What is the difference between Plato and Aristotle Philosophy?

The main difference between Plato and Aristotle's philosophy is that Plato's philosophy is more theoretical and abstract in nature, while Aristotle's philosophy is practical and experimental in nature.

Plato (c. 428– c. 348 BC) and Aristotle (384–322 BC) are two of the best-known and most widely studied personalities in Western philosophy. Plato was a student of Socrates while Aristotle was a student of Plato. Hence we can observe several connections in their philosophy.

Key areas covered

1. What is Plato's philosophy - definition, features 2. What is Aristotle's philosophy - definition, features 3. Difference between Plato and Aristotle's philosophy - comparison of the main differences

key terms

Aristotle, Plato, Philosophy Difference Between Plato and Aristotle Philosophy - Comparative Summary

What is Plato's philosophy?

In his early days, Plato was a devoted student of Socrates. Hence, Plato believed that wisdom was the most important virtue and the highest goal of existence. It is the basis of all good and embodies all virtues. Virtues could be taught to everyone through knowledge. In addition, he believed that teaching a person the difference between right and wrong would make that person a virtuous man. In other words, virtue was knowledge while vice was ignorance. It is important to note, however, that Plato's philosophy was theoretical in nature.

Plato versus Aristotle

Plato also believed that true virtue, character, and love for God can lead to ultimate happiness. However, this can only be achieved if the whole of society (each individual in society) fulfills their person and embraces virtuosity, self-control and love for God. He also believed that the soul is the guide to body and mind, and compared it to a chariot driven by two horses at the same time. He also divided the soul into emotion, desire and reason, explaining that true knowledge is acquired through reason and the soul is part of reality. In addition, he saw art as an imitation of the world. For him, art was completely the mirror image of the actual image and misled people's thoughts. This conception of art includes the theory of imitation and the theory of forms.

What is the philosophy of Aristotle?

Aristotle was a student of Plato, so his views are shaped by Plato's philosophy. But there are differences between their views. Aristotle claimed that true happiness depends on a person, not society. It could be achieved when a person practices virtues. He also believed that wisdom was a virtuous goal that could be achieved with effort and diligence. It was not a virtue that appeared automatically, nor was it a union of other virtues. According to Aristotle, virtues are the basis for true happiness. But he also suggested that it was possible to become happy with the help of other social constructs.

Difference Between Plato and Aristotle Philosophy

nature

Plato's philosophy is more theoretical and abstract in nature, while Aristotle's philosophy is practical and experimental in nature.

Ultimate happiness

Plato saw ultimate happiness as dependent on society, while Aristotle saw ultimate happiness as dependent on the individual.

Ultimate goal

Plato believed that man's ultimate goal was to become one with the universe. But Aristotle believed that man's ultimate goal was to achieve excellence and become a master.

wisdom

Plato believed that wisdom was the most important virtue and the basis of all good and embodied all virtues. But, according to Aristotle, wisdom was a virtuous goal that could be achieved with effort and diligence, and it was not a virtue that appeared automatically, nor was it a union of other virtues.

soul

Plato believed that the soul was the guide to body and mind. He further divided the soul into three: emotion, desire and reason. For him the soul is part of reality. Aristotle believed that the soul was the form of a living being and was inseparable from the body.

diploma

In short, the main difference between Plato and Aristotle's philosophy is that Plato's philosophy is more theoretical and abstract in nature, while Aristotle's philosophy is practical and experimental in nature.

Reference:

1. " Plato ." Wikipedia , Wikimedia Foundation, July 30, 2021.

Image courtesy:

1. " Plato and Aristotle " by Image Editor (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

About the author: Hasa

Hasa holds a BA in English, French and Translation Studies. She is currently reading for a Masters in English. Her areas of interest include literature, language, linguistics and also food.