Aristotle and Augustine are two men whose intricately crafted ideas have been regarded as some of the most intelligent for thousands of years. Both men came from very different times and many times took very different approaches when explaining their ideas. Aristotle conceptualizes using mostly observation and science while Augustine forms many opinions based on religious faith. The best way to compare and contrast these two thinkers is to look at the different approaches they take on explaining a common topic. Time is a particularly important topic for both of these thinkers and some clear differences can be drawn by comparing the two men's concepts on time. Since both men discuss many different aspects of time, selecting a few of them to compare and contrast gives a clearer view on some of the specific similarities and differences that they have. The relationship between time and change, the notion of time in parts, and how to measure time are three concepts that both men cover in great detail. Comparing their different approaches on these three aspects of time gives a good understanding of the difference in the way that the two men conceptualize in general.
[...] If a strong gust blows the pencil off the table, the time that passes between the pencil sitting on the table and the pencil sitting on the ground is the actualization of the change. The pencil sitting on the floor is the second now or the after. The different nows, as limits, represent points of observation and allow time to be divided into specific parts. This is the notion that Aristotle presents as the parts of time. Augustine takes a much different approach on the concept of time as parts. [...]
[...] The only difference in their approaches on measuring is that Aristotle is measuring the length of time that the actualization of a change occurs over, while Augustine is measuring the length of time that the mind observes an event from beginning to end. These similarities and differences show that Aristotle and Augustine developed similar methods for measuring time, but that the time they are measuring exists in different forms. After comparing the approaches that Aristotle and Augustine take in explaining some of the different aspects of time, a general difference in the two thinkers can be seen. [...]
[...] It can be seen that Aristotle and Augustine have very different views on the relationship of time and change, but there are some similarities in their arguments. The biggest similarity between the two concepts is that time is not change itself. While, this shows that both thinkers believe that time is an entity that exists for every person, everywhere, they believe this for different reasons. Aristotle explains that time exists for everyone because everyone experiences observable changes that are measured by passing time. [...]
[...] In order to make his final claim on the relationship between time and change, Aristotle first shows that magnitude is to change as change is to time. When he does this, he is able to give time the attributes of being finite, continuous, and limited. Once Aristotle assigns these attributes to time, he can show that time is an aspect of change that allows it to be numbered. He shows this when he writes, assess ‘more' and ‘less' by number, but we assess more and less change in terms of time. [...]
[...] Aristotle sees the passing of time as a continuous chain of specific changes divided by prior and posterior nows (points of observation), while Augustine sees the passing of time as the flow of eternal events into the mind through observation. It is with the concepts developed in these arguments that Aristotle and Augustine can begin addressing more advanced aspects of time. The way that time is measured is a complicated concept to develop. Without the development of several other basic concepts, Aristotle and Augustine would not be able to form ideas on how time should be measured. [...]
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