Plato's and Aristotle's Views on Knowledge

Topics: Epistemology, Mind, Plato Pages: 4 (1414 words) Published: May 18, 2011
Anthony Pulliam

Plato's and Aristotle's Views on Knowledge

Plato and Aristotle view knowledge and the process whereby it is obtained. They both point out that many epistemological concepts which they believe where knowledge comes from and what it is actually. Most of them have been astonished me in certain ways, but I found that rationalism and "wisdom consists in knowing the cause which made a material thing to be what it is" make the most sense to me regarding the nature of knowledge. As the following, we will discuss about why these two philosophical viewpoints are superior and the others are inferior. Aristotle believes that sensory perception of material objects is knowledge and he says, "Our senses begin the process of finding the answer, because they are physically close to our minds." However, sensations and feelings are very subjective, and the results of sensation vary from person to person and even within the same person, depending on the circumstances. What to one person is cold might be warm to another, one person may be more fatigued in the afternoon than in the morning, so that his or her perceptions may temporarily less accurate. Therefore one cannot claim that sensations provide sure knowledge for human beings. |

On the other hand, Aristotle sustains that the perceptions of the senses form the foundation which leads to true knowledge. The senses "give the most authoritative knowledge of particulars" (individual material objects). The senses, especially sight, "make us know and bring to light many differences between things." The senses thus provide a foundation that will ensure that human knowledge is true or accurate. Back and forth, we have already discussed that sensations cannot provide true knowledge for humans because of subjectivity, as in this case, this is not necessarily that perceptions of senses form the foundation which leads to true knowledge for humans. Plato believes that innate knowledge of...
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