For Aristotle, the study of nature was the search for causes.  He claimed, any object has four attributes:



                Moving cause

                Final Cause


All substances are compounds of  four elements:

                Earth, Water, Air, Fire

In combination of two of four opposites

                Hot or cold           

                Wet or dry

These qualities should be “immediately apparent” through the senses


Living beings are those which have in them, a moving principle, or soul.

                In plants, the function of the soul is nutrition (and reproduction)

                In animals, nutrition and sensation

                In humans, nutrition, sensation and intellectual activity

                                Happiness, the final good of humans, as activity of the soul according to virtue—and …


“All men desire naturally to know…”  first sentence in metaphysics

                Sensation is the lowest level of knowledge, and memory a recollection of this knowledge

                empeiria:  the direct and immediate experience of things

                Tekhne—know how, or art/technique


The ten categories:

                Substance, Quality, Quantity, Relation, Where, When, Position, Having, Action, Passion


Archai are first principles, ie things that cannot be otherwise.  Some characteristics of Archai are:


                Primary (primitive)


                Better known (more familiar){than what we derived from them]

                Prior (to what we derived from them)

                Explanatory (of what we derived from them)


Aristotle rejected Democritus’ atomism