Plato and Aristotle

Topics: Virtue, Aristotle, Human Pages: 5 (1917 words) Published: December 9, 2013
Plato and Aristotle
Plato and Aristotle were two philosophers who made an impact on philosophy as we know it as today. Plato is thought of as the first political philosopher and Aristotle as the first metaphysical philosopher. They were both great intellectuals in regards to being the first of the great western philosophers. Plato and Aristotle each had ideas in how to better life by improving the societies in which they were part of during their lives. The views of Plato and Aristotle look different but they do have some similarities to them. Plato is mostly known for his Theory of Forms and Aristotle is known for his thoughts in universals. Even though they both thought a bit differently they did agree in a few things. Plato and Aristotle not only had an impact on society in the past but today’s society as well. Plato was a teacher to Aristotle and lived during the Peloponnesian War, which lead to the end of the Athenian democracy. He had eyewitness account of Socrates, his mentor, trial and execution. Unhappy with the political corruption that plagued the Athenian democratic government, he removed himself from politics. He strongly felt that neither a moral individual nor a state could be established in a democratic environment. Plato felt that the common man was not intelligent enough to deal with concepts that influence the state such as economics, policies and other relative matters. He thought of philosophers as being the most intelligent among men. He viewed political incumbents in the Athens government basically as bought individuals in office for the good of themselves and not society as a whole. Another danger was that extreme liberties given to the people in the democratic society could potentially lead an anarchy. Aristotle was a student of Plato’s and teacher of Alexander the Great. He created his own school in Athens. He thought of metaphysics to be the first philosophy, which was a large interest to him. Aristotle’s stated that forms were universal. According to Aristotle, notion of Essential properties makes something what it is, and accidental properties are the differences of that item. Aristotle believed the state and the individual are similar and democracy would be the better government. In Book VII of The Republic by Plato, Socrates describes the Allegory of the Cave. It is a metaphor to illustrate the effects of education on the human soul. It can also be understood as what is real and what is believed to be real in life. Even though Plato had his ideal city, the forms was really what people could connect with. There is so much one can take from his thoughts on the forms that could be applied to society today.

Plato starts out comparing people that are uneducated to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their head. All they can see is the wall of the cave in front of them. A fire behind them burns bright. Between the fire and the prisoners, there is an area for puppeteers to move around and hold up the puppets to cast shadows on the wall that is in front of the prisoners. This is what the prisoners see every single day. This is all they know; shadows, echoes, the smell of the fire, and darkness. They believe that that shadows are reality. One of the prisoners is allowed to go outside of the cave. Once they reach the outside of the cave, they are blinded by the light because they have not seen such. Once their eyes start to adjust, they start seeing shapes and objects around them. They see that the sun is what creates light and that the tall objects with leaves are trees. They are colorful with moving parts. They go back outside to tell the prisoners, but they are not believed. Those still inside of the cave thinks the person just came in from the outside ill because that is not what they see in the cave, they did not see the outside for themselves, so therefore, it does not exist. So now the person that just came in from the bright sun light cannot see very well in the darkness of the...
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