aristotle vs. plato

Topics: Aristotle, Causality, Ontology Pages: 2 (415 words) Published: May 6, 2014


Aristotle VS. Plato

Epistemology, “theory of knowledge”, is the logic of getting to the metaphysics. Ontology, “theory of being”, is the very distinct part of metaphysics, where definitional divisions appear even larger than in metaphysics itself. “Ontos”, a Greek word, which means “being” and “episteme”, is a Greek word, which means “knowledge” of the highest, most reliable and certain kind. For Plato, there exist two worlds: the ever changing material world and the eternal world of Forms. Every material object is modeled after a perfect, eternal Form, but is itself only a flawed, unreal copy. This is his definition of ontology. Where in Aristotle’s point of view, material objects are composed of matter (potential with no properties of its own) and form (its sensible qualities). “Matter + sensible qualities=four elements”. Example: hot: dry, hot: wet, cold: wet, cold: dry. The four elements; fire, air, water and earth. They go from lightest to heaviest. A thing can be described in terms of its four causes. Material cause, the matter making up an object, this is what persists through physical change. Formal cause, the objects sensible qualities, like shape, sixe, color. Agent or efficient cause, what creates or changes the objects, the source of its change. Final cause, the purpose of the object or the goal of its change. Plato’s view on epistemology was very, unrealistic, in my point of view. He thinks that we know the material world imperfectly through our senses; we know the world of Forms truly through reason, because the eternal part of us remembers these forms. Our faculty of reason is superior to the senses, but the senses may also help direct our attention to the world of forms. Through Aristotle’s eyes, material objects are real, and empirical knowledge is true. We come to understand categories of things through our senses, through our experiences of real –life examples. In conclusion, Plato believed there is only one reality behind all of...
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