It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Plato and Aristotle question

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 7 2013 @ 11:29 PM
What are the fundamental differences between these ancient Greek philosophers?

Plato of course was a student of Socrates and Aristotle was a student of Plato so you would imagine that knowledge was passed down and taught in a similar fashion so the views should be the same.

However that is not the case. Anyone familiar with either Plato or Aristotle should know that they have both had different impacts on the world but I would like to know what some of those major ones are and possibly why thier views changed if they both schooled the same way.

I don't consider Socrates that important because his story was basically written by Plato so my question really only relates to Plato and Aristotle.

I am curious about this because Aristotle, of course, was the famous teacher of Alexander the Great who in turn inspired many famous military leaders throughout history so I would like to know more about the beginnings of this chain of events and believe it starts with the basic question of understanding the views of Plato (the teacher) and Aristotle (the student).

posted on May, 7 2013 @ 11:49 PM
I know I'm lazy, but here is a link to the University of Oregon's discussion on just that question:

posted on May, 7 2013 @ 11:50 PM
reply to post by charles1952

Thank you very much.

Very helpful

posted on May, 8 2013 @ 12:05 AM

Experience with regard to particular facts is also though to be courage; this is indeed the reason Socrates thought courage was knowledge. Other people exhibit it in the dangers of war; for there seem to be many empty alarms in war, of which these have had the most comprehensive experience; therefore they seem brave, because the others do not know the nature of the facts. Again, their experience makes them most capable in attack and in defense, since they can use their arms and have the kinda that are likely to be best bother for attack and for defense; therefore they fight like armed men against unarmed or like trained athletes against amateurs; for in such contests too it is not the bravest men that fight best, but those who are strongest and have their bodies in the best condition.


Professional soldiers turn cowards, however, when the danger puts too great a strain on them and they are inferior in numbers and equipment; for they are the first to fly, while citizen-forces die at their posts, as in fact happened at the temple of Hermes. For to the latter flight is disgraceful and death is preferable to safety on those terms; while the former from the very beginning faced the danger on the assumption that they were stronger, and when they know the facts they fly, fearing death more than discgrace; but the brave man is not that sort of person.

Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, oxford world's classics, pg 52-53

I remember the first time I read this, I thought to myself. "Damn that is great military rhetoric!"

"... And the more he is possessed of virtue in its entirety and the happier he is, the more he will be pained at the thought of death; for life is best worth living for such a man, and he is knowingly losing the greatest goods, and this is painful. But he is non the less brave, and perhaps all the more so, because he chooses noble deeds of war at the cost. It is not the case, then, with all the virtues that the exercise of them is pleasant, except in so far as it attains its end. But it is quite possible that best soldiers may b e not men of this sort but those who are less brave but have no other good; for these are ready to face danger, and they sell their life for trifling gains"

I figured that I shouldn't leave that part out. It speaks volumes. Aristotle knew 'purpose' and how people belong to them in a sense. Which is EXACTLY what is needed in the military.

edit on 8-5-2013 by retirednature because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 8 2013 @ 05:15 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on May, 8 2013 @ 06:36 AM
Wow, there have been entire books written over the centuries regarding your question. I don't think it can be summarized easily.

The traditional breakdown of Plato and Aristotle is that Plato tended to be more mystical and esoteric. He held a belief in a realm of existence called the "Forms", where the forms are the archetypal ideas that convey reality to the world of things that we normally think of us reality. Aristotle tended to be more grounded, empirical, and scientific.

However, I think the differences between Plato and Aristotle are often overstated. For instance, Aristotle never dismissed the idea of the Forms, he just held that a thing's form was part of the nature of a thing. The form is "embedded" in a thing. For instance, there is no separate ideal archetype of a horse, called the form of a horse, that gives worldly horses their reality. The form of the horse is embedded directly into each actual horse. Plato can be read holding a similar view; it's just that he exaggerated the difference between the form of a thing and its material aspect by placing the form in a different realm.

posted on May, 8 2013 @ 08:56 AM
Plato and Aristotle.

One can never seperate the student from the teacher.There are many similarities between the two. The fundamental differences are that Aristotle rode a GSXR 750, and plato was always a Kawasaki man.

posted on May, 11 2013 @ 12:31 AM
Biggest difference:
Plato's greatest good - knowledge
Aristotle's greatest good - happiness

In other words, Plato believed the purpose of life was to attain knowledge, while Aristotle believed knowledge is a tool to attain happiness. Most of their differences in opinion stem from this one difference.

top topics


log in