Similarity and Differences Between Plato and Aristotle on the Role of “Forms” Essay

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Similarity and Differences between Plato and Aristotle on the role of “Forms” Metaphysics helps us to go beyond the bounds of nature as we see it, and to discover the `true nature' of things, their eventual case for existing. There are many ways to approach metaphysics. Two of the earliest known thinkers on the topic are Plato and Aristotle. Although these two thinkers had very different views on the facts of existence, they both believed in the concept of forms and they both described this unit of knowledge differently. How Aristotle saw things lead him to believe in one level of reality. He believed that there was only one inescapable world and that forms existed within distinct things. Aristotle held that form had no separate existence and only existed in matter. Unlike Aristotle, Plato rationalization of his thoughts tended to believe in two levels of reality. Plato believed that metaphysics is dualistic: his thinking behind it was that there are two different kinds of things, physical and mental. There is what appears real and then there is what actually is real. He thought that objects take on forms but they do not embody the form. He also takes the position that of the “two worlds”, one is in constant flux and at the same time one world is eternal and unchanging. The one in constant flux is the physical world that we encounter in sense experience. Because it is constantly changing we cannot have rational knowledge of it. The other world is a non physical world because it is eternal and unchanging; it is not located in space or time. Plato refers to this as the “intelligible world” because only this reality is intelligible to reason. Plato argues that the soul is a universal, pure, one substance, unchanging, immortal. The body is a compound substance, ever changing, and mortal. The body interferes with the soul’s ability to sense reality.

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