June 4, 2001
Comparison of Plato and Aristotle’s Philosophies
Plato and Aristotle are both great philosophers in their own regard. Both agree that the world has a purpose, and that it’s not just an accident. Both also hate materialists since in their (materialists’) interpretation of the world, value, choice, and freedom are not plausible outcomes, and so morality and rationality do not make sense. And both ask the same question, what does it take to be a good, moral person? Yet, even though Aristotle was a student of Plato, each philosopher develops his own view on things and a specific way of solving a particular problem. For example, Plato and Aristotle have quite different views regarding life.
…show more content…
For Aristotle, though, such a problem never existed. One reason why could be because Plato did such a good job in proving the relativists and skeptics incorrect, so there is no reason for it to be done again. He sees the foolishness in believing that anyone’s opinion is equally accepted. So as a biologist he performs research and writes up the results, which constitutes knowledge in the sensory world. His only problem is to analyze the processes by which we attain knowledge and to set out the basic features of the realities disclosed. On ethics Plato thinks that we are able to obtain the same kind of certainty in rules of behavior as with mathematics. According to him the ultimate vision of the Form of the Good will provide a single standard for deciding practical questions. Unfortunately only the few individuals who can make the hard journey through the Cave will be able to give a solution for all questions of value. Aristotle does not have the same view according to him, we should not ask for more certainty than the subject matter allows. A normal person is able to make good decisions and to live a good life; one need not be an expert in ethical knowledge to practice it. The preceding paragraphs show that although the two philosophers are quite similar in the problems they deal with, they go about doing it in a very separate and distinguished manner. Most of Plato’s philosophy is centered on the Forms, which is his