Plato's and Aristotle's Views on Knowledge

1414 WordsMay 18, 20116 Pages
Anthony Pulliam Humanities 09/17/2010 Plato's and Aristotle's Views on Knowledge Plato and Aristotle view knowledge and the process whereby it is obtained. They both point out that many epistemological concepts which they believe where knowledge comes from and what it is actually. Most of them have been astonished me in certain ways, but I found that rationalism and "wisdom consists in knowing the cause which made a material thing to be what it is" make the most sense to me regarding the nature of knowledge. As the following, we will discuss about why these two philosophical viewpoints are superior and the others are inferior. Aristotle believes that sensory perception of material objects is knowledge and he says, "Our senses…show more content…
Plato and Aristotle both believe that thinking, defined as true opinion supported by rational explanation is true knowledge; however, Plato is a rationalist but Aristotle is not. Plato thinks that the external world can be obtained proceeding from the inside out. Thus, the foundation of true knowledge for the rationalists is that it originates in the faculty of reason. Furthermore, reason has the capacity to discover ideas or beliefs independently of the senses. These ideas or beliefs are self-validating and therefore have the status of knowledge because the rational faculty, which has discovered them, is the most accurate of the means by which human beings obtain knowledge. In Plato's Theaetetus, he says, "Any one forms the true opinion of anything without rational explanation, you may say that his mind is truly exercised, but has no knowledge." This is quite true that when one can state a true opinion supported by a rational explanation, one's opinion constitutes knowledge, since perceptions of senses are excluding in this case. Moreover, a rational explanation does not contain any subjectivity, it is an objective entity for humans to understand true knowledge. For this reason, I fall with rationalism and believe it is a superior philosophical viewpoint about the nature of knowledge. Aristotle sustains that wisdom consists in knowing the cause which made a material thing to be what it is. For Aristotle, wise people know more than just what something

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