Saturday, November 10, 2012
Aristotle and Great Chain of Being
In class, we discussed the four, or five, elements that compose of objects, beings or things, animate or inanimate, that make up the great chain of being. These elements, air, fire, water, earth, and ether, perhaps coincidentally were what the ancient philosopher, Aristotle similarly presumed to maker up the objects and world that surround us. He believed that ultimately, all things were made of fire; the implication can therefore be made that he placed fire above all else, as did the great chain of being in the english renaissance. Similarly, he suggested that fire resides at high altitudes and that earth, considered the lowest element hierarchically, was also the lowest element literally.