Friday, January 9, 2009

To Have and To Have Not:: How about baby steps....

collage by marguerita
In recent decades, signs of a slowdown have generally been accompanied by calls for the Fed to cut rates and for Congress to pass what's usually called a stimulus package -- a special package of spending and tax measures meant to increase economic activity. The Congressional Budget Office defines the goal this way: "Fiscal stimulus aims to boost economic activity during periods of economic weakness by increasing short-term aggregate demand." The theory is that if more goods and services are being bought, whether it is cement for new highway projects or groceries paid for with a tax rebate, there would be less chance that falling demand will lead companies to lay off workers, which would lead to greater falls in demand and a deeper downturn.

Like his teacher Plato, Aristotle's philosophy aims at the universal. Aristotle, however, found the universal in particular things, which he called the essence of things, while Plato finds that the universal exists apart from particular things, and is related to them as their prototype or exemplar. For Aristotle, therefore, philosophic method implies the ascent from the study of particular phenomena to the knowledge of essences, while for Plato philosophic method means the descent from a knowledge of universal Forms (or ideas) to a contemplation of particular imitations of these. For Aristotle, "form" still refers to the unconditional basis of phenomena but is "instantiated" in a particular substance (see Universals and particulars, below). In a certain sense, Aristotle's method is both inductive and deductive, while Plato's is essentially deductive from a priori principles.[11]

In Aristotle's terminology, "natural philosophy" is a branch of philosophy examining the phenomena of the natural world, and included fields that would be regarded today as physics, biology and other natural sciences. In modern times, the scope of philosophy has become limited to more generic or abstract inquiries, such as ethics and metaphysics, in which logic plays a major role. Today's philosophy tends to exclude empirical study of the natural world by means of the scientific method. In contrast, Aristotle's philosophical endeavors encompassed virtually all facets of intellectual inquiry.

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