The Metaphysical Pizza as Sliced by Plato and Aristotle

Topics: Ontology, Epistemology, Aristotle Pages: 2 (534 words) Published: November 4, 2012
The Metaphysical Pizza as Sliced by Plato and Aristotle
Plato and Aristotle were Greek philosophers who lived within the third and fourth century BC. Thought Aristotle was a student of Plato, they each had very different ideas or theories on how life is or Metaphysics. Plato theorized that reality was outside of our physical world and outside of most humans understanding, while Aristotle theorized that this physical world was the only world and the only reality. Plato looked for a universal reality, or concept that made an object what it was. For example, a pizza is round. The roundness was an eternal concept . The physical pizza being round was temporary, it would not always be round. If you ate a slice it would no longer be round or if you dropped it and the slices became disorganized, it would no longer be round. But the sponsoring concept of round would always be round. The concept was eternal. It was a form and forms never change. Physical objects were a crude and inadequate representation of their form. To Plato, to understand his theory of forms one must transcend the physical world by going beyond the senses to get to a higher reality where true concepts existed. In this higher reality, roundness (truth) is unchanging. When one reaches this true reality, one then has knowledge and wisdom. He felt that very few people were willing or able to transcend to this higher reality because the human condition was a trap that distracted the mind from truth. He theorized that forms were eternal and one must have forms to gain knowledge and to do that you must disengage from this world to discover an objects form. Aristotle, by contrast, theorized that objects were defined by their purpose. A pizza was round because it’s designer had given it that roundness, or function. The form of the object exists within itself so all is within this world. That which the pizza was made of could have been given a different form if it had been made differently. It could have...
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