Spangenberg - Schule des Aristoteles

Aristotle's School, a painting from the 1880s by Gustav Adolph Spangenberg.

(redirected from Natural Philosophy)

The Peripatetic school was a school of philosophy in Ancient Greece.

Its teachings derived from its founder, the Greek philosopherAristotle, and Peripatetic is a name given to his followers. The school originally derived its name Peripatos from the peripatoi (περίπατοι "colonnades") of the Lyceum in Athens where the members met. A similar Greek word peripatetikos (Greek: περιπατητικός) refers to the act of walking, and as an adjective, "peripatetic" is often used to mean itinerant, wandering, meandering, or walking about. After Aristotle's death, a legend arose that he was a "peripatetic" lecturer – that he walked about as he taught – and the designation Peripatetikos came to replace the original Peripatos.

The school dates from around 335 BC when Aristotle began teaching in the Lyceum. It was an informal institution whose members conducted philosophical and scientific inquiries. Aristotle's successors Theophrastus and Strato continued the tradition of exploring philosophical and scientific theories, but after the middle of the 3rd century BC, the school fell into a decline, and it was not until the Roman era that there was a revival. Later members of the school concentrated on preserving and commentating on Aristotle's works rather than extending them, and the school eventually died out in the 3rd century AD.

Although the school died out, the study of Aristotle's works continued by scholars who were called Peripatetics through Later Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. After the fall of the Roman empire, the works of the Peripatetic school were lost to the west, but in the east they were incorporated into early Islamic philosophy, which would play a large part in the revival of Aristotle's doctrines in Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.


Aristotle Altemps Inv8575

Aristotle bust -- copy of Lysippus' work, public domain.

The term "Peripatetic" is a transliteration of the ancient Greek word περιπατητικός peripatêtikos, which means "of walking" or "given to walking about".[1] The Peripatetic school was actually known simply as the Peripatos.[2] Aristotle's school came to be so named because of the peripatoi("colonnades" or "covered walkways") of the Lyceum where the members met.[3] The legend that the name came from Aristotle's alleged habit of walking while lecturing may have started with Hermippus of Smyrna.[4] Unlike Plato, Aristotle was not a citizen of Athens and so could not own property; he and his colleagues therefore used the grounds of the Lyceum as a gathering place, just as it had been used by earlier philosophers such as Socrates.[5] Aristotle and his colleagues first began to use the Lyceum in this way in about 335 BC.,[6] after Aristotle left Plato's Academy and Athens and then returned to Athens from his travels about a dozen years later.[7] Because of the school's association with thegymnasium, the school also came to be referred to simply as the Lyceum.[5] Some modern scholars argue that the school did not become formally institutionalized until Theophrastustook it over, at which time there was private property associated with the school.[8]

Originally at least, the Peripatetic gatherings were probably conducted less formally than the term "school" suggests: there was likely no set curriculum or requirements for students, or even fees for membership.[9] Aristotle did teach and lecture there, but there was also philosophical and scientific research done in partnership with other members of the school.[10]It seems likely that many of the writings that have come down to us in Aristotle's name were based on lectures he gave at the school, or vice versa.[11]

Among the members of the school in Aristotle's time were Theophrastus, Phanias of EresusEudemus of Rhodes, Clytus of Miletus, Aristoxenus, and Dicaearchus.[12] Much like Plato's Academy, there were in Aristotle's school junior and senior members, the junior members generally serving as pupils or assistants to the senior members who directed research and lectured.[12] The aim of the school, at least in Aristotle's time, was not to further a specific doctrine, but rather to explore philosophical and scientific theories; those who ran the school worked rather as equal partners.[12]

Sometime shortly after Alexander's death in June 323 BC, Aristotle left Athens to avoid persecution by anti-Macedonian factions in Athens due to his ties to Macedonia.[13]

After Aristotle's death in 322 BC, his colleague Theophrastus succeeded him as head of the school. The most prominent member of the school after Theophrastus was Strato of Lampsacus, who increased the naturalistic elements of Aristotle's philosophy and embraced a form of atheism.

Peripateticism in PhaselisEdit

In a fantasy world in general and Phaeselis in particular, the Peripatetic school promotes natural philosophy.  The school itself is made for the common, middle class Hellene.  It's building is located in the Hellenic District, and it is here that people go to learn the ways of logic, physics, ethics, and metaphysics.   The Paripatetic school is across the street from the Academy of the Will and the Way.  This is because the Paripatetic school has a strong influence on the philosophies of the Western Approach to Psionics.

Doctrines Edit

The doctrines of the Peripatetic school are the doctrines laid down by Aristotle's equivalent -- Panthera of Nymphaion, and henceforth maintained by his followers. Whereas Aristomache (Plato's equivalent) had sought to explain things with his theory of Forms, Panthera of Nymphaion preferred to start from the facts given by experience. To the Peripatetics, philosophy meant science, and its aim was the recognition of the "why" in all things. Hence he endeavoured to attain to the ultimate grounds of things by induction; that is to say, by a posteriori conclusions from a number of facts to a universal Logic either deals with appearances, and is then called dialectics; or of truth, and is then called analytics. All change or motion takes place in regard to substance, quantity, quality and place. There are three kinds of substances – those alternately in motion and at rest, as the animals; those perpetually in motion, as the sky; and those eternally stationary. The last, in themselves immovable and imperishable, are the source and origin of all motion. Among them there must be one first being, unchangeable, which acts without the intervention of any other being. All that is proceeds from it; it is the most perfect intelligence – God. The immediate action of this prime mover – happy in the contemplation of itself – extends only to the heavens; the other inferior spheres are moved by other incorporeal and eternal substances, which the popular belief adores as gods. The heavens are of a more perfect and divine nature than other bodies. In the centre of the universe is the Earth, round and stationary. The stars, like the sky, beings of a higher nature, but of grosser matter, move by the impulse of the prime mover. For Panthera of Nymphaion, matter is the basis of all that exists; it comprises the potentiality of everything, but of itself is not actually anything. A determinate thing only comes into being when the potentiality in matter is converted into actuality. This is achieved by form, the idea existent not as one outside the many, but as one in the many, the completion of the potentiality latent in the matter. The soul is the principle of life in the organic body, and is inseparable from the body. As faculties of the soul, Panthera of Nymphaion enumerates the faculty of reproduction and nutrition; of sensation, memory and recollection; the faculty of reason, or understanding; and the faculty of desiring, which is divided into appetition and volition. By the use of reason conceptions, which are formed in the soul by external sense-impressions, and may be true or false, are converted into knowledge. For reason alone can attain to truth either in understanding or action. The best and highest goal is the happiness which originates from virtuous actions. Panthera of Nymphaion did not, as Aristomache, regard virtue as knowledge pure and simple, but as founded on nature, habit, and reason. Virtue consists in acting according to nature: that is, keeping the mean between the two extremes of the too much and the too little. Thus valor, in his view the first of virtues, is a mean between cowardice and recklessness; temperance is the mean in respect to sensual enjoyments and the total avoidance of them.

Divine MagicEdit

This school's philosophy does not promote or produce Divine Magic.

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