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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    That doesnt sound right, but I don't know enough about various ancient Greek mathematicians to dispute it.

    So I went to Wikipedia.


    From that, it sounds like Eratosthenes (one of the ancient Greek mathematicians I do know about) was the reason it became established orthodoxy during the Middle Ages.
    Well this goes to the questions of how influence is determined and the importance of keeping records. Eratosthenes developed and proved the theory, but would he have done so had Aristotle not previously written about it in detail? And given that Eratosthenes's work has been largely lost, would his work have retained importance beyond antiquity had it not been also established in the work of "The Philosopher"?

    The question asked was whether Aristotle was right about anything - and he was at least right about that.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Don't underrate the value of simply writing stuff down. That in itself is a vital prerequisite, not only for science, but for the very existence of research and education as we know them.

    To this day, I spend a large part of my working life simply trying to persuade my colleagues to write stuff down. Without writing down what they're doing, it's practically impossible to study or improve on anything. And to this day, I assure you from long and sometimes painful experience, the huge, huge majority of people both hate doing it, and don't know how to do it even if they are persuaded to try.
    I admit, you're kind of right. A lot of modern science possibly wastes load of time and ressources because stuff doesn't get around (mostly negative results because people don't see the point in publishing wrong theories or people hate to admit they were wrong) but at least part of Aristotle's work was basically 'the sky is blue' and 'rocks are heavy' etc. I'm sure a lot of his work is more profound and important but I don't want to give him credit for the obvious / irrelevant / wrong parts.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    I admit, you're kind of right. A lot of modern science possibly wastes load of time and ressources because stuff doesn't get around (mostly negative results because people don't see the point in publishing wrong theories or people hate to admit they were wrong) but at least part of Aristotle's work was basically 'the sky is blue' and 'rocks are heavy' etc. I'm sure a lot of his work is more profound and important but I don't want to give him credit for the obvious / irrelevant / wrong parts.
    I've started considering seriously padding my time estimates for code patches that my users want, just so I can document some of the more arcane stuff in the code for whoever comes next.

    You do some good work fixing stuff early on then everyone thinks that new features or major updates take that long and documentation means you're slacking off.

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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    The only Greek philosopher who knew anything about anything, was Diogenes. Man threw a chicken at Plato.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    I've started considering seriously padding my time estimates for code patches that my users want, just so I can document some of the more arcane stuff in the code for whoever comes next.
    Good idea, if you can get away with it. A substantial fraction of everyone will think documentation is slacking off, but depending on your position and reputation you may be able to ignore those idiots and do the right thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by kinglinus1 View Post
    The only Greek philosopher who knew anything about anything, was Diogenes. Man threw a chicken at Plato.
    Sure that's a good claim to fame, but think how much weaker it would be if Plato weren't so famous.
    "None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned. A natural result of these conditions is, that we consciously or unconsciously pay more attention to tuning our opinions to our neighbor’s pitch and preserving his approval than we do to examining the opinions searchingly and seeing to it that they are right and sound." - Mark Twain

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Sure that's a good claim to fame, but think how much weaker it would be if Plato weren't so famous.
    He also told Alexander the Great to move aside, because he was sunbathing on the street and Alexander stood between him and the sun.

    And he lived in a jar.

    And he, uh, satiated his urges on the street.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Not a jar. An old vat.

    And the sex in the streets thing was later people who thought they were following his teachings.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Diogenes might not have been the greatest at creating his own work, but he did have great value in pointing out the logical flaws in other people's works. The whole thing about the chicken, in fact, is pretty hilarious, because Plato suggested that the definition of a man was a "featherless biped." So Diogenes plucked a chicken, tossed it at Plato, and said "Behold, a man!"

    Hence why the Platonic definition of a man is a featherless biped with broad, flat nails. Diogenes may have been a curmudgeon, but he was genuinely quite funny.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    "If I were not Alexander, I would wish to be Diogenes"
    "If I were not Diogenes, I would also wish to be Diogenes"
    This man is my hero.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Why do I get the feeling that there were "Diogenes Facts" a la "Chuck Norris facts"?
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    Rockphed said it well.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    "He can speak Atlantian, in Mycenaean."
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Diogenes constantly sassing Plato is honestly the best thing in ancient greek philosophy.

    Diogenes: *washes vegetables by a stream.*

    Plato: You see, Diogenes, if you knew how to speak to gods and kings, you wouldn't have to wash vegetables.

    Diogenes: You see, Plato, if you knew how to wash vegetables, you wouldn't have to speak to gods and kings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by kinglinus1 View Post
    This man is my hero.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    If I were not Kinglinus1, I would like to be Diogenes.
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by kinglinus1 View Post
    If I were not Kinglinus1, I would like to be Diogenes.
    If I were not kinglinus1, I would like to be Peelee.

    Hey, at least mine worked out for me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    I've got good news for you then...

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Why do I get the feeling that there were "Diogenes Facts" a la "Chuck Norris facts"?
    If it is true that there were "Chuck Norris facts" about a philosopher, then that is the most impressive "Chuck Norris fact" of all.

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    If I were not kinglinus1, I would like to be Peelee.

    Hey, at least mine worked out for me!
    If I were not Peelee, I would also like to be Kinglinus1
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by kinglinus1 View Post
    If I were not Peelee, I would also like to be Kinglinus1
    To be fair, if I were Kinglinus1, I would still like to be Peelee.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    To be fair, if I were Kinglinus1, I would still like to be Peelee.
    "All Peelee, that is not Kinglinus1, is Peelee. This is the nature of Peelee."
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by TaiLiu View Post
    I agree with a lot of the responses here.

    I'm not, like, necessarily a big Aristotle fan. And I don't think you're wrong to ask what you're asking. But I think you're being a lil unfair to the dude. Like, I'm not sure what historical sources you're using. But compared with his teacher, Plato,
    Plato, now, there's an overrated chap. His idea for a perfect society is...hilarious. "I think Philosophers should be in charge of everything. Why yes, I'm a Philosopher, why do you ask?"

    If we were to downgrade one person's importance in historical teachings, Plato is probably an excellent place to start.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Plato, now, there's an overrated chap. His idea for a perfect society is...hilarious. "I think Philosophers should be in charge of everything. Why yes, I'm a Philosopher, why do you ask?"

    If we were to downgrade one person's importance in historical teachings, Plato is probably an excellent place to start.
    I much prefer Plato to Aristotle, as it happens, at least in the areas I've read (which are more on the political-philosophy/ethics end of things than the natural philosophy/proto-science that Aristotle had most influence in and on which this thread has focussed).

    The Republic isn't perfect in its conclusions, but as a work of political philosophy it remains invaluable, not least because it's such a useful starting-point for the whole of the rest of western political thought. Quite apart from anything else, his recognition of different categories of government based on the identity of the ruler and the basis for their rule remains relevant now, even if some of the categories have fallen by the wayside (when was the last time you heard of a timocracy?)

    In fact, I honestly think very few subsequent writers have done significantly better on the subject. It's an area where there's no single right answer* and much of it is going to come down to personal preference. On conclusions and reasoning alone, leaving aside his influence, I'd say he's fairly firmly in my top five recommended writers.

    *Well, that's not necessarily true. I do think someone got it right - but his conclusions were so depressing that everyone since has been desperate to find viable alternatives.
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  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    If more people actually read Plato's Republic, we wouldn't have the adjective "Orwellian", since "Platonic" is so much stronger. Plato managed to envision a society where even the leaders are brutally oppressed.
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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    If more people actually read Plato's Republic, we wouldn't have the adjective "Orwellian", since "Platonic" is so much stronger. Plato managed to envision a society where even the leaders are brutally oppressed.
    The problem is that, as an adjective, "platonic" already gets used a lot. And my understanding of "Orwellian" doesn't imply brutal oppression, but rather maintaining control by systematic lying and observation, but maybe that is just me.
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  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    And my understanding of "Orwellian" doesn't imply brutal oppression, but rather maintaining control by systematic lying and observation, but maybe that is just me.
    "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - O'Brien in 1984. Sounds pretty brutal to me.

    Yes, it's more often used to describe mass surveillance and systematic rewriting of reality, but Orwell was making the point that these things go together with physical brutality.
    "None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned. A natural result of these conditions is, that we consciously or unconsciously pay more attention to tuning our opinions to our neighbor’s pitch and preserving his approval than we do to examining the opinions searchingly and seeing to it that they are right and sound." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Was Aristotle right about anything?

    Plato also has the huge advantage of being a phenomenal (ah ah, see what I did there?) writer, while the works bearing Aristotle's names aren't even strictly his, but internal documents and synopses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Plato also has the huge advantage of being a phenomenal (ah ah, see what I did there?) writer, while the works bearing Aristotle's names aren't even strictly his, but internal documents and synopses.
    The Organon is a snoozer for sure.
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