Overview of Plato
Plato is a well-known ancient Greek philosopher born 428/427 BCE in Athens, Greece, and died 348/347 in Athens. He was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle [Source]. He founded the Academy, which equated to a university, where research and learning were conducted. The Academy attracted a lot of men who had outstanding abilities.
His philosophies were related to how reality is divided into parts, namely the ideal, and the phenomena. The phenomenon is the physical world we live in, which is very flawed. The ideal entails a perfect reality that exists outside space and time. His central philosophy was based on ‘Forms,’ representing the perfect ideal reality.
Overview of Aristotle
Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher born 384 BCE in Stagira, Greece, and he died 322 BCE. He is credited for writing a philosophical and scientific system adopted for Christian Scholasticism and medieval Islamic philosophy [Source].
He is regarded as the father of western logic and was the first to develop a formal system for reasoning. His argument was based on the fact that the “deductive validity of any argument can be determined by its structure rather than its content” [Source].
Plato and Aristotle’s Similarities and Differences
The similarities between Plato and Aristotle are that both individuals were philosophers. They studied ethics, science, and politics, among other subjects. Also, they were both influenced by Socrates, Parmenides, and Heraclitus in their works. Plato and Aristotle believed that thoughts were superior to the senses [Source]. Both philosophers believe that democracy is a corrupt form of government that violates justice of proportionality [Source]. These individuals believed in these shared principles: harmony, organic approach (society functions as an organism), natural approach, politics, and morals. Plato and Aristotle argued that human beings are social creatures. They also agreed on the functioning of the state and its citizens. Both philosophers wrote dialogues, liked universities as Plato had his Academy and Aristotle had his Lyceum, thought Socrates was a worthy predecessor, believed in education, reason, justice, and that Being has always existed [Source].
Differences between Plato and Aristotle are that Plato argued that senses could fool a person, and Aristotle noted that senses are important in determining reality. It is posited that the philosophy of Plato is more theoretical and abstract. In contrast, the philosophy of Aristotle is more practical and experimental. Also, Plato saw ultimate happiness as dependent upon society, but for Aristotle, ultimate happiness depends on the individual. Plato’s stated that man’s ultimate goal was to become one with the universe, while Aristotle said man wants to achieve excellence and become a master [Source]. Plato says the soul is the guide to body and mind, and Aristotle notes that the soul is a form of a living thing and is inseparable from the body. According to Plato, wisdom is an important virtue and foundation of all virtues. To Aristotle, wisdom is a virtuous goal that a person can achieve after exerting effort.
Similarities between Plato and Socrates
Plato and Socrates believed that a “man is composed of body and soul.” They also argued that humans are rational [Source]. These philosophers focused on human behavior and were influenced by Socrates since he taught Plato. They represent the classical era of Greek philosophy.
What is the idea of Plato and Aristotle about man?
Plato noted that “man reflects the character of the state he lives in” [Source].
Aristotle said that “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human” [Source] and noted that man is a political animal.
How did Plato and Aristotle differ in their Opinions on Government?
Plato stated that a government must have 3 tiers: philosopher-kings, warriors, and the rest of the people. He also said that men and women must be given equal access to these 3 tiers. On the other hand, Aristotle gave three forms of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and constitutional government. Analysts argue that Aristotle favored the third form [Source].
Difference between Plato and Aristotle’s Theory of Justice
In terms of the theory of justice, Plato argued that justice is a “virtuous condition of the soul in which the rational part rules over the whole (including the appetitive and spirited parts of the soul)” [Source]. To Aristotle, “justice is treating equals equally and unequals unequally (meaning people get what they deserve.”
What do Plato and Aristotle have in common?
Plato and Aristotle shared the following principles: harmony, organic approach (society functions as an organism), natural approach, politics, and morals. Both argued that human beings are social creatures. They also agreed on the functioning of the state and its citizens. [Source]. These two philosophers were influenced by classical Greek and the works of Socrates. They tend to analyze human behavior and how it affects co-existence and its effect on the surroundings.
Should I read Plato before Aristotle?
The shared view is that one should read Plato before Aristotle because Plato preceded Aristotle. It is impossible to read Aristotle before reading almost all major books of Plato” [Source].
What, according to Plato, is the nature of knowledge?
According to Plato, the nature of knowledge is justified by true belief [Source].
Difference between Plato and Plotinus
The most notable difference between Plato and Plotinus is that they lived in different periods. Plato is celebrated for his works, and Plotinus was only a commentator of Plato’s works. Plotinus was influenced by Plato, who preceded him. Plotinus states that the One/Good must transcend Being and Plato said in knowing the good [Source], one can be virtuous.
Difference between Plato and Aristotle and Socrates
The difference between Plato and Aristotle and Socrates is that Socrates did not have a clear-cut philosophy and did not write a lot, so his works are based on Plato’s works [Source]. On the other hand, Plato differed from Aristotle in that Aristotle wanted men and women to be given the same opportunities, but Aristotle found women to be naturally inferior. On this subject, Socrates argued that if men and women are the same, then women ought to be taught the same things as men; hence gender equality was not an issue. Socrates influenced both Plato and Aristotle.
Difference between Plato and Machiavelli
The difference between Plato and Machiavelli is that Machiavelli believed that rulers’ purpose was to make war and protect citizens from attacks by outsiders, and this is justifiable, even if it is unjust. Plato argued that a ruler could never be unjust. Plato noted how people must be educated and groomed for positions such as leadership, but Machiavelli argued that leaders are born into a family of leaders, or they are new [Source].
Difference between Plato and Aristotle’s Theory of Forms
Plato noted that all concepts had a universal form which he called the ideal form. Still, Aristotle said universal forms were not attached to each object or concept. Each instance of a concept or object must be analyzed independently [Source].
Difference between Plato’s and Aristotle’s Political Thought
Plato’s political philosophy was supposed to transform politics, while Aristotle’s philosophy focused on studying the existing forms of political reality [Source]. Plato believed that policy could be changed, but Aristotle noted that politics could not be changed.
Difference between Plato and Descartes
Plato and Descartes disagreed on the interpretations of God/Gods as Descartes noted that his God is omnipotent while Plato did not give his Deities such characteristics and argued that they could not do bad things. They argued whether people have a soul or a mind, so Descartes introduced the mind-body argument. Plato focused on the soul-body argument [Source].
What is the Best Form of Government According to Plato?
According to Plato, the best form of government is an aristocracy, led by the so-called wise and knowledgeable people [Source].
Is Plato still relevant today?
Plato influenced how people perceived religion, especially deities. His works on living a virtuous life are still relevant as people try to be good citizens. Mathematics and physics utilize his ideas of real-world forms and projections [Source]. His perception of knowledge and the dynamic of society coupled with human behavior are used in tertiary studies. Also, philosophy is a core course in various institutions, and it includes topics about Plato’s works. All this shows that Plato is still relevant today.
Is Plato an essentialist?
Wikipedia notes that Plato was one of the first essentialists, “postulating the concept of ideal forms – an abstract entity form of which individual objects are mere facsimiles” [Source].
Is Plato an Empiricist?
Most sources argue that Plato was a rationalist [Source], and this is because he adhered to rationalism which uses reason to understand things.
Is Plato an Existentialist?
Plato is not described as an existentialist [Source].
Does Plato believe in free will?
Plato believed in free will, but only if an individual has mastered oneself [Source] by acquiring the virtues of wisdom, courage, and temperance.