Difference Between Plato and Aristotle

Plato vs Aristotle
 

It is most fitting to discuss the difference between Plato and Aristotle in terms of their concepts. Plato and Aristotle were two great thinkers and philosophers that differed in the explanation of their philosophical concepts. It is interesting to note that Plato was the teacher of Aristotle, but still the latter differed from the former. Aristotle put a lot of emphasis on the supremacy of observation and the establishment of reality. Plato, on the other hand, gave more importance to the issue of knowledge. He said that ideas are not only a part of the human consciousness, but they are found outside the human consciousness, as well. Plato’s ideas are subjective. On the other hand, Aristotle’s ideas are not subjective.

Who is Aristotle?

Aristotle is not an idealist in his philosophy. Aristotle did not believe in a universal form. He thought every concept or object should be studied individually to understand them. As a result, he wanted direct observation and experience to prove a concept. Substance is the most crucial of the ten categories according to Aristotle. The primary substance is nothing but the individual thing, according to him.

Aristotle, moreover, tried to develop a universal method of reasoning. He wanted to learn everything about reality. According to Aristotle, any individual substance is distinguished from the other substances in a particular category based on the features or the characteristics that they inherit. This only proves the fact that substances can be different.

According to Aristotle, there are various types of human ends. From all of them, happiness is the ultimate human end that is fit to pursue. He says that there is a specific function for all human beings. He would say that the function of a person is only related to his role in society.

Difference Between Plato and Aristotle

Aristotle believed that knowing good was not enough to be good. He believed that one had to practice good if one is to be good. This is a practical idea that is even accepted today.

Who is Plato?

Plato is a perfect idealist in his philosophy. Plato was idealistic because he believed that every concept had an ideal or a universal form. So, reasoning and thought experiments were enough for Plato to prove a concept. Plato sets out a scheme to describe particular things by identifying them according to their characteristics and properties. Plato did not accept the view of Aristotle about human function.

Plato believed that knowing good was equal to doing good. He said that if a person knows the right thing that will automatically lead him to do the right thing. This is not a very practical idea.

Plato vs Aristotle

What is the difference between Plato and Aristotle?

• Birth:

• Plato is believed to have born in 428/427 or 424/423 BCE.

• Aristotle was born in 384 BC.

• Death:

• Plato is believed to have died in 348/347 BCE .

• Aristotle died in 322 BC.

• Subjectivity:

• Plato’s ideas were subjective.

• Aristotle’s ideas were not subjective.

• Work:

• Plato’s work has survived over the years.

• However, about 80% of Aristotle’s work has gone missing over the years.

• Beliefs:

• Plato was idealistic because he believed that every concept had an ideal or a universal form.

• Aristotle did not believe in a universal form. He thought every concept or object should be studied individually to understand them.

• Proving a Concept:

• Reasoning and thought experiments were enough for Plato to prove a concept.

• Aristotle wanted direct observation and experience to prove a concept.

• Being Good:

• Plato believed that knowing good was equal to doing good. He said that if a person knows the right thing that will automatically lead him to do the right thing.

• Aristotle believed that knowing good was not enough to be good. He believed that one had to practice good if one is to be good.

• Scientific Contribution:

• Plato has not much contributed to science as most of his ideas were only theories and not practical.

• Aristotle has contributed greatly to science. He is known as one true scientist in the past.

These are the main differences between Plato and Aristotle. As you can see, though Aristotle was a student of Plato he has contributed more to the world as most of his ideas were practical.

 

Images Courtesy: 

  1. Aristotle via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Plato by Marie-Lan Nguyen (CC BY 3.0)