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Philosophy of Precepts and Concepts: The Language of Aristotle

By Edited Jun 18, 2014 0 1

Aristotle
Aristotle lived in the Golden age of Greece. He had seen the legendary intellectuals of his history rise to fame, and make their personal “marks” in the world. He desired to also move into influence and pioneer creative thought. The Greeks were lover's of beauty. They also loved the human image. It was this image that was actually raised to a worshiped state. Not in an immediate context, but any act or honor, merit, or serious prestige would have inadvertently propagated a following. The nature of people groups during this time in the history of the world was a solid bedrock of religion. Either Theistic, or Polytheistic – people were craving deity to bring their worship to. Yet, from the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, we witness the dynamic ingenuity and unity of man to come together to produce an epic monument. The Egyptians prior may have influenced the Greeks greatly in their perception of excellence.

 Concepts and Precepts

Aristotle brought, in the later age of education of Hellenic culture, a categorization of ideas of knowledge: Precepts and Concepts. Precepts, in his view, are real, and actual rules or laws. Concepts are the idea's that begin with human logic. The perceptions of objectivity and relativity are at odds here. What is the basic premise of philosophical existentialism? The person determines his own destiny with his will, with any external influence? What is chosen in our day in age without external influence? If our logic is a result of an external origin (either intelligently designed, or spontaneously generated), then is anything we think really our thought? Are we really the owner's of our self? If we are, can we bring forth the proof of our source material, that was not first taken from another source, prior to us?

 Epistemological Constructivism

Constructivism is a more modern view held that learning is more “self-directed”, and that exposure to the outside world will develop the concepts internally of what needs to be known. In this belief, what is absolute? Can the mind be the absolute, and objective foundation? Or maybe the outside influence at large? Epistemology is a branch of study concerned with knowledge reception. It sounds elaborate and interesting, but it really demonstrates the emphatically circular revolution of man-based perception. With no absolute, solid and definitive grip on what truth is, or where it resides – man is left guessing. The passage in Colossians in Christian Scriptures comes to mind:  “...See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit...”(2:8, ESV)

Scientific Observation Limit

Is there a limit to what can be revealed by empirical science? What science cannot see, it cannot explain. Since modern science is ongoing renovation of logical processed defined by man, science cannot calculate what cannot be perceived by the five senses. What can Psychology tell us but the external behaviors of man? The internal elements are not understood by science. Philosophy can reach better into the area, but philosophy relies on logic for its measurement apparatus. Logic itself begins as an invisible concept. The idea's continue to swirl without a solid footing of Truth. Yet logic is held in extremely high regard in our society. It has worked side-by-side with our scientific methods to find invisible rules about the universe, man, and civil society. Where did logic come from? Where did reason begin?

Humanistic idea's satisfy

History reveals a very different picture then the one that our post-modern scientific-inquiring society has grown accustomed. In ancient times, most (if not all) people groups were religious by default. They considered piety a noble trait. Notice this piety is distinguished from religion, which is distinguished from theology, or the deity itself. All people were at one point or another, to some extent, religious, or reverent. It was in many cases, a strategy of self-preservation. There was an understood reality of the spiritual realm beyond what was seen. If idea's can be imagined and conceived locally, what need is there for an external source of truth? This was the exceptional conclusion that Aristotle came to later in his life. It was uncommon. Perhaps the human conscience bears an innate description of truth. If man is left to think only of the internal thoughts in him, then will anything new be found?

Conclusion

Perhaps another element that we should consider is the finiteness of man. What was before us may give us a glimpse into what we don't understand. It could be said though that man simply cannot understand all things. Finite implies limit. Presuppositions are the beliefs held that lead to actions taken. But where do the beliefs originate from? Is that Premise solid? If the system used to arrive at conclusions is consistently transforming, is it a good and solid foundation? Obviously, science has proven to be successful is charting out a thorough classification of physical laws, elements, anatomical knowledge, and philosophy. But science is finite – it had a beginning. The Biblical mentality of God is that He in infinite – never beginning. Though it does not conform to our logical limits, it does serve as a highly reputable foundation for Truth, as long as He is consistently after the laws that He has laid out. And the Judeo-Christian Bible identity’s God as having a mind, will, and emotion just like man. He followed the model present in him, but the laws given to man in the Mosaic Commandments have never been compromised, nor any of the prophecies given have not come to pass.

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Comments

Feb 21, 2014 12:11pm
TheRiz
Very cool, thanks for the post. Big fan of Socrates as well.
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