Essay on Platonic And Aristotelian Epistemology : Comparison And Contrast

Essay on Platonic And Aristotelian Epistemology : Comparison And Contrast

Length: 1213 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Platonic and Aristotelian Epistemology: Comparison and Contrast

As teacher and student, both Plato and Aristotle believed that knowledge is

possible and therefore attainable. They agreed that the mind connects the soul and the

body, containing within it the key to understanding what it means to exist in this world

and how our existences are interrelated. In other words, what is a man and what does it

mean to know? For Plato, knowledge must consist of what is genuinely real and not

appearance only; it must be acquired through thoughts and ideas. If something is real, it

means that it must be fixed and unchanging. He believed that truth is form separated from

matter. Aristotle, however, believed that knowledge is perception; it is acquired through

the senses. If something is real, you can observe and experience it in the world around

you. He believed in form-matter unity.

In the Socratic dialogue found in Theaetetus, Plato elaborates on what he believes

knowledge is not. Socrates criticizes and refutes three definitions of knowledge:

knowledge cannot be perception, true opinion, or true opinion combined with explanation

(Theaetetus, 61-68). In the Divided Line and Myth of the Cave, Plato touches upon what

he believes knowledge is. The “divided line” corresponds to the two main divisions of

worlds: the visible world and the intelligible world, each with their own subdivisions.

The visible world contains images and material objects; the intelligible world contains

Mathematical objects and the forms. In the Divided Line, Socrates asks, “Would you not


admit that both the sections [=subdivisions] of this division have different degrees of

truth, and that the copy is to the original as the...

... middle of paper ...

...stotle claimed that “each

primary and self-subsistent thing, then, is one and the same as its essence.” (96, VII) For

him, the only instance of a Platonic form is God. God is the one form that exists without

matter; God is pure thought. Plato was concerned with the formal cause or the essence of

thing as opposed to Aristotle’s greater concern for the final cause or the purpose of the

thing, however they both believed that the knower is measured by the known, not the

other way around, and that knowledge is an exchange within the world. Plato claimed

that knowledge “may presuppose perception of some kind, but it cannot be identified

with perception as such,” (81) whereas Aristotle was convinced that “in knowledge mind

and its object have an identical character, and to know an object is to know one’s own

mind as it is when it knows the object.” (115)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparison and Contrast in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Comparison and Contrast in The Great Gatsby       The success of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is in part due to his successful characterization of the main characters through the comparison and contrast of Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan and George B. Wilson, and Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby. The contrast is achieved through two principle means: contrasting opposite qualities held by the characters and contrasting one character's posititve or negative qualities to another's lack thereof....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Strong Essays
1767 words (5 pages)

Aristotelian Intellectual Intuition, Basic Beliefs and Naturalistic Epistemology

- Aristotelian Intellectual Intuition, Basic Beliefs and Naturalistic Epistemology ABSTRACT: I first argue that Aristotelian intellectual intuition (recognizing archai through epagoge and seeing their truth by recognizing their explanatory power through nous) generates basic beliefs which are not inferred — inductively or deductively — from other beliefs. Both involve synthetic intuitive insight. Epagoge grasps a connection and nous sees its general applicability. I next argue that such beliefs are properly basic by adapting an argument made by Hilary Kornblith....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Free Essays
3166 words (9 pages)

Social Epistemology: The Benefit of "We" Essay

- Social Epistemology: The Benefit of “We” In many situations and events, many seek to find an individual to who will be praised for the success or criticized for the failure. Frequently, those in reflection ignore or either fail to recognize the collaborative efforts of many who initiated and developed such situations. A contemporary example is how most frequently blame President Barack Obama for negative events such as the current recession, and even simple things such as gas prices, welfare, ect....   [tags: epistemic dependence, epistemology]

Strong Essays
2432 words (6.9 pages)

Epistemology And The Philosophical Perspective Essay

- “The wisest of all humans is he or she who knows that they know nothing.”-Socrates Epistemology, simply put is the study of knowledge. It looks at how we know, what we know, and do we really know anything at all. Knowledge is the foundation of any sound argument, and is used to get at the “truth” of things. In this paper, I will discuss epistemology and further explain it by relating it to something that I use to believe to be true that I no longer do. As defined in the Oxford Dictionary, epistemology is “The theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope....   [tags: Epistemology, Knowledge, Theory of justification]

Strong Essays
831 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Compare and Contrast High School versus College

- It is a big step from high school to college. The goal of this paper is to help prepare you by sharing, from personal experience, what to expect in the transition. I will compare and contrast high school life and college life. Several changes include, difference between high school teachers and college professors, the workload requirements, and the overall responsibility requirements. In high school, the personnel seem to watch out for students almost like they are their own children. They guide them and correct them if necessary....   [tags: comparison compare/contrast]

Strong Essays
579 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Compare and Contrast Tragedy and Comedy

- Compare and Contrast Tragedy and Comedy A tragedy is defined as beginning with a problem that affects everyone, i.e. the whole town or all the characters involved, the tragic hero must solve this problem and this results in his banishment or death [run-on sentence]. A comedy is defined as also beginning with a problem, but one of less significant importance. The characters try to solve the problem and the story ends with all the characters uniting in either a marriage of a party. Although these two genres are seen as being complete opposites of each other, through further analysis one can gather that though they are different certain similarities can also be seen....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Compare and Contrast Comedy and Tragedy

- Compare and Contrast Comedy and Tragedy In a comparison of comedy and tragedy, I will begin by looking at narrative. The narration in a comedy often involves union and togetherness as we see in the marriage scene at the end of Midsummer's Night Dream. William Hazlitt tells us that one can also expect incongruities, misunderstandings, and contradictions. I am reminded of the play The Importance of Being Ernest and the humor by way of mistaken identity. Sigmund Freud tells us to expect excess and exaggeration in comedy....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Strong Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Two Points Against Naturalized Epistemology

- Two Points Against Naturalized Epistemology ABSTRACT: My aim is to raise two points against naturalizing epistemology. First, against Quine’s version of naturalizing epistemology, I claim that the traditional questions of epistemology are indispensable, in that they impose themselves in every attempt to construct an epistemology. These epistemological questions are pre- and extra-scientific questions; they are beyond the scientific domain of research, thus, for a distinct province of inquiry. Second, I claim that no naturalistic account can be given as an answer to the traditional question of justification....   [tags: Epistemology Research Papers]

Free Essays
5446 words (15.6 pages)

Essay on Epistemology

- Epistemology Epistemology, the theory of knowledge, is one of several categories related to the broader heading, Philosophy. Plato was one of many Philosophers to practice the ideas related to Epistemology, as evident in his "Republic". In this paper I will outline some of Plato's views that he introduces in the "Republic" and I will give my opinion on these views. Plato may be the most recognized philosopher and his ideas are widely known. In the "Republic," Plato defines the ideal government as one that is set up and run by a philosopher king....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
744 words (2.1 pages)

Aristotelian Essay

- Can a Child be Virtuous. In this paper I will argue against Aristotle and his idea that children cannot be virtuous, as we discussed in class. I will do this by giving concrete examples that a certain widespread religion believes in this virtuosity of a child. I will also use a more common example that occurs all the time in America. Aristotle says that children cannot be virtuous because virtues are something that, to be acquired must be practiced over and over again. A child has not had enough practice, time or understanding of what he is doing to be considered virtuous....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
887 words (2.5 pages)