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How does one find truth according to Aristotle?

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anastaisa | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 24, 2010 at 5:11 PM via web

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How does one find truth according to Aristotle?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 25, 2010 at 5:06 AM (Answer #1)

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Aristotle ties truth to wisdom and knowledge and examines it as a part of metaphysics. The treatise Metaphysics lays his arguments forth. Aristotle's epistemology contends that finding knowledge depends on finding causes, of which he enumerates four kinds: the formal cause; the final cause; the material cause; the efficient cause. Knowledge must be the knowledge of truth and knowledge of truth cannot be ascertained without knowing its cause. A diagram of Aristotle's theory of causation in relation to truth might look like this: causes ==> knowledge ==> knowledge of truth ==> wisdom, and wisdom is the desired end result of truth. Aristotle proves that causes may not and can not be infinite but instead must be finite. Only when causes are finite can they be discovered and recognized and then lead to truth--to knowledge of truth--which then results in wisdom. If infinite causes are postulated, there is no way of knowing truth because an infinite number of possibilities could all be equally true or untrue, and wisdom, along with truth, is therefore beyond the grasp of attainment.

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