Knowledge According to Plato and Aristotle
What is knowledge according to Plato and according to Aristotle? Are Plato and Aristotle’s
understanding of knowledge contradictory or complimentary? Why do Plato and Aristotle use different methods to attain knowledge? In answering this question, you should describe thoroughly the dialectical method and the demonstrative method. Finally, in our current formal educational environments, do you think that we have largely abandoned the dialectical and demonstrative methods? Provide at least two substantial reasons for your position.
Plato and Aristotle have complimentary concepts of knowledge as described in their understanding of knowledge and through their ideas of obtaining knowledge using dialectical and demonstrative methods.
According to Plato, knowledge is the essence of the Forms. Knowledge is stable and unchanging which means we cannot know the material things of the physical world. Plato believed the physical world is constantly changing and is not a good standard for a basis of knowledge. Plato believed the Forms exist outside our mind in the metaphysical realm and the particular things are in the physical realm. The Forms being the One, the Whole, such as a Bee being the Form/One; a Yellow jacket, a Honey bee, a Bumble bee, etc. being the parts of the Form. The Forms are mind independent entities that are eternal, immutable, immaterial and intelligible. Plato believed we have knowledge from a previous life and we obtain that knowledge through recollection. In Plato’s Meno, Socrates, states, “As the whole of nature is akin, and the soul has learned everything, nothing prevents a man, after recalling one thing only-a process men call learning-discovering everything else for himself, if he is brave and does not tire of the search, for searching and learning are, as a whole, recollection.” (81, d)
According to Aristotle, the key to knowledge is knowledge of the cause or the why. Aristotle believed we...