This thesis holds that reality, knowledge, and value exist independently of the human mind. In other words, realism rejects the ideal-ist notion that only ideas are real Plato believed that matter has no lasting reality and that we should concern ourselves with ideas. Aristotle, developed the view that although ideas might be important in themselves, a proper study of matter could lead to better and more distinct ideas. According to Aristotle, ideas ( or forms), such as the idea of God or the idea of a tree, can exist without matter, but no matter can exist without form. Aristotle thought one could get to form by studying material things, and Plato thought form could be reached only through some kind of reasoning, such as the dialectic. Aristotle was a scientist and a philosopher, and he believed that although sci-ence and philosophy can be separated artificially, a relationship exists between them in which the study of one aids in the study of the other. Aristotle believed: Each thing has a purpose or function. Design and order are present in the universe, for things happen in an orderly way. Person who follows a true purpose leads a rational life of moderation, avoiding extremes. The proper perspective is the Golden Mean, a path between extremes. Good education helps achieve the Golden Mean and thereby promotes the harmony and balance of soul and body. Relationship between form and matter is illustrated further by Aristotles conception of the Four Causes:
1. The Material Cause: The matter from which something is made.
2. The Formal Cause: The design that shapes the material object.
3. The Efficient Cause: The agent that produces the object.
4. The Final Cause: The direction toward which the object is tending. Humans are rational creatures fulfilling their purpose when they think, and thinking is their highest characteristic. He developed logical method called syllogism, which is a method for testing the truth of statements.
All men are mortal.
David is a man
therefore, David is mortal. The chief good for Aristotle is happiness; however, happiness depends on a vir-tuous and well- ordered soul. This can come about only as we develop habits of virtue that are shaped through the proper kind of education. The Aristotelian influence has been immensely important and includes such things as:
Recognizing the need to study nature systematically, using logical processes in examining the external world