Aristotle On Nature

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What is “Nature”? How does one define “Nature”? What are the elements of “Nature”? Is it simply about the natural, physical or material universe? Can it be explained through science, or is it an idea that one cannot easily see? How is nature different and similar between western and Chinese philosophy? These questions have been ongoing arguments for ages, from the ancient times even till the modern days. Greek philosophers on one side and ancient Chinese philosophers on the other seemed to stand for different perspectives, and explained nature in various examples and theories through metaphysics and cosmology. Plato and Aristotle can be said as the representatives of metaphysics in Western philosophy; Chinese culture on the other hand also…show more content…
He furthermore explains that sense experience is somehow misleading through the allegory of the cave by implying that “what we feel and see might not be the truth”. He claims that our souls go through the process of recollection from the realm of forms. He believes that true knowledge is gained only through reason and philosophical reflection. However, Aristotle holds another view, he believes that change is genuine and in the importance of sense experience and observation. He emphasizes that sensible objects are what makes up the real world and each material object has existence of its own. Besides the Platonic dualism about the form and matter, the opposite principles of yin and yang also had great contribution to metaphysics. In Chinese philosophy, nature is observed through the patterns and interactions between the two polar forces. Yin and Yang are two opposite but complementary forces, yin composed of weakness, softness, cold and femininity; yang associates with force, hardness and masculinity. However, the two forces brings equilibrium and harmony. Chinese philosophy, such as Yin and Yang do not direct to the matter itself, but look at the relationship between developing existing beings. While Chinese metaphysics…show more content…
Aristotle furthermore goes on to introduce the two regions that divides the universe, and the five elements in the terrestrial region, which are earth, fire, water, air, and aether. He explains the creation of the four elements through the change of state and the relationship through their weight. Yet Aristotle’s theory on the elements gives little information or makes little sense to us when we apply them into our lives but only helps us understand his understanding of the universe. Chinese cosmology on the other hand holds that the universe is composed of three layers, tian, di, ren and the five elements within each layer, which are wood, metal, water, fire and earth. Both Aristotle and Needham introduce what and how the elements are made of. Such as cold and dry makes earth, hot and dry makes fire for Aristotle; metal gave rise to water and water gave rise to wood in the five-element theory. The mutual conquest order can be furthermore explained through principles of control and masking, explaining that the quantity, speed and rate are the crucial variables that determines the relationship between the five elements. However, the five-element theory has more meaning and has close relationship with our daily life. The Five Element theory is also associated with symbolic correlations, such

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