The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 8 July 2018 - Page 30

also the basic social unit which forms the basis for the construction of the polisand is therefore an important element of the flourishing polis, the callipolis. Aristotles teleological explanations seem therefore to have clear application in the realm of the human world but is the case for their application to the natural world equally obvious? Particles and matter for example are not naturally thought of in terms of being “for” anything and the reason why particles and matter do what they do is also not directly relatable to their internal potential to move but rather to some propensity to move when caused to do so by external factors. In a low pressure system, for example where the air is cooled the matter in the system will descend in the form of rain after having ascended in warmer circumstances to form clouds. This might suffice for some to attribute a telos to the evaporated water that was ascending and then descended back to earth in the cooling process. Some kind of resolution-composition method sufficed for Aristotle to pick out the elements of earth water air and fire and their associated processes of wet-cold, hot-dry and for him there did seem to be a place for teleological explanation in weather systems, organ systems and perhaps also economic systems. Basically energy regulation systems such as weather systems are set to a teleological standard of homeostasis. Viewed from the vantage point of energy regulation Aristotelian teleological physics appears harmless enough. It is, however, when God is brought into the picture as a designer of systems that problems begin to emerge. Aquinas, a commentator and interpreter of the works of Aristotle from a religious point of view attempts to argue that in the inroganic world, “material” which lacks awareness coud only have a goal, i.e. act “for the sake of” some end if God directed the process in much the same way as an archer intentionally directs an arrow at a target. This of course, cannot fail to remind us of the passage in the Nichomachean Ethics where Aristotle claims: “If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake(everything else being desired for the sake of this)…clearly this must be the good and the chief good. Will not the knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life?Shall one not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should do?If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is.” Aristotle claims that this end is Eudaimonia, often translated as happiness, but not always happily so. Perhaps a better translation in some contexts would be “a flourishing life”. It is the function of man, Aristotle argues, to lead a flourishing life which for him amounts to living in accordancewith areté or virtue w X[]\YX[[HY[]HY[YH[HY^N[\B[[Y[[H[Y[HX\ۜHX[]\܈[[H\X[\