Plato is recognized as the most intriguing writers in the history of Western literature because of his capacity to reach a wide range of audience thus making him an influential author in the subject of philosophy. Aristotle on the other hand is regarded as the greatest philosopher of all time following his philosophical influence that shaped years of philosophy and still continue to be studied presently. This paper provides insight on the similarities and differences of the philosophies by the two great figures whose ideas dominated and continue to dominate the western world.
Plato’s works are more literary in style utilizing a revolutionary prose of dialogues, metaphors and other literary devices that allowed his ideas to flow in a conversational manner that demonstrated different perspectives. Aristotle on the other hand wrote more straight forward works that present scholars describe as dull and more technical compared to the works of Plato. Aristotle’s surviving works are few in number not in the form of books or article but rather as detailed lecture notes that he used to teach his philosophy students at the Lyceum.
On the aspect of political philosophy, Plato tends to be metaphysically extravagant by imagining the ideal way of structuring and governing the society which is inventive and elaborative in nature but in reality it is a political proposal that human beings will never get to experience. Plato is therefore described as an intellect whose ideas are a product of a mind that combines the ideas of a dim-wit and a mastermind. Aristotle’s philosophy is characterized by common sense and realism as he describes the world how it is rather that speculate on how it should be. His political philosophy involves a description of political science whereby his arguments are for certain political schemes or suggest an improvement of existing political systems. He is therefore described as a steady and competent intellect who avoids engaging his mind in a fantasy.
Plato’s philosophy is focused on normative matters of politics and ethics from a speculative perspective as opposed to Aristotle whose works in political philosophy and ethics are still applicable in science today. The difference in their philosophies is traced to their perspective of the world. Plato renders the physical world less important since it is characterized by imperfect versions of what we fantasize than the realm of abstractions and ideas that exist in our minds. His arguments are dismissive of science. Aristotle on the other hand valued empiricism as a vehicle to gaining knowledge about the world hence making him both a scientist and a philosopher.
Despite the differences in writing style and substance, both Aristotle and Plato are similar in that their literary works are still being read presently and act as a source of inspiration and challenge to philosophers and scholars around the globe. The two were individually allied given that Aristotle was an apprentice of Plato and the two did a lot of philosophical works in Athens citing the famous schools they founded there (Aristotle’s Lyceum and Plato’s Academy). Both philosophers share the belief that there is an explanation and an ultimate explanation to everything but do not account for the possibility of chance happenings. Their arguments are also characterized by doubts which make them vulnerable to criticism.
It is clear that the differences between the two philosophers outweigh their similarities but what stand out are the questions that arise from their proposed arguments. Plato faces criticism based on his views that require intense devotion in order to learn and the fact that he viewed the larger public as ignorant not capable of learning and accepting the truth of reality beyond what we know. Aristotle triggers doubt following his belief that everything has a purpose. After all, the two remain great influential philosophers in history.