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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Is 21st Century the Age of Anti-Aristotelianism?

There are two kinds of philosophers — the conformists and the rebels. The conformists play a role in explicating and strengthening the ideas that are already dominant in the society, whereas the rebels are focused on refuting the dominant ideas and establishing a new system of thought. In order to be effective, the rebels must target the philosophical systems that are most popular among the scholars and the masses.

Aristotelianism was never targeted in a big way by the rebellious philosophers for more than 2000 years after Aristotle because it was never regarded as a dominant school of thought in any past culture—before the 19th century very few scholars bothered to discuss Aristotle and the masses were mostly unaware of him. Even during the Renaissance, the Aristotelian schools were relatively small and posed no threat to other schools. The main fight during the Renaissance period was between the Humanists and the Religious thinkers. But in the 19th century Aristotelianism came of age—it has now become quite powerful, and so I suppose a major backlash is round the corner.

The 21st century could as well turn out to be the age of anti-Aristotelian philosophical movements.

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