Aristotle on the Active Intellect and Being: Or, Aristotle and Christian Epistemology

[This one’s for Jeff. Hope you like, bro.]

I am, as a graduate lecturer in philosophy, often in the to me surprising position of justifying to my students my decision to teach a particular Aristotelian text (normally the Ethics, though recently the De Anima) in my introductory philosophy class. I say surprising because to me the importance of Aristotle and his philosophy is so self-evident.

I am even more surprised when put in this defensive posture by Christians who object (though largely unreflectively) to Aristotle and his philosophical paradigms. In some cases this is just ignorance of Christian history. Some just do not know (though they should) how Aristotelian thought dominated the Western Church through the labors of the Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas. In other cases, certain presupposed commitments to relativism and/or skepticism, or just blinkered devotion to the present, lead to a largely irrational opposition to Aristotle and his thought.

My present taks is to highlight points at which Christian concepts of knowing and Aristotelian concpetions both converge and diverge.
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