Aristotle – 5 lessons on science

Our current scientific knowledge is impressively derived from the discoveries of ancient Greece. Pythagoras, Thales of Miletus, Democritus, Euclid, Archimedes, among others, have marked the history of science.

Aristotle also devoted his efforts to the development and understanding of science. Here are five of his teachings.

1. All diabetic sciences – that is, those that concern the intellect – have principles

“The objects of mathematics also have principles, elements, and causes, and, in a general way, all diabetic science, or that participates in reasoning at some point, deals with causes and principles more or less rigorous.
Aristotle, Metaphysics, E, 1

2. The role of sciences
“But, starting from the essence, which some make accessible to the senses and which others admit as a hypothesis, they then demonstrate, with more or less force, the essential attributes of the kind they have for the object.
Aristotle, Metaphysics, E, 1

3. The sciences cannot demonstrate substance or essence
“it is not to a demonstration of substance or essence that such induction leads, but to another mode of knowledge
Aristotle, Metaphysics, E, 1

4. Physics and Mathematics are not sciences

Physics, indeed, studies separate beings, but not immobile, and some branches of mathematics study beings, immobile, it is true, but probably inseparable from the matter, and as engaged in it; whereas the first Science has for object beings at the same time separated and immobile.
Aristotle, Metaphysics, E, 1

5. There are three theoretical sciences, of which one, Theology, is superior to the others
There are therefore three theoretical sciences: Mathematics, Physics, and Theology. We call it Theology: there is no doubt, indeed, that if the divine is present anywhere, it is present in this immobile and separate nature. And the science par excellence must have for its object the genus par excellence.
Aristotle, Metaphysics, E, 1