Plato & Aristotle Observations Essay

Submitted By kdreyer
Words: 841
Pages: 4

Plato was a disciple of Socrates, founded the first University (Academy), his philosophy was more metaphysical, and his most important work was the Republic. Plato proposed that belief was based on opinion and perception. In his story of the Myth of the Cave, the prisoners based their beliefs on conjecture (mistook images for reality). Understanding was the status of the released prisoner. He believed that FORMS were eternal but the concepts could change. An example is that beauty is a form but the concept of beauty can change. Beauty is still in the eye of the beholder. I believe that Plato's philosophy greatly influenced religion (another form of philosophy). This reminded me of a short independent film I had seen on YouTube called Zeitheist. It describes how the basis of modern religion (mostly Christianity) came from the worship of the Sun. In the Myth of the Cave, the Sun represents Good. When you come to know good (God) you become good. Some religions go so far to say that we ourselves can then become God. Plato's belief in Menos, or that all truth comes from within - the soul could be translated by Christianity as the "spirit". Plato's doctrine was that all knowledge is from recollection. Education helps us to remember. He compares the three aspects of individual psyche (animalistic appetite, spiritual action and rational) to the Republic (workers, soldiers and rulers). The rational rulers must convice the soldiers into action to control the animalistic workers. Artists were viewed poorly as being frauds who were ignorant and immoral.

Aristotle created the first system of logic, he was Plato's student, he founded the Lyceum Academy, he believed in one world (not dualistic like Plato), and he believed that substance contained form and matter. Aristotle was a pluralist meaning he saw a substance as haiving a teleological (good-oriented) system. There were four causes: material (what its made from), formal or essence (what it strives to be), effecient (the force that brings change, and final (the ultimate purpose of the object). Nature as a whole is then a teleological system because it is striving toward whatever perfection is possible. He believes that everything is striving toward Good. But perfection must exist as a telos (goal) to strive toward. Again, I think of the belief in Christianity that Christiand should all strive to be like Jesus, who was the "perfect" human (or God on earth). He believes every act has a purpose and we are not just on hamster wheel of life for nothing. We all have a purpose and he believes that purpose is happiness. This reminds me of a story I read about John Lennon. When he was in Kindergarten his teacher asked everyone to write about what they want to be when they grow up. John wrote, "I want to be happy." The teacher told him he misunderstood the question and John replied, "You don't understand life."

Unfortunatley Aristotle believed that happiness could only be achieved only under these conditions: you have good friends, riches, power, good birth, good children, good looks, not be too short and be free from manual labor. Though that all certainly helps, I believe that happiness is a choice. In the movie, Life is Beautiful, the main character is a Jew who is placed into a concentraion camp with his