Saturday, July 20, 2019

Aristotle and John Wesley: On Being Truly Human :: Essays Papers

Aristotle and John Wesley: On Being Truly Human Many ideas presented by John Wesley are similar to those presented by Aristotle. These similarities become apparent in various areas, especially in the idea that each person has potential that can be actualized. Because these similarities are apparent, the thoughts of Aristotle can easily be employed to assist in understanding many of Wesley's thoughts. Specifically, the discussion of virtue presented in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics can assist one in understanding Wesley's ideas of affections and tempers, the process of Christian perfection, means of grace, and the importance of community. Aristotle Before moving on to discuss the similarities between the thought of John Wesley and of Aristotle, it is essential to understand many basic Aristotelian concepts. Prevalent in many of his works, Aristotle discusses how objects can change. In the Metaphysics and On the Soul, Aristotle presents his idea of the four causes, including material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, and final cause (Robinson: 15-22). Employing the illustration of a potter molding a clay mug, the material cause is the clay, the basic matter that is the subject of the change. As the clay undergoes the process of being molded, it is being made into a specific shape that has specific functions. This shape and function is called the form or formal cause of the object. In this case, the clay is changing into the form of a mug that is purposed to hold liquids. It should be noted that material is never without form. Before the clay was changed into the form of a mug, it was in the form of a lump of clay tha t has its own specified function. Each time matter undergoes change there is an agent responsible for the process. The agent is the efficient cause. In this case, the potter is responsible for transforming the clay matter into the mug form. The final cause, or the end, occurs when the matter is made into a particular form. Although every object has many intermediate ends, all these ends lead to a single ultimate end. The mug, for instance, can be used as a paperweight or as a decoration, but the ultimate end that is suitable for the mug form is to be an object that holds liquid. The process of an object functioning appropriately to its form, which is the actualization of its potential, is aimed at attaining this ultimate end. Aristotle and John Wesley: On Being Truly Human :: Essays Papers Aristotle and John Wesley: On Being Truly Human Many ideas presented by John Wesley are similar to those presented by Aristotle. These similarities become apparent in various areas, especially in the idea that each person has potential that can be actualized. Because these similarities are apparent, the thoughts of Aristotle can easily be employed to assist in understanding many of Wesley's thoughts. Specifically, the discussion of virtue presented in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics can assist one in understanding Wesley's ideas of affections and tempers, the process of Christian perfection, means of grace, and the importance of community. Aristotle Before moving on to discuss the similarities between the thought of John Wesley and of Aristotle, it is essential to understand many basic Aristotelian concepts. Prevalent in many of his works, Aristotle discusses how objects can change. In the Metaphysics and On the Soul, Aristotle presents his idea of the four causes, including material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, and final cause (Robinson: 15-22). Employing the illustration of a potter molding a clay mug, the material cause is the clay, the basic matter that is the subject of the change. As the clay undergoes the process of being molded, it is being made into a specific shape that has specific functions. This shape and function is called the form or formal cause of the object. In this case, the clay is changing into the form of a mug that is purposed to hold liquids. It should be noted that material is never without form. Before the clay was changed into the form of a mug, it was in the form of a lump of clay tha t has its own specified function. Each time matter undergoes change there is an agent responsible for the process. The agent is the efficient cause. In this case, the potter is responsible for transforming the clay matter into the mug form. The final cause, or the end, occurs when the matter is made into a particular form. Although every object has many intermediate ends, all these ends lead to a single ultimate end. The mug, for instance, can be used as a paperweight or as a decoration, but the ultimate end that is suitable for the mug form is to be an object that holds liquid. The process of an object functioning appropriately to its form, which is the actualization of its potential, is aimed at attaining this ultimate end.

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