The philosophies and theories of plato and aristotle

Mattey, Senior Lecturer Version 2. In the second segment of the class, we will have a look at the main developments in the history of the theory of knowledge from ancient times to the present. The material will be presented in three modules.

The philosophies and theories of plato and aristotle

Aristotle also investigated areas of philosophy and fields of science that Plato did not seriously consider. Such contrasts are famously suggested in the fresco School of Athens —11 by the Italian Renaissance painter Raphaelwhich depicts Plato and Aristotle together in conversation, surrounded by philosophers, scientists, and artists of earlier and later ages.

Plato, holding a copy of his dialogue Timeo Timaeuspoints upward to the heavens; Aristotle, holding his Etica Ethicspoints outward to the world. Although this view is generally accurate, it is not very illuminating, and it obscures what Plato and Aristotle have in common and the continuities between them, suggesting wrongly that their philosophies are polar opposites.

Here are three main differences. The most fundamental difference between Plato and Aristotle concerns their theories of forms. The term is lowercased when used to refer to forms as Aristotle conceived them. For Plato, the Forms are perfect exemplars, or ideal types, of the properties and kinds that are found in the world.

Corresponding to every such property or kind is a Form that is its perfect exemplar or ideal type. A thing is a beautiful black horse because it participates in the Beautiful, the Black, and the Horse; a thing is a large red triangle because it participates in the Large, the Red, and the Triangle; a person is courageous and generous because he or she participates in the Forms of Courage and Generosity; and so on.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

For Plato, Forms are abstract objectsexisting completely outside space and time. Thus they are knowable only through the mind, not through sense experience. Moreover, because they are changeless, the Forms possess a higher degree of reality than do things in the world, which are changeable and always coming into or going out of existence.

For Aristotle, forms do not exist independently of things—every form is the form of some thing. Substantial and accidental forms are not created, but neither are they eternal. They are introduced into a thing when it is made, or they may be acquired later, as in the case of some accidental forms.

For both Plato and Aristotle, as for most ancient ethicists, the central problem of ethics was the achievement of happiness. The means by which happiness was acquired was through virtue. Thus ancient ethicists typically addressed themselves to three related questions: Although Socrates does not offer his own definitions, claiming to be ignorant, he suggests that virtue is a kind of knowledge, and that virtuous action or the desire to act virtuously follows necessarily from having such knowledge—a view held by the historical Socrates, according to Aristotle.

As described in that work, the just or completely virtuous person is the one whose soul is in harmony, because each of its three parts—Reason, Spirit, and Appetite—desires what is good and proper for it and acts within proper limits.

In particular, Reason understands and desires the good of the individual the human good and the Good in general.

Such understanding of the Form of the Good, however, can be acquired only through years of training in dialectic and other disciplines, an educational program that the Republic also describes. Ultimately, only philosophers can be completely virtuous. Characteristically, for Aristotle, happiness is not merely a condition of the soul but a kind of right activity.

The good human life, he held, must consist primarily of whatever activity is characteristically human, and that is reasoning. The good life is therefore the rational activity of the soul, as guided by the virtues. The latter kinds of virtue typically can be conceived as a mean between two extremes a temperate person avoids eating or drinking too much but also eating or drinking too little.

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle held that happiness is the practice of philosophical contemplation in a person who has cultivated all of the intellectual and moral virtues over much of a lifetime. In the Eudemian Ethics, happiness is the exercise of the moral virtues specifically in the political realm, though again the other intellectual and moral virtues are presupposed.

Indeed, the character Socrates there develops a theory of political justice as a means of advancing the ethical discussion, drawing an analogy between the three parts of the soul—Reason, Spirit, and Appetite—and the three classes of an ideal state i.

In the just state as in the just individual, the three parts perform the functions proper to them and in harmony with the other parts.

The philosophies and theories of plato and aristotle

In particular, the Rulers understand not only the good of the state but, necessarily, the Good itself, the result of years of rigorous training to prepare them for their leadership role. Plato envisioned that the Rulers would live simply and communally, having no private property and even sharing sexual partners notably, the rulers would include women.

All children born from the Rulers and the other classes would be tested, those showing the most ability and virtue being admitted to training for rulership. In the latter respect it broadly reflects the views of the historical Socrates, whose criticisms of the democracy of Athens may have played a role in his trial and execution for impiety and other crimes in In one of his last works, the Laws, Plato outlined in great detail a mixed constitution incorporating elements of both monarchy and democracy.

Scholars are divided over the question of whether the Laws indicates that Plato changed his mind about the value of democracy or was simply making practical concessions in light of the limitations of human nature.

Indeed, it is impossible for human beings to thrive outside a community, and the basic purpose of communities is to promote human flourishing. Aristotle is also known for having devised a classification of forms of government and for introducing an unusual definition of democracy that was never widely accepted.

According to Aristotle, states may be classified according to the number of their rulers and the interests in which they govern.Over 9 times out of 10 this Greek will be Plato or Aristotle of Athens, the city-state which was to philosophy in ancient Greece what Sparta was to kicking ass.

Plato. Plato the Greek was born in BC, though Plato was not his real name. Plato, student of Socrates, and Aristotle, student of Plato, two of the most influential philosophers to have ever walked the earth, take two completely different approaches whilst talking about the formation of city states and epistemology itself.

Along with his teacher Plato, Aristotle is generally regarded as one of the most influential ancient thinkers in a number of philosophical fields, including political theory. Aristotle was born in Stagira in northern Greece, and his father was a court physician to the king of Macedon.

As a young man he studied in Plato's Academy in Athens. Plato's student Aristotle is responsible for some very important developments in the theory of knowledge.

Two of the most important of them are related to . Undeniably, Plato and Aristotle are the two rock stars of Greek Philosophy. Plato created idealism and Aristotle, later recuperated by Thomas Aquinas, became the official doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Jun 19,  · Plato then became the teacher of Aristotle who, although a long-term pupil, was able to find many faults in Plato’s theories and in fact became a great critic of his teacher. Despite his criticisms though, Aristotle was influenced by Plato, making their works, which target the same aspects of philosophy, easily plombier-nemours.coms: 4.

Key Concepts of the Philosophy of Aristotle | Owlcation