Since the dawn of philosophical thought there has been a desire to find truth. Now exactly what truth is depends upon whom you ask. Philosophers have been searching for truth in various forms for at least as far back as Aristotle in the first century B.C. all the way up to Carl Hempel in the 20th century A.D. To Aristotle and Plato truth was reality; To Descartes truth was found in God; To Hempel truth was found in explanation. None of these are accurate and yet all of them point toward the same truth. Reality, as defined by Plato and Aristotle, God, as proved be Descartes and ideal explanation as modeled by Hempel, all allude to the same thing. They point out that mankind is a finite being and that truth is only attainable in infinite understanding, an impossibility of man at our current stage of development.
Two of the earliest known men to approach the study of reality, or metaphysics were Plato and his student/rival Aristotle. These two inquisitors of reality looked at it from opposite schools of thought. Plato sought after answers by looking at the world with an outside/in point of view. Meaning he used what he perceived in the world to draw conclusions. Aristotle on the other hand approached the world from an inside/out perspective. He applied his thoughts and beliefs to the world. Aristotle's beliefs lead to him seeing only one level of reality. He felt there was only one imminent world and that forms existed within particular things. Aristotle held that form had no solitary existence and existed in matter. In order to explain that form is an inherent trait of matter he quotes Antiphon and "points out that if you planted a bed and the rotting wood acquired the power of sending up a shoot, it would not be a bed that came up, but wood". (Matthews, pg. 9) To Aristotle the form of the matter was wood and form is the unchanging reality. Plato's view of metaphysics shows two realms to our reality: there is the realm of changing,... [continues]
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