

 51. How does the existence of "freaks" of nature clarify what it means for nature to be for the sake of
     an end?

 52. Why is the necessary in nature due to matter?

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Philosophy 311                                        Name:
Instructor: D. Kenneth Brown
 53. Why is the end especially to be studied when the matter is the necessity in nature?

Physics Bk VIII chs 5-6 (IR)
Our study of Aristotle's Physics continues the establishment of the study of nature through the four causes to the argument for
unmoved movers, which in turn leads to the ultimate prime mover of all that moves. This latter line of reasoning follows the
reasoning of Metaphysics Lambda, where Aristotle argues that there must be either 55 or 47 spheres of movement in the
heavens. The proof of the exis tence of an eternal unmoved mover of all else that moves formed the conceptual basis of three
of the "Five Ways" of proving the existence of God in 12th century philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica.

 54. Why is it impossible for there to be an infinite series of moving things each moved by other
     moving things?

 55. Why must there be everlasting unmoved movers?

 56. How does Aristotle conclude that there must be one everlasting unmoved mover accounting for
     the motion in turn caused by all other unmoved movers?

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