Aristotle vs Plato – Comparative Essay Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 22 November 2016

Aristotle vs Plato – Comparative Essay

I believe Aristotle and Plato are both great thinkers. Aristotle and Plato both give good evidence to what they believe. There are some things that Plato says that I may or may not agree on, and same goes with Aristotle. In this essay I am going to prove why Aristotle and Plato both have an influence upon my thinking. In order for me to prove that I must understand Plato’s thinking, and Aristotle’s thinking. I am going to analyze their different philosophical perspectives such as their theory of forms, and human nature. Aristotle has a greater influence upon my thinking in the long run, but I want to be sure that I understand them both.

Plato believes the body is like a cage for the soul. The real person is not the body; it’s the soul that is held within in the body. I agree with Plato, because after death our bodies decay and we no longer have a body, but are soul still exists. Aristotle on the other hand believes a man is like an animal. Not just any animal it must be a certain kind. He believes the soul is a form. When I read what Aristotle believed about human nature it really had me thinking. I want to say I agree with Aristotle but then again it’s a little confusing.

I want to say I agree, because people say that we were animals before we became humans, but I myself still don’t know the truth. If I knew for sure that we were animals before we became humans then I would most definitely agree with Aristotle. Plato’s reasoning behind human nature is much better understood to me. Metaphysics is the study of being as being (reality). Epistemology is the study of knowing (justice). Plato believes there is another world and the world is the world of forms. He breaks down metaphysics and epistemology to bring this world to an understanding.

The world of forms is permanent and unchanging. The world of forms is what we know (our knowledge) which came to conclusion by reasoning. Even though we may not be able to see or touch these forms does not make them unreal. We do not live in the world of forms; we live in the world of experience. The world of experience is impermanent and changeable. The world of experience is our opinions, what we sense, believe, but in our world it’s all real, but in reality it is actually real. I believe the world of forms is a world we all wish to live in, but it’s unreal.

The world of forms is like a dream. Aristotle breaks down the world into categories which is better understood than Plato view of the world. Aristotle breaks it down into ten categories (substance, quantity, quality, relationship, place, time, posture, state, action, and undergoing something). A substance exists within itself. The other nine categories are known as Accidents. You have to have a substance for anything else to exist. Without a substance there are no accidents. Without matter there is no form. When it comes to form you must have matter Aristotle believes. I agree with him on that.

Plato never mentioned matter; he always believed you just had a form. An easy way to show why I disagree with Plato is, the body is the form and the soul is the matter. He never identifies the body and soul as matter and form. He puts them together as one whole form, but he kind of digs a hole for himself by saying that, because he believes himself, the soul and body are not connected. Although the soul is inside the body, the body is just protection for the soul. Form is defined as a substance, but with a substance you must have matter that is why I believe/understand Aristotle views of the world.

According to Aristotle only concrete things are matter such as a soul, a person, an animal, etc. Aristotle’s view on form is much more detailed and makes more sense to me. Something’s Plato mentions just does not seem like actual reality to me. Aristotle and Plato brought together equals a well defined/understood philosophical world. In conclusion I now have a better understanding of Aristotle and Plato’s thinking. I personally believe that Aristotle came to his conclusion with the start of Plato’s idea. Plato makes a lot of good points, but something’s he believes is not complete or may not be true.

I believe Aristotle is more philosophically inclined than Plato. He gets rid of the ideas that are irrelevant. I see him as someone who believes the world is satisfying just the way it is. They both had visions of ways to improve the society through forms, matter, reality, human nature or whatever it may be. Both these men were extremely great thinkers. All their thoughts, and opinions were different, but they had the same concerns. We still to this day, in this future use both Aristotle and Plato’s philosophical way of thinking and I believe that was their whole purpose.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 22 November 2016

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