Explore BrainMass

How did Presocratic Philosophy influence Plato and Aristotle?

Please assist with the following:

Based on Aristotle's science of the first philosophy, analyze how Aristotle's metaphysics may guide contemporary people to knowledge about the world.

Briefly evaluate how you use either or both of the methods in your own life.

Briefly explain how Plato and Aristotle built on pre-Socratic philosophy.

Solution Preview

I will help you in two different ways, because I am not sure which of these approaches you are expected to use in your answers to the first two questions. The first approach to each question follows more closely what the question asks in the form you presented it, but the second makes for a clearer and more coherent answer to the questions, and I suspect that it was in that form that your teacher expects answers.

Please ask your teacher whether you are expected to answer the question in terms of how the actual content of the positions Aristotle holds in the Metaphysics should be your focus, or whether you should focus on how he goes about making his arguments.

Question 1, assuming the content is the guide:

I think the first thing you have to do is indentify what Aristotle means by "first philosophy"-which the study of the general nature of things and of being. The study of first philosophy becomes, to Aristotle, a study of "substance"- a word I dislike, because it does not really give the English reader a sense of what Aristotle means by the Greek word "ousia". Probably "real thing" or "real being" would be a better word. But to put it in terms that are helpful to your answers, Aristotle's first philosophy is the study of the basic building blocks of reality, those things that can be said to be real in a most basic sense. He wants to talk about what things are irreducible-the essence, if you will, of being. For Aristotle, the essence lies in the form of the ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight on Pre-Socratic philosophy that influenced the work of Plato and Aristotle.