Aristotle vs Plato

Topics: Metaphysics, Aristotle, Existence Pages: 3 (905 words) Published: October 25, 2008
Two of the greatest and earliest thinkers of our time are Plato, and his most famous pupil, Aristotle. Soon after Plato’s teachings, Aristotle criticized his claims and independently became a thinker on his own. These philosophers viewed metaphysics differently, and they approached the idea of reality in two opposing ways. Plato’s Theory of Forms was a concept that was defined in a different way by Aristotle. They both believed in “forms” but approached this idea differently.

Plato felt that there are two different levels of reality compared to Aristotle who felt that there was only one level of reality. Plato’s way of thinking always came from ideas from within that were applied to the outside world as opposed to Aristotle whose ideas came from the outside world and then were applied within. These contrast ideas were a result in Aristotle believing that there is one level of reality. He believed that there was only one world, and that forms existed in particular things. Aristotle felt that everything was matter, and certain kinds of matter were composed into different things. He believed that form did not have a separate existence, but existed in matter. Plato, however, believed that there were two levels of reality. Physical and mental were two different things in his eyes. Physical is what is real and you can see and/or touch, and mental is what seems to be real but cannot be seen such as air. Plato believed that there are “two worlds” and that everything real has a form but does not symbolize that form.

Aristotle’s and Plato’s views on forms were very different. Plato saw “forms” as descriptions and something like adjectives and it could be applied to more than one thing. If something was “delicious,” there was something else that was also “delicious” but they were not the same thing. These descriptions are real but are not physical matter. Aristotle, however, saw reality as having four causes: matter (what it is made up of), essence (what it is),...
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