It is worth noting that the two great philosophers Plato and Aristotle had polar views on the essence and the philosophy in general. Aristotle, unlike his teacher Plato, was interested not so much in the inner essence of the being, the fundamental principle of the world as such, but in the relationship of different things and concepts with each other (Cleary, 2013). Plato’s philosophy was focused on the world of ideas and ideals. This regulatory philosophy can be viewed as the antithesis in relation to the materialist philosophy of Aristotle, which was focused on the real world and reality. Thus, it can be argued that Aristotle systematized and brought to substantiality the teachings of Plato.
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The difference in Thought of the Two Philosophers
The critical mind of Aristotle dealt mainly with the empirical study of the world of phenomena. He studied the facts revealed by nature and followed the path of induction from the particular to the general and set the knowledge of the truth acquired by science as the core of the philosophy. Plato considered the concept (idea) entities separate from the events; whereas Aristotle saw the idea as a form through which the sensual objects of the reality are transformed from the essence (Cleary, 2013). In addition, the views of the two philosophers vary a lot with respect to the state and politics. Aristotle believed that the state administration should be based on laws while Plato considered management decisions based on cybernetics to be the most optimal.
Influence on Modernity
Despite the fact that the legacy of the two philosophers has a rich background, it is crucial to note that their influence was extensive in all the areas of spiritual and scientific life for many years. Moreover, their findings are relevant to contemporary perceptions. When comparing the most modern idealistic system with the teachings of the two philosophers, it can be summarized that neither classical idealism nor its successors have put forward fundamentally new problems (Cleary, 2013).
Plato expressed his ideas about a highly stratified society. He taught that such peculiarities as the equality of opportunities, the complete elimination of private property, and the concentration on the general well-being should be characteristic of the ruling class. Aristotle also considered the question of social inequality; he argued that the harmonious society should be formed from the middle class as it is easier to manage (Barker, 2012).
However, Aristotle’s views on the property were developed in direct dispute with Plato’s. Aristotle argued that Plato advocated for public ownership. Nevertheless, Plato assumed that private ownership would destroy the unity of the ruling elite and its loyalty to the state while Aristotle believed that private property would harm moral perfection (Barker, 2012). This confrontation between the two polarities is relevant; in particular, it has formed the basis for the contemporary discussion of problems of inequality and social justice.
Aristotle perceived critically the theories of Plato and expressed his thoughts about the empirical substance the most clearly. He believed that if the ideas have been separated from the things of the material world, as asserted by Plato, they might not be the basis for an understanding of the real world and, thus, will not allow talking about the reasons for their existence. Aristotle reasoned in his teachings that spirituality is a substance that has inherently connected the vectors of the world and human beings, so one could argue that he set himself the task to interpret and understand the spiritual component of the world and human existence from the philosophical point of view.
Barker, E. (2012). The political thought of Plato and Aristotle. Chelmsford, MA: Courier Corporation.
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Cleary, J. (2013). Studies on Plato, Aristotle and Proclus. Leiden, Netherlands: BRILL.