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Contrasting and Comparing Plato and Aristotle

Plato and Aristotle are, without any shred of doubt, two of the most influential philosophers of history. It would suffice to argue that Plato’s philosophical teachings were, to a large extent, influenced by his teacher, Socrates. By a stroke of philosophical edema, Aristotle became Plato’s pupil. Consequently, the philosophic theories, which were originally conceived by Socrates, were passed on to Plato and then to Aristotle. In such a scenario, it would be alluring to entertain the idea that the teachings of Aristotle would resemble those of his predecessor and teacher, Plato. However, this could not be farther from the truth.

Pursuant to Schofield, both Plato and Aristotle centered their suppositions on four widely acknowledged convictions of the time; acquaintance must be of what is factual, the world experienced through the brain is what is actual, awareness must be of what is permanent and invariable, and the world experienced through the senses is not permanent nor is it invariable (31). These four points of view presented an arguable paradox to the two philosophers. On one hand, Plato rejected the idea that the world felt through the brain is what is factual while, on the other hand, Aristotle contested the notion that acquaintance must be of what is fixed and static. The above paradox proved to be the major bone of contention between the two renowned philosophers.

Nevertheless, Plato and Aristotle attempted to overcome their differences by employing their own definitions of the term ‘form’ . Pursuant to the two philosophers, the term ‘form’ expressed the universality of classification. However, despite their seemingly similar interpretations of the word ‘form,’ Plato’s definition alludes that some objects are only rudimentary depictions of their forms. In order to substantiate the efficacy of his allusion, Plato used Helen of Troy’s beauty to exemplify its factualness as well as its variableness.

Plato was obsessed with the idea of creating a perfect society whilst Aristotle was more concerned with deducing methods that could improve the one already in existence. Plato often dreamed of creating a utopian society without the apprehensions of politics and its associated dogmas. Aristotle criticized Plato’s approach and instead, suggested that the populace should aspire to attain the best feasible system of governance. According to these two approaches, it is possible to deduce that Plato relied on inductive tactics while Aristotle hypothesized based on a deductive method. Conversely, despite the fact that their theories bore striking differences, both Plato and Aristotle played a crucial part in molding politics and history.