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Plato, Aristotle, and Knowledge

The respective philosophies of Plato and Aristotle offer a great deal for contemporary human beings with respect to achieving greater wisdom, insight for living, and happiness in life. This is primarily because a majority of the issues with which the two preoccupy themselves in their philosophies, from justice and law and wisdom and virtue, are concepts that affect our daily lives in contemporary times. This analysis will use a number of concepts and works to reveal the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle and how they help us achieve wisdom, insight for living, and happiness.

One aspect central to the philosophies of both Plato and Aristotle is knowledge. In examining and trying to define this concept, they help us achieve wisdom and insight for living in our own lives. Plato's theories of the Divided Line and the Myth of the Cave in the Republic reveal his philosophy of knowledge. In the latter, those in the cave who view the world only through the senses and passions are trapped in the "realm of the visible" (Plato 101). It is only the intelligible realm that "produces and controls truth and intelligence" that provides true knowledge (Plato 101). Aristotle in On The Soul explains that we know because of "the work of thought and sense" (Book III.6). While they differ in that Aristotle does not believe there are absolute truths beyond human reason and Plato does, both agree that wisdom and insight come from ration or reason and not through the senses or passions alone. This helps us control our own passions in life and make better choices based on reason that, ultimately, provides more happiness than being driven by passions or blind emotion.

In Plato's Apology we see Plato's version of justice and what produces ideal happiness. Ideal happiness stems from using reason to discover absolute truths that are of a higher law than manmade law and then adhering to them regardless of what happens. We ...

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Plato, Aristotle, and Knowledge. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:35, July 04, 2022, from