The Philosopher’s Contribution (by Nikhil Jandhyala)

The advancements of modern science are generally a compilation of empirical quantities and an understanding of material composition. While there are incredible scientific leaps in these two respects, it is also in a sense, incomplete.

The progressive gain is matched by a progressive loss in the focus of what objectively and naturally makes living beings what they are and the final purpose of living beings. In Aristotelian terms, the formal and final causes. While modern science might consider these to be something subjective and perhaps culturally motivated, it generally does not tend to be interested in these matters unless it is convenient. It primarily directs most of its attention to tangible causes, such as the matter which makes living beings and those things which cause relative change in the bodies of living beings.

As we are awed by the accomplishments of modern scientists, let us not forget the philosopher’s contribution in locating the unity between material composition and the immaterial and actualizing principle of living beings. The soul is not the mind or consciousness, but rather that which determines the essence of the living being.

While for the materialist, it is difficult to embrace the idea of this actualizing principle, and for the philosopher, it is difficult to understand the persistent focus on solely material causes, let the contributions of each be admired, and let there be a conjoined effort in the future to understand what is true and good.



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