Segments in this Video

Prelude: Introduction to Aristotle (03:17)


About one-fifth of Aristotle's work remains, yet it fills 12 volumes. His work is wide-ranging and complex, topics that Professor Martha Nussbaum discusses. Nussbaum argues that Aristotle was one of the most flexible and open-ended of the philosophers.

Aristotle's Philosophy: Search for Basic Beliefs (01:47)

Professor Martha Nussbaum discusses s unifying factor in Aristotle's works, that is a search for basic beliefs. One eliminates conflicting beliefs and returns to ordinary discourse with increased structure and understanding.

Aristotle's Philosophy of Experiences (02:42)

Is Aristotle's philosophy confined to the surface of the world of experiences? He would argue that humans cannot go beyond their actual experiences. Professor Martha Nussbaum explains Aristotle's principle of non-contradiction.

Aristotle: Search for Structure of Explanations (03:22)

Aristotle would argue that people cannot have ordinary discourse on things which have not entered into one's experience. There is a general search for a structure of explanations common to all scientific areas.

Metaphysics: Philosophical Meaning (01:46)

Professor Nussbaum discusses how Aristotle would go about isolating a specific area of a single field of inquiry. The term "metaphysics" in philosophy has come to mean the fundamental constituents of the world that we experience, e.g., space, time, and matter.

Philosophy: Substance, Change, and Identity (02:53)

Professor Nussbaum discusses Aristotle's discourses on substance and change. The philosopher's search for identity asks, "Which are the elements of the thing that play the fundamental role of its existence??

Aristotle: Properties of a Subject (03:41)

In this discussion of Aristotle's philosophy, Professor Nussbaum distinguishes between properties that are in the subject, and the ones that reveal the being of the subject. Bryan Magee elaborates on this topic.

Aristotle: True Identity of Subject (02:29)

Materialists question the fundamental analysis of the human being that will give us Aristotle's "What is it?" of the subject. The philosopher seeks the true identity of subjects, including human beings. Nussbaum discusses Aristotle's notion of "form."

Aristotle: Matter and Things (01:47)

Even when the matter does not vary, still the conception of what it is to be a specific thing does not identify it with the matter itself.

Aristotle: What is Form? (02:19)

Unlike Plato, Aristotle makes "form" somewhat imminent to the particular--it does not exist apart from that particular perceptible subject.

Aristotle's Philosophy of Nature and Four Causes (04:34)

Aristotle writes that philosophy begins with a sense of wonder, before the world of nature. Professor Nussbaum introduces a discussion on Aristotle's Four Causes--four kinds of answers to "Why?" questions.

Aristotle: Teleological Explanations (03:25)

Does Aristotle believe that trees and other natural beings and things have souls? Nussbaum argues that this is a misunderstanding of the philosopher's use of a word that translates into "life" and not "soul."

Aristotle's Influence on Contemporary Thought (02:07)

Aristotle's philosophy has some important conclusions for contemporary philosophies of mind. he shows us how material reductionism is inadequate to explain the functional characteristics of life.

Aristotle's Writings on Ethics (02:42)

Bryan Magee argues that Aristotle is the most influential moral philosopher of all time. Aristotle begins with the question, "What is it to lead a good, moral life?" The single measure of all moral behavior is happiness or pain.

Aristotle: Human Vulnerabilities (02:14)

Aristotle understands that the good life for humans, if it is to be rich enough to include everything that is of value, has got to be vulnerable to many factors that humans cannot control.

Critical Evaluation of Aristotle's Philosophy (02:12)

Professor Martha Nussbaum discusses several points on which Aristotle is open to criticism: political theory, and his attitudes towards foreigners and women.

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In this program, the far-reaching philosophical ideas of Plato’s star pupil are examined by world-renowned author and professor Bryan Magee and noted Brown University professor Martha Nussbaum. Aristotle overcomes Plato’s dualism of the intelligible and sensible worlds with his principle of the inseparable nature of eternal matter and form. The principles of potentiality and actuality are examined, along with Aristotle’s theory of the four causes—material, formal, efficient, and final—which account for changes in all things. These theories of constancy and change are credited with the progress of scientific inquiry over the ages. A BBC Production. Part of the series Great Philosophers. (46 minutes)

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL7280

ISBN: 978-1-4213-8705-5

Copyright date: ©1987

Closed Captioned

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