Essay about Comparison of Plato and Aristotle’s Philosophies

1217 Words May 23rd, 2009 5 Pages
Antonio Burkes
Philosophy 1
June 4, 2001

Comparison of Plato and Aristotle’s Philosophies

Plato and Aristotle are both great philosophers in their own regard. Both agree that the world has a purpose, and that it’s not just an accident. Both also hate materialists since in their (materialists’) interpretation of the world, value, choice, and freedom are not plausible outcomes, and so morality and rationality do not make sense. And both ask the same question, what does it take to be a good, moral person? Yet, even though Aristotle was a student of Plato, each philosopher develops his own view on things and a specific way of solving a particular problem. For example, Plato and Aristotle have quite different views regarding life.
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He believes language is capable of expressing the truth of things, since that truth concerns the sensible world, and our view of it (the world) begins with our senses, hearing, touching, seeing, etc. Although the senses themselves are not sufficient to lead to knowledge, they are the only reliable entities through which we can pursue it. The two philosophers also differ on what human nature is. Plato is convinced that the real person is the soul, not the body. Souls that inhabit our bodies are there, but are not dependent on us for their existence. They have knowledge of the Forms before we are even born and by being virtuous we can enjoy unity with the Forms after death. Aristotle’s main theme on humans is simple man is a rational animal. There is no separate soul from man; a person has a soul that is special, but a person is still one unified creature. Plato seems to be very concerned about relativism and skepticism and devotes a lot of writing to proving those beliefs wrong. He thinks that skepticism and relativism killed Socrates, not the members of the Athenian jury. The views they have come to hold that every opinion is as good as another’s, and that if one thinks something is good for them really is good for them makes the case of Athens thinking it is right to condemn Socrates right for Athens. Plato knows condemning Socrates is wrong; so he knows that there must be standards that are more conventional. The Forms,
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