Ultimate Reality: Plato vs Aristotle

Topics: Universe, Aristotle, Ontology Pages: 2 (609 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Merrium-webster.com defines ultimate reality as “something that is the supreme, final, and fundamental power in all reality”. Although not mentioned in depth in Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle does believe in an ultimate reality; a god-like ‘prime mover’ that set everything into motion. Surprisingly similar, Plato uses reflection and reason to deductively determine that there is a ‘natural creator’ who “…created…everything…in its essential nature” (Plato 316). While they mostly agree on ultimate reality, each philosopher’s view is different on the Forms. Although they might have been able to agree on an outside force influencing the universe, Plato and Aristotle’s separate way of thinking triggered Aristotle to reject Plato’s ideas about the Forms. To Aristotle, this outside force, or god, is the essential primary source of movement in the world. His god, who moves without being moved, is a being with eternal existence, who is “entirely blessed” (198), and engaged in continual contemplation. Similarly to Aristotle, Plato believes in a perfect originator. In The Republic, Plato maintains that although humans have the capabilities to create, there is an ultimate creator. He uses the example of a couch to further his point. Plato explains that while an artist can paint a couch, it is not truly a couch; it is an imitation or a depiction (315). The painter creates what the couch appears to be. On page 316, Plato resolves to justly name this creator the ‘natural creator’ because this ultimate reality is the source from which all things are imitated and, therefore, born. Furthermore, Plato would argue that everything we see and touch is only partially real; they are replicas of the true actuality. On the other hand, justice, courage, moderation, wisdom, and beauty are true realities for Plato. He calls these the Forms. They are not visible to the senses, but by overcoming bodily desires, the mind can straightforwardly perceive these real truths. Plato nearly teaches...
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