Plato vs Aristotle Essay

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In ancient Greece two great written philosophers lived. First there was Plato and then Aristotle. Aristotle was a pupil of Plato. Despite being taught by Plato they had different theories and views. Their ethics were very typical and traditional of ancient Greece but Aristotle detailed virtue ethics and the path to happiness. Plato’s political theories for a utopian society varied from Aristotle’s view of ‘best state for each society’. Their metaphysical theories are complete opposites and very contradicting. Even though Plato and Aristotle came from the same era and were closely linked they had very different philosophies.

Plato had typical views of ethics for an ancient Greek. Aristotle shared these views he was more specific about
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This was Aristotle’s theory of the Golden Mean.”(Pacquette 268) Aristotle thought that true happiness could only happen when people live a balanced life, Plato also agreed. “The ethics of both Plato and Aristotle contain echoes of Greek medicine: only by exercising balance and temperance will achieve a happy or ‘harmonious’ life.” (Gaarder 115) Both Plato and Aristotle agreed that a balanced life is a good life, and that with reason people will make morally good choices but Aristotle believed that this did not come naturally. He felt that “moral virtue is the result of habit and training. Because if this, he believed that people can be taught to be virtuous. He said that people must know- the deliberately choose to do- what is good.”(Pacquette 269) Aristotle and Plato had very similar views on ethics due to both living in the same era in ancient Greece.

Political and social theories between the two philosophers were very different. Plato had very Totalitarian or even communist views for state government. He in his novel The Republic, he describes in much detail his utopian society. He felt society should be organized into three groups: “rulers, auxiliaries and labourers.”(Gaarder 91) The rulers or guardian class would have reason; education and intelligence this would make them well suited for leadership. Plato called these rulers ‘Philosopher Kings’, they would rule for the good of all in the society. Philosopher

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