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Aristotle vs. Plato Research Paper


Plato and Aristotle are all favorite time philosophers who presumably gave reasoning a taste. Even though Aristotle was a student of Plato, he disagreed with him on nearly every aspect. It is claimed that Aristotle never said, “I do not know’ (Hooker, Para. 2). He literary knew everything to be it in politics, science, law, or anything that was there to be studied. This brings in the different philosophies of these two great philosophers.

According to Aristotle, Plato’s ideas have three weaknesses: first, these ideas are contradictory for they are assumed as absolute facts leaving no room for negation. Secondly, the illustrations used for the ideas are mere metaphors, and finally, Plato used temporal generalizations in giving examples of perception. “Ideas, Plato believes, are permanent, self-contained absolutes, which answered to each item of exact knowledge attained through human thought” (Hooker Para. 5).

Moreover, he believes that these ideas are absolute standards upon which people can evaluate and judge their endeavors because these ideas build up to the absolute truth, in what he calls; good. Moreover, he suggests that states of depending on commixing of different forms of being and knowledge are not subjective, rather objective, thus making it more real. Finally, Plato argues that the only reasonable entities are natural processes.

On the other hand, Aristotle differs with these assumptions. In Aristotle’s perspective, “Ideas are not abstractions on a proverbial pedestal but mere duplicates of things witnessed in ordinary daily life” (Lear 21).

Therefore, ideas are not an integral part of objects; on the contrary, these are two separate entities. Consequently, from Aristotle’s point of view, Plato’s arguments are meaningless because no standards lie in the objects but perception by the persons involved. As aforementioned, Aristotle disagreed with most of Plato’s theories. A good example of how these philosophers differed is on beauty.

Plato considers beauty as whimsy and a paragon; defined by abstractions, wherein, it is permanently fixed. This means that though the representatives of beauty may fade away, it remains intact. However, Aristotle claims that beauty is not absolute or permanent, but it depends on human perception subject to change with time. Therefore, since it cannot exist forever, it cannot be a standard. Nevertheless, these two philosophers agree on some issues like the subject of reality.

They both agree that God exists regardless of his nature, probably because they agree that there is a distinction between Incorporeal and corporeal. However, they again differ on some principles concerning God.

“While Plato assumes God exists as the ultimate good (but not omnipotent) being, Aristotle questions God’s active role in the universe and claims that nature depends upon an immaterial Supreme Being” (Lear 69). Aristotle believes that men cannot afford to possess and exercise the free will to do things and be good at the same time. Plato, on the other hand, views God to be Good than any being, and this resonates well with his assumption of ultimate Good.

Generally, Aristotle’s philosophy differs with that of Plato because the latter’s is too shallow to establish definitions or sensibly create standards. The differences between the two are more pronounced than the similarities. They differ on everything else but the existence of God and separation of impertinent from pertinent. However, the contemporary world is inclined to Aristotle’s philosophy probably because he created a universal method of understanding everything in the real world.

Works Cited

Hooker, Richard. “Greek Philosophy.” 1999. Web.

Lear, Jonathan. “Aristotle: The Desire to Understand.” United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 13). Aristotle vs. Plato. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/aristotle-vs-plato/

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"Aristotle vs. Plato." IvyPanda, 13 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/aristotle-vs-plato/.

1. IvyPanda. "Aristotle vs. Plato." April 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/aristotle-vs-plato/.


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IvyPanda. "Aristotle vs. Plato." April 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/aristotle-vs-plato/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Aristotle vs. Plato." April 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/aristotle-vs-plato/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Aristotle vs. Plato'. 13 April.

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