Plato’s and Aristotle’s Worldviews

Angela Antoine 7-03-2011 PHI 103 Intro to Philosophy and Ethics Professor Ted Rueter Plato’s and Aristotle’s Worldviews |Worldview Belief |Metaphysics |Epistemology |Ethics |Anthropology |God | |Plato |Dual realities. The lower |Knowledge is gained only by |If a human possesses a virtuous |Dual parts. The body and soul |The Form of the Good.

If the | | |physical world and the upper |reason and then only as human |character, their conduct will be|are separate |Form of the Good did not exist, | | |world of the Forms. |reason understands the Forms. |morally acceptable. | |nothing else would exist. | |Aristotle |Every being, except God, is a |Reason and sensation are |Moral virtue is stable states of|Both body and soul are essential|Pure actuality. Form without | | |composite of form and matter. integral parts of the knowing |the soul which enable a person |parts of a human being and are |matter. An unchanging being who| | | |process. |to make right decisions about |connected. |is the ultimate cause of | | | | |how to act. | |everything that exists. | Plato Plato opposed hedonism because he did not believe that pleasure was the highest good. He recognized that some pleasures were evil.

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His ethics were that if a human being possessed a virtuous character, their conduct will be morally acceptable. He also opposed Empiricism, maintaining that it is impossible for the human senses to bring knowledge. I do not agree; the senses and reason work together to bring knowledge. Plato’s view of the universe was teleological; he believed that a divine intelligence and purpose is at work in the universe. I agree that there is a divine intelligence at work in the universe. God created the universe and is his spirit is still here. I do not agree with his view that the body and soul are not connected. Aristotle

Aristotle believed that every being, except God, was composed of two parts, form and matter. Matter being what a substance was made of and form being the essential properties that make it the kind of thing it is. His form was an unchanging essence. Unlike Plato, his form was an essential part of whatever substance it composes. Aristotle believed that humans are a holistic unit; the body and soul are essential part of a human being. Matter and form are connected and exist together in a human being. Aristotle believed in a supreme being because certain things about the world could not be explained without the existence of God.

He believed that there had to be an uncaused and unchanging being who is the cause of everything else that exists in the universe. His unchanging God can only bring about change in the world by being a final cause; a desire. Aristotle’s God can have no direct, personal and essential relationship with the people of the world. The God of the Christian faith has a personal relationship with us and is with us at all times. References Nash, R. H. (1999). Life’s ultimate questions: An introduction to philosophy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.



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