The Beliefs of Plato vs Aristotle Essay

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When Socrates was sixty years old, Plato, then a youth of twenty, came to him as a pupil. When Plato was sixty years old, the seventeen-year-old Aristotle presented himself, joining the Teacher's group of "Friends," as the members of the Academy called themselves. Aristotle was a youth of gentle birth and breeding, his father occupying the position of physician to King Philip of Macedon. Possessed of a strong character, a penetrating intellect, apparent sincerity, but great personal ambition. Aristotle was a student in the Academy during the twenty years he remained in Athens. His remarkable intellectual powers led Plato to call him the "Mind of the School." After the death of his teacher, Aristotle, accompanied by Xenocrates, went to…show more content…
Before reaching our Western scholars his works passed through too many hands to remain immaculate. From Theophrastus they passed to Neleus, whose heirs kept them mouldering in subterranean caves for a century and a half. After that his manuscripts were copied and augmented by Apellicon of Theos, who supplied many missing paragraphs, probably from his own conjectures. Although the Arabians were acquainted with Aristotle's works from the eighth century onward, the Christian world paid little attention to them until three centuries later. In the eleventh century, however, the Aristotelian doctrine of Forms became the bone of contention which divided philosophers into two classes which, from that day to this, have remained separate. On the one side were the Nominalists, who maintained that Universals are mere names for the common attributes of things and beings. On the other side were the Realists, whose thought crudely resembled the Platonic doctrine of Ideas as independent realities. It seems a great historic tragedy that Aristotle, who remained under the influence of Plato for nearly twenty years, failed to continue the line of teaching begun by Pythagoras and clarified by Plato. But Aristotle was not content to be a "transmitter." Plato claimed no originality for his ideas, giving the credit to Socrates and Pythagoras. Aristotle's failure in this direction may be due to the fact that, while both

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