The Individual Realism of Aristotle
Revista da Faculdade de Direito de Conselheiro Lafaiete, Nova Fase, Vol. 3, pp. 65-82, 2007
22 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2009 Last revised: 8 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 16, 2009
This article compares Aristotelian and Christian ontology and sets out a new ‘de-christianised’ perspective on Aristotle’s realism. The difference between the realism of Aristotle and Christianity is a difference between individual and general realism.
The individual realism of Aristotle elucidates why Greek thinking on mathematics, logic and natural science did not lead to further development of the natural sciences and why the detour by way of Christian metaphysics was necessary for further growth of these sciences. On the other hand, the individual realism of Aristotle led to the development of an exquisite theory of action, viz. Roman Law. In this respect it fits the renewed attention to the contextuality of action.
The influence of individual realism on civil law as it still exists today is examined mainly with reference to its relevance for the concepts of the subject, the formality of law and the case method.
Keywords: epistemology, ontology, Aristotle, metaphysics, realism, civil law, formal law
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