ID: 20062471 group #3 Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics
Plato and Aristotle are the names of the two philosophers who had so much influence on philosophy as a science. Plato and Aristotle are connected with each other. At 17 years Aristotle entered the school of the Plato. From the beginning Aristotle was strongly on the side of Plato’s principles, and then his views became more differ from Plato. In Plato’s school Aristotle got the important knowledge, with which he had opened his own, against Platonic, school. One of the biggest differences was their knowledge of metaphysics, views of the ideas of forms. In this work it will be discussed what are the strengths and weaknesses of both views and which view seems more reasonable and better argued? The main idea of Plato’s philosophy is “eidos” or idea. (Plato, 2008, 5) This knowledge was accepted almost completely by Aristotle. Neither Plato nor Aristotle thinks about things without its ideas, or eidos. Whole philosophy of Socrates, and then Plato’s was developed from practices and vital or life needs. (Asmus, 2003) According to Plato, the world of things, which is perceptible by senses, is not the world of real existing. Material world as sensual things is continuity appearing and dieing, changing and moving. Those things do no have anything constant, lasting, absolute and real. Everything they have, according to Plato, is forms, which are not sensible, perceptible only with the intelligence, embodied and senseless. The material world is not so important as ideas. Against the material world the ideas are unchangeable, motionless and perpetual.(Plato, 2008) Every idea is equal and existing per se. For this quality the Plato recognized it as actual and real entity. Plato detailed the main philosophical principals for knowledge: first, the idea of the thing is its meaning. To distinguish the thing or object it is necessary to answer the question: What does it correspond to and what is difference from another. Second, the idea or eidos of the object is the entirety of all its components, indivisible on these parts. For example, one side of the triangle is not whole triangle. But with certain combination of three sides there will be something new, new character, triangle. Third, the idea of the thing is that community of composing distinction and unity. For example, mechanical watches, components of which are small wheels, castors and screws are placed like in one common order. Without this order all of these components would not be useful. Forth, the idea of thing is immaterial. The thing or object can be changed in different ways, but the idea is not. For example, the water could be in solid state as ice, or in fluidity as water, or in fume, steam. But the idea of water can not be changed, it is constant. Fifth, the idea has its own existence, it is transcendent, humans do not reach it, and it does not exist immanently in material world. (Losev, 2001) According to the Plato the highest idea of the ideas is the abstract good, which is equal to absolute beauty. The idea of the good is the most important knowledge, According to the Plato’s “Republic”. With this knowledge justice becomes useful and applicable.(Plato, 2008) Plato only believes in the world of ideas. I think his thoughts were strong according to his views, but without any supporting arguments. The opposition of it, Aristotle was looking for golden mean between different ends: forms embodied in matter, definition of soul, science. The idea or eidos of Aristotle’s views is inside of the object. (Aristotle, 2008) The abode of the idea inside of the thing is that main and principal argument what makes Platonic school from Aristotle’s different between them. In the Aristotle’s views of idea there is some kind of community, another way of eidos in all senses. At the same time the eidos is solitary, the idea is differ from other ones. Like Plato, Aristotle thinks that idea has entirety. It is impossible to separate the community from entirety, entirety from community. For example, if to take of the roof of the house, the house and its idea are not entirety. (Bezkut, 2000) The Aristotle wrote his knowledge about entity a lot of times. He emphasizes four principals or reasons of any thing like entity. First, idea is not something transcendent entity, it is inside of the matter, and it can not be understandable what the given thing is. The second principle is about forms and materials. For example, the matter of the table is wood. And form of this table is the form which was taken by wooden materials. It seems to be simple and understandable. However, this problem became one of the important for Aristotle. Aristotle’s material is in not only material. (Asmus,2003) His material already has his own form. Even the most higgledy-piggledy, disorderly and undigested has its own form. Clouds and overcast during the storm look like absolutely unshapely. Nevertheless, if the cloud would not have any form, it could not be understandable for us. From this Aristotle made conclusion that material or matter is only possibility of its figuration. And this possibility is perpetual. “Only complete identification of material with the thing makes thing to be thing.”(Losev, 2001) Plato saw the difference between matters and objects too, but Aristotle made almost revolution relative to Platonism. According to Aristotle “only cosmic domains are completely eidos. And what is inside of moon domain is partial and imperfect”. (Bezkut, 2000) Aristotle is materialist; he claimed that material is principle of vital reality existing around people. The motion by Aristotle has the same importance as matter and forms. He made four categories of existence of thing as entity: material, form, reason and effect or goal. (Losev, 2001) Compare with vital or live world Aristotle in his views has categories too. And exactly, three types of soul (psyche/ anima) that moves matter toward something: nutritive or growing – plants, moving or perceptive – animals, rational – humans. “Happiness for man as man is to live a rational life”. Last one, humans’ soul Aristotle calls intelligence.(Aristotle, 2008) So, soul according to Aristotle is vitality of intelligence. About intelligence: Aristotle divided it into three concepts. The first, equals to Plato, the intelligence is highest and determinate entity. “The intelligence is kingdom of Gods, ideas of superiors.” Second, the intelligence is thought about itself. And it has its own material, which gives possibility to be timeless beauty. Third, completely differ from Plato: in Plato’s views the cosmos is controlled by “world soul”, but by Aristotle it is intelligence.(Amus, 2003) I think that Aristotle’s views and knowledge were developed from Socrates and Plato closer to real world, closer to material, exactly to immanently. If it is closer to real and we can see it on practice, my opinion is that Aristotle’s views and knowledge a better argued to me. In conclusion, even that Aristotle and Plato were friends, Aristotle was attended in Plato’s school, and they had different thoughts about same thing. Plato claimed that eidos or ideas were the main; Aristotle was materialist and closer to the real, also he was looking for golden mean. Aristotle made some kind of revolution in Socratic and Platonic knowledge. He made big step in development of philosophy as science. My opinion is that their views were not like conflicting, but more evolutional developed from Plato to Aristotle. Aristotle said: “Plato is my friend, but verity is more important”
• Aristotle (2008) “Physics” L-drive study materials • Aristotle (2008) “Nicomachean Ethics” L-drive study materials • Asmus B.S. (2003) “Metaphysics of Aristotle”. online, August 21, 2003 www.science.vmire.net/philosophy/s8d238.htm accessed on September 19, 2008 • Bezkut (2000) “Greek phylosophy” online , 2000.
www.worldhistoryandphyl.ru/greek&e774629.htm accessed on September 19, 2008 • Losev A.F. (2001) “Plato and Aristotle”. Greek philosophy online, September, 2001. www.philosophyonline.ukoz.ru/greek/PandA.doc accessed on September, 19t 2008 • Plato (2008) L-drive study materials
• Plato (2008) “Republic” L-drive study materials