Dialogue Between Plato and Aristotle

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 30 October 2016

Dialogue Between Plato and Aristotle

Pluto: No, listen. What I am saying is that the environment or form that we live in is full of unevenness, imperfection and impurity this due to the fact that this form is merely a copy of the ideal world that one would understand once they rise above our physical environment and grasp it intellectually. Aristotle: I understand you just fine but I disagree with you. I agree that our world is an imperfect world but I object to the notion that it is not real or that there is another invisible form out there from which it is cloned. I find that preposterous, everything is right here on earth, physically.

Pluto: No. What we see on earth ‘physically’ as you say are just mimics or artificial replicas of the real thing only with a lot of imperfections. This is just an illusion of the real thing. Aristotle: How can that be when our natural world is real and physical? Let me explain it to you clearly, our world, this world is made up of many forms. Sure, they may not be ideal, pure or perfect but our senses identify with them. Pluto: Well, our senses identify with them because they are copies of the perfect form and we have knowledge of them. Let me explain it to you.

Knowledge must have as its object that which is openly real as juxtaposed with that which is an appearance only, that which is fully real must be fixed, permanent and unchanging- in the realm of being as opposed to that which is in the realm of physical. That is why you call these world ‘physical’ when it is just a perception from the true ideal form. Aristotle: That is absurd! If experience has shown us anything is that individual substances exist and are real, being predicated of the substance and that an individual is not produced by some idea or model the actually exist!

Pluto: Now you have joined people inexperienced in the theory of forms. Captives in a cave, bound to the wall with no likelihood of turning your heads. With fire burning behind you, you can only see the wall of the cave and the shadows of the puppets placed between you and the fire. You are incapable to fathom that the shadows you see and the echoes you hear are a reflection of real objects, behind you. This world that is available to our senses exists only as a reflection of the real world. Aristotle:

Here is where I differ to you completely! !An individual is not formed from the perception of another’s mind but from an individual who through germ or seed was able to reproduce another one hence, the seed in the individual would be in potency form because of its capacity to become an individual in future. Every individual is a compound of matter and form, not a mirror or perception of another from another form. Pluto:

That is just how easy it is to mistake appearance for reality, just like the captives in the cave experience, they easily refer to the shadows using the names of the real objects that the shadows reflect. This just shows that knowledge is only a reflection of the real ideas in our minds.

What is seen on the earth is an imitation of the real thing. The captives, by looking at the shadows may learn what an item is but this does not enable them to claim that it refers to an object, which they have seen. Likewise, we need the physical objects in order to enable us acquire concepts. Aristotle: So your idea is that we live in an imagined world and that is copied from an ideal world and that the physical items and entities we encounter on our day to day activities and with which our senses identify with are merely there for us to acquire concepts? Pluto: Yes.

Exactly! Aristotle: You are not serious! You do realize that the possibility of error forces the mind to determine the truth validity of a given statement. Meaning the intellect must have adequate reasons, which can ensure the proposed judgment conforms to reality. These are the foundation of perfect knowledge, knowledge through causes. Not that we originate from some made up form that we cannot access, but that we originate from an individual. Matter is the indeterminate element, which is unchanging, and form is the force and power shaping and developing the individual.

That is a structure of two statements leading to correct reasoning. Pluto: So you object to my whole idea? Aristotle: Completely! It lacks a foundation and crumbles upon itself. Your own argument argues that there is need for physical objects to enable us acquire concepts but your idea is based on an unseen form that cannot be confirmed physically. Pluto: We could argue about it for hours. It’s a stalemate. Aristotle: Seems we have found an impasse, but I win!


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 30 October 2016

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