Aristotle and Plato are the great men whose ideas are applicable in many communities even today. Although they had common thoughts on politics, there were discrepancies in their teachings. Plato based his concept on moral knowledge in connection to abstract reasoning while Aristotle applied knowledge to real living. Plato remembered Socrates in his work where after his death, he moved to Italy to learn under Pythagoras. However, this essay focuses on the distinction and similarities between Plato and Aristotle
Personal Background of Aristotle and Plato
Plato was born around 424 BC, and his father was Ariston who descended from the kings in Messenia and Athens (Keshavarz & Absalan, 2015). Plato explored many philosophical topics related to ethics, where his studies were interrupted by the Peloponnesian War. Plato having over 12 years, he traveled to Egypt and Mediterranean region to study geometry, astronomy, religion, and mathematics. Aristotle was born around 384 B.C Northern Greece, whose father was known as Nicomachus (Keshavarz & Absalan, 2015). Aristotle attained the first training in medicine before he was sent to learn philosophy in Athens. The Plato's work was conveyed in the form of dialogues, like asking questions to obtain knowledge and concepts as a method of teaching. The Aristotle work was based on teaching aids, lecture notes, and draft materials that lacked publications. Both philosophers had opposing ideologies, although they agreed on some particular factors in connection to philosophy.
Main Themes or Ideas
Plato explored virtue and morality in society and individuals. He presented the discussions on wisdom, courage, justice, and duality of responsibility and power. Aristotle focused on the nature of reality which starts with the non-contradiction principle. The Aristotle portrayed the concept of symbolic logic which helps in evaluating the validity in reasoning. He opposed the Plato ideas of ethics, where he stated that no appeal or rules consequences would provide one guideline on how to respond to all scenarios. Aristotle believed that a search for contentment and happiness is to attain a state of flourishing or Eudemonia. Both Plato and Aristotle believed that reasoning was more superior to the senses. They all focused their themes or ideas on knowledge to overcome the contractions in their argument. Both Aristotle and Plato left significant gaps in their theories which opened a venue for criticism although their approaches led to emergency of two philosophical views, naturalism, and transcendentalism.
The Reality, Human Nature, Government, and Society According to Philosophers
Aristotle argued that government should function as a political partnership or community to avoid economic instability and injustice (Radi, 2017). He also introduced the classification for government forms and democracy definition, which was much accepted. Plato based his approach on human nature on two substances that is immaterial mind and the material body. He stated that all living things include non-human, people, and plants. He believed that communities could not flourish and survive if there is no fundamental agreement about the problems of private morality. In thinking about reality, Aristotle differentiated the lives of honor and intellectual reflection.
The Plato developed the approach of political justice as a means of expanding the ethical discussion and draw an analogy between Appetite, Reason, and Spirit which illustrated the concept of Producers, Rulers, and Soldiers (Radi, 2017). According to him, rulers should rule while showing respect for democracy. The Plato based his theory on human nature where he categorized the mind (soul) into reason, will (spirit, passion, and emotion) and appetite (physical urges). He also reiterated the social factor of human nature, where he stated that people benefit from social interactions like aptitude, friendship, and talents. Plato categorized the classifications of societies into meritocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and anarchy. He also claimed that the nature of reality needs logos (reasons) which is a principle that organizes the universe into preexisting manner. Plato suggested that the form is a concept or idea that comprised of logical, metaphysical, epistemological, and moral (Keshavarz & Absalan, 2015).
Impacts of Art and Culture
Aristotle and Plato disagreed on the value of art on people's society. Plato striped artists of prominence and power they enjoyed in his community while Aristotle developed a technique of inquiry to understand the advantage of a person's work of art. However, both philosophers focused on the ability of art to create an essential impact on the society.
Plato is more effective because he believed that the concept had an idea or universal form. Plato is termed as the father of idealism in philosophy where his ideas influenced various philosophers during his time. For example, he founded the school known as Academy to offer education to future leaders.
The differences and similarities between Aristotle and Plato are highly portrayed through their work in philosophy. For example, Plato explored virtue and morality in society and individuals. He presented the discussions on wisdom, courage, justice, and duality of responsibility and power. While Aristotle focused on the nature of reality which starts with the non-contradiction principle. However, both philosophers based their ideas or knowledge on theories which had an impact on society or community during their time. Plato and Aristotle focused on ethics which is a fundamental aspect for attaining happiness even today. So, both philosophers had a significant contribution to the culture of art, government, human nature, and reality where their works impact people even today.
Keshavarz, R., & Absalan, M. A. (2015). The confrontation between essence and existence in Plato and Aristotle's ideas in art. Environment Conservation Journal, 16(Special Edition), 161-170. Obtained from http://www.environcj.in/uploads/2016/SE/161-170%20RAMIN.pdf
Radi, Y. (2017). Coherence. Fundamental Concepts for International Law: The Construction of a Discipline (E Elgar Forthcoming). http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3058250
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