The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 8 July 2018 - Page 4

The final lecture is part of an Introduction to Philosophy course text book which will be published at the end of 2019. It is entitled “Part two--Aristotle, Metaphysics and Philosophical Psychology” . Aristotle discusses the Principle of Non contradiction(PNC) and focuses upon two formulations. This is his characterisation of a metaphysical application of the second formulation: Returning to our second formulation of PNC, can we then not say that Socrates’ humanity is the primary principle or form or essence ot primary being of Socrates? : and is this not that which explains what Socrates ontologically is? Aristotle believed that all living things possessed souls of different kinds or in his technical language from De Anima a soul is “the actuality of a body that has life”. But living things take different forms and Aristotle therefore constructed a matrix of life forms which defined a living things form or essence partly in terms of the physical organ system it possessed and partly in terms of the power the thing as a whole possessed. He begins with simple plants, their simple physical structures, and their powers of growth and reproduction. The matrix seems to be organized in terms of a continuum of a possible infinite number of forms only some of which are actualized because of the physical conditions of the elements of the world(earth water air fire) and their accompanying processes of wet and cold, hot and dry. The next stage of the continuum manifests itself in animal forms possessing animal organ systems and the powers or perception and locomotion(in addition to the previous plant like power). The penultimate stage of the matrix is that of humanity or the human being which possesses a more complex organ system and also more complex powers of discourse, memory and reasoning(in addition to all the lower powerts previously mentioned). This matrix was an attempt to transcend the dialectical discussions of dualists and materialists and present a hylomorphic theory of the soul which would not fall foul of the PNC. This matrix is a matrix of agents and powers which in its turn is of course embedded in an environmental matrix of space, time and causation(discussed in part one). Aristotle’s hylomorphic theory is submerged by both materialist and dualist concerns at the gateway of our modern era but Freud and Wittgenstein respectively and in different ways use some of the assumptions of hylomorphic theory and open the way to a theory of nature that P M S Hacker explored in his work : Hacker is of course one of the foremost commentators and interpreters of the work of Wittgenstein who, he claims, restored hylomorphic theory in the seminar and lecture rooms of our dialectical Universities. Consciousness in its non- Cartesian form enters into modern post Wittgensteinian discourse in terms of the reflective nature of the human being that possesses an awareness of their powers(unlike a magnet or snake which possess powers unreflectively). This reflectiveness, in its turn, according to Hacker, gives rise to powers that can be willfully used, i.e. powers that we can choose to exercise or not. It was this mental space that appeared to be absent in the mental space of many of Freud’s patients and it was this lack that drove Freud to postulate that the principle driving much of their activity was unconscious and in accordance with the so-called pleasure-pain principle. Hacker calls “volitional powers” in