Aristotelian Philosophy And Empiricism Essay Example

The Scientific Revolution of the 17th century marked the beginning of a new era of modern science that significantly transformed and advanced the existing knowledge and ideas. The philosophers Thomas Hobbes and Francis Bacon played an instrumental role in shaping the theory of empiricism that, to a considerable extent, challenged the philosophy of the Antiquity, in general, and Aristotle, in particular. The present paper sets out to identify the main points of contention between the two approaches with the goal of determining whether the two can be reconciled.

Empiricism is a theory of science that puts special emphasis on observation and experience rather than logic and deliberation alone (Bacon 336). The empiricist view of the nature of reason thus differs considerably from that of the classical philosophers. First of all, Aristotle’s model of reasoning is what came to be known as deductive reasoning, whereby one uses logic to make inferences about specific phenomena based on pre-existing general knowledge. Even though Aristotle, like empiricists, also considers senses to be of utmost importance for obtaining knowledge, thinking is how he thinks people arrive at it (Aristotle 98). The nature of reason in the view of the empiricist philosophers is also closely linked to senses, but they also realize that human perception can be skewed for several reasons, which Bacon refers to as “the Idols” (426). Hobbes compares reasoning to the act of adding and subtracting, and it needs to be based on agreed-upon principles (33). Thus, one gains knowledge about the world by making inductions about phenomena based on experiments and observation – what came to be known as the scientific method.

This difference stems from the two philosophies’ approach to human intellect and its virtues. Aristotle has described five primary “virtues of thought” (98). He grouped them into theoretical, practical, and productive. The first group includes wisdom, scientific or empirical knowledge, and reason. The second only has one virtue which can be translated as prudence, or practical wisdom, into English. Finally, the last category refers to the skills needed to produce something, such as arts or craft. According to Aristotle, it is the human soul that can possess these virtues (99). The empiricists, on the other hand, are far more materialistic in their line of thinking. Hobbes, for instance, does not consider the reasoning process in terms of virtues; for him, matter and the laws of nature are what is important when it comes to the human mind (7). Thus, intellectual virtues of Aristotle are translated into more practical and materialistic terms in empiricism.

The intellectual virtues of Aristotle guide the soul to accept or reject some notion so as the person arrives at the truth. However, out of the five virtues, Aristotle mostly talks about the virtue of practical wisdom, or phronesis in Greek. It is an intellectual virtue because one acquires it from instruction rather than experience, yet it is the virtue that is most connected to moral virtues (Aristotle 111). Practical intelligence is necessary because it guides the everyday actions of people; without it, even a person that has good intentions will not be able to act upon them. Thus, the intellectual virtues of Aristotle have a very practical end to them: deduction from general and minor premises to guide the behavior of people. The empiricists, on the other hand, given their materialism, aim to establish certain and certifiable knowledge based on evidence.

It thus follows that the Aristotelean reason cannot help people attain the goals of the modern empiricists. To a significant, the process of reasoning grounded in deliberation and logic can produce false outcomes as human intelligence is not infallible. Mere observation and consequent interpretation do not produce the knowledge as required by empiricism. On the other hand, it thus appears that reason in the modern empiricist sense is not necessarily incompatible with the goals of Aristotle. While the scientific method can be more difficult and time-consuming for implementation in one’s everyday life, nevertheless, knowledge obtained through such a method can still guide the person’s practical intelligence.

Once again, the differences between the two philosophies can be largely understood in light of their view of the human soul. Aristotle divides the human soul into a part with reason and another without it – the interaction of the two is what guides a person’s behavior. The soul is the tool that allows humans to observe the objects’ form from which they can then make inferences about their substance. However, the materialistic view supported by Hobbes and Bacon discards this notion of soul, as they believe that physical interactions and matter are objective regardless of how one observes it (Hobbes 7). For them, senses are an imperfect guide to reasoning.

Empiricism and the scientific method have thus made a considerable step away from the classical philosophy of Aristotle. The two approaches emphasize different ways of arriving at knowledge – that of deliberation and that of observation – that is grounded in how they perceive the human soul, intelligence, and reason.

Works Cited

Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing, 2014. Print.

Bacon, Francis. Great Instauration and the Novum Organum. Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 1996. Print.

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

5 Unexpected Ways To Find Content Ideas

The wonderful thing about writing a regular blog post is that you have a steady writing assignment. The challenging thing about such a gig is that you need constant streams of fresh content. How can you generate endless new ideas – ideas that seize reader attention, reel them back in for more, while, oh by the way, convince them to take appropriate action? The challenge is identical whatever you are promoting, whether a product, an idea, or behavior change. Fortunately, unexpected sources of inspiration surround you. One way to manage this is to reference whatever excites your audience, and then, while your reader is nodding in pleased recognition, lash that idea or concept to the underlying purpose of your blog.

Use the News

Scan the news each day for stories that work people up. In journalism, the old saying is that “if it bleeds, it leads”. The vast number of comments that almost all news stories accumulate reflects people’s avidity to air their own take on the events and trends with you or with other readers. For instance, imagine that you blog for a young adult audience. News coverage of the ongoing evolution of high stakes assessments such as the SAT, as one example, could trigger engaging blog posts on a whole constellation of related issues potentially relevant to your site or your client’s. What about testing anxiety, test prep, changes in math and language arts pedagogy, the predictive value of test results for adult success, inequities in college admissions and efforts to offset them, and on and on? Somewhere in that list, there is something that many blogs could latch onto for a topic that will ignite interest. Listen to NPR or the BBC for an effortless brain feed of credible stories.

Use Social Media

If you have a Facebook account, you have blog content. What are your “friends” on Facebook discussing or posting? Grab it. Your Twitter account, as well, is a direct line to the unconscious of literally millions globally. What is trending? Duck-faced selfies? Consider how this might relate to the general subject of your blog.

Are you familiar with AskFM? This anonymous message board attracts mainly the middle and high school set, but if your blog deals addresses this demographic, then you need to be connected. While tending to the trivial and profane, but there are nonetheless important topics embedded in this tween/teen stream of consciousness. Dip into AskFM to illuminate what consumes youthful minds and time, for example, perpetual discussion of games, whether the sort that people play on hand-held devices or the multi-player variety. What a great entree to discussing the new addictions, the lure of hand-held devices, the new ways of spending discretionary time, the opportunities for advertising on such game sites, and a myriad of other cool topics!

LinkedIn may not necessarily be your go-to site for blog ideas. However, remember, people on this professional/social site post pictures and news snippets about their industries and workplaces. Use these as a launching pad for your next blog post.

Use Internet Videos

YouTube is another social media that reflects, albeit indirectly, what shocks and amuses people, day by day. Watch what shows up often – and check out another site called YouTubeNation. This regularly features videos on related topics, usually genuinely hot, for example, on developments in internet privacy, always an explosive topic. You could blog on protecting one’s online identity, or advocating for greater protection.

Use the visual freebies posted by others

iFunny is another source of content – especially visual material. iFunny displays what seems like an unending stream of memes and pictures, visual jokes, and anything else that strikes the global funny-bone. Sometimes too racy for family-friendly blogs, these images/cartoons/memes reflect what folks are worried about, angry about, or amused about, thus make great blog fodder.

Integra has been denigrated as Twitter for the illiterate, but it is nonetheless a terrific window into the popular mind. Granted, the vast majority of hash-tag topics seem to deal with Hobbits, lunch platters, kittens, and Justin Bibber. Nonetheless, there are plenty of serious topics as well. Be aware that many of the joyously uploaded photos are actually proprietary. Check for copyrights, please. The main benefit here is inspiration. What obsesses that many people will interest someone in your blog – consider the phenomenon of photo-bombing. What does this say about modern society?

Miscellaneous Sources of Great Blog Ideas:

The Style section of The New York Times’ includes wildly diverse stuff, like Daniel Jones’ Modern Love column, featuring reader essays. Reference these juicy fashion and relationships insights in your own blog posts. Check out the Sunday Review of Books as one exemplary free source of the newest literature in your field.

The Federal Register records all the actions of the US Congress and Senate, which sounds deadly. Actually, it airs daily idiocies of the nation’s highest bodies. Check for the equivalent in your jurisdiction. And speaking of political sites and publications, almost all politicians will happily send you newsletter of local or regional machinations. is where many young people head for news – so much the worse for the legacy news organizations! This mix of totally amateur stuff and some rather more serious items can inspire innumerable blog posts in almost any subject area.

Use your readers’ good ideas, whether through guest posts, competitions, or a survey.

Courage – “the world is full of a number of things”!

Computer Data Acquisition Related Issues

Knowledge of workstations and other processing devices

Computer forensics involves the use of many workstations and other types of processing devices (Easttom, 2014). Thorough knowledge of the components and applications of the devices greatly enhances the chances of acquiring good data for forensic uses. However, some professionals working in the field of computer forensics do not understand the essential components of the devices that are important in data collection (Easttom, 2014). They do not comprehend the working principles of servers used in forensic laboratories.

The data are acquired by users through the use of networks that could be local area networks or wide area networks. Some devices used to process photos and videos are rarely understood by computer forensic personnel. There is also a general lack of good knowledge of the software components contained in processing devices that impact data acquisition negatively (Easttom, 2014).

Live system forensics

Live system forensics focuses on retrieving data from volatile storage locations in a computer system (Nelson, Phillips & Steuart, 2010; Taylor, Haggerty, Gresty & Lamb, 2011; Easttom, 2014). The overall goal of the forensics is to capture suspected data before it could be lost when a computer system is powered off. Several issues characterize live system forensics negatively about data capture (Nelson et al., 2010).

First, there might be limited power in a computer system, which implies that a computer system might power off before the data are retrieved. Second, personnel might not be aware of the order in which volatile data should be obtained. Thus, altering the order in which evidence should be acquired from computer files affects the data negatively.

Third, there are technical issues associated with live system forensics that revolves around devices used to transfer data from volatile storage locations. If faulty devices are used, then it would imply that the data retrieved would be compromised and lost altogether. However, the issue could be prevented by ensuring that external storage devices are in a good state (Nelson et al., 2010).

Knowledge of application-based file systems

Computerized file systems are utilized in computer forensics to store data and prevent them from any loss (Easttom, 2014). Application-based file systems are used for specific applications within a computer system. About computer forensics, a good knowledge of application-based file systems ensures that data are obtained from computer devices and used for forensic purposes (Taylor et al., 2011; Easttom, 2014). Computer forensic experts need to access all the data application-based file systems.

Personnel could not be aware that different storage devices use different types of media. If they try to access application-based files using tools that are not supported by the storage media, then no data would be retrieved from computer systems. Design limitation issues might impact forensic data acquisition negatively if personnel does not understand the maximum storage capacities of storage media (Nelson et al., 2010).

Application-oriented data acquisition methods

Application-oriented data acquisition methods are used to capture data in computer forensics in real-time and synchronize them based on their locations (Nelson et al., 2010). Some issues arise with the use of application-oriented data acquisition methods. First, displays used to show captured data might not portray the actual data if system configurations are not done properly. Second, real-time analysis of information might lead to the alteration of the data.

This would result in low quality of data that cannot be effectively used in court cases (Nelson et al., 2010). Application-oriented data acquisition methods may use different standards to gather data. The use of different methods compromises data uniformity and applications in the field of computer forensics.

The data collection methods could be used to create reports after the collection of information. This poses a challenge of redoing reports when they are found to be faulty. If they are altered, then the evidence would raise a lot of suspicion in court during legal proceedings (Easttom, 2014).

Application-driven data forensic tools

Application-driven data forensic tools are used to acquire evidence from computer systems based on the type of applications (Nelson et al., 2010; Easttom, 2014). The tools do not alter data. Maintaining the integrity of computer-based evidence increases the amount and quality of data used in criminal cases that involve the use of computers. Several issues affect data acquisition through the use of application-driven data forensic tools (Nelson et al., 2010; Easttom, 2014).

First, the choice of tools is an important aspect that determines the quality of forensic data that can be gathered. If computer forensic personnel choose the wrong tools to collect data, then the tools cannot be used to retrieve data used for specific applications in computer systems. Second, application-driven data forensic tools may not be maintained properly.

Forensic tools that have poor maintenance result in low-quality data that have little impact in court cases. Proper support of the devices ensures that they follow the standards as required by computer forensics. Third, some applications of computer systems cannot be accessed using some tools because of incompatibility issues.

In conclusion, computer forensics relies heavily on the use of evidence collected from computer systems. Computer forensics personnel should deal with issues that arise in data collection using computers. Through this, they would collect evidence that would support cases in court.


Easttom, C. (2014). System forensics, investigations, and response (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA; Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Nelson, B., Phillips, A., & Steuart, C. (2010). Guide to computer forensics and investigations. Stamford, CT:

Taylor, M., Haggerty, J., Gresty, D., & Lamb, D. (2011). Forensic investigation of cloud computing systems. Network Security, 2011(3), 4-10.

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