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PHL3240 - Aristotle and Aristotelianism

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dirk Baltzly


Not offered in 2007


We will examine those aspects of Aristotle's philosophy that have had the greatest impact on western thought. From his logical works we will consider his views on universals and particulars, his account of the nature of scientific knowledge and its origins in sense experience. From his Physics we will examine the distinction between matter and form, and the question of whether the world has a beginning. We will consider his account of the nature of humans and rational thought in On the soul. Finally, we will examine the consequences of Aristotle's metaphysical views in his ethics and politics. In each case we will advert to later developments in aristotelianism.


Students who successfully complete the subject will be able to explain central themes from the works of Aristotle in the light of scholarship on the subject; have some acquaintance with the influence of these themes on western thought; and offer good reasons for or against the claim that Aristotle's view are right. Finally you will be able to incorporate into their work the interpretative principles (such as charity and consistency) which are used by historians of philosophy.


Essay (2500 words): 50%; Examination: (2 hours): 50%.

Contact hours

2 hours per week


12 points in second year philosophy units.