Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

Three of the most revered philosophers in ancient philosophy are Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Socrates was regarded as the father of philosophical inquiry known and popular for the “Socratic method” which has been the start of the formulation of scientific method. It was a method of looking for answers through continues questioning of what was the problem really is. Plato, on the other hand, is considered by most historians and philosophers alike to be the disciple of Socrates. Aristotle had been the disciple of Plato, though their ideas greatly varied, for Aristotle was the first political philosopher while Plato focus on “perfect states”.

Logic and Argument in Philosophy

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Socrates was believed to be the “inventor of logic and reason”, for it was him who had first devise a method of searching for the truth, although he was also popularized and even executed for being a “corruptor of the youth”. Socrates believes that the same or those with “family resemblances” should have a common name or to be called in a more general world. Plato’s reasoning, takes resemblances as a copy or an imitation of a “perfect concept”. Plato believes that there exist two worlds, the world of ideas and the practical world. The world of ideas is perfect while the world of forms is imperfect and is only imitations of the world of ideas. Ideas came first before forms. Aristotle on the other hand, believes that our world is the reality. Logic, as was used by Aristotle is a device in which we came to know something. In Plato’s ideas, we came to know things through a recollection of the ideas that the soul have experience the world of ideas.  Aristotle was known as the founder of categorical logic, in which he argues that things have common features go together, this as we can see is the same as the notion made by Socrates. Although Plato have made attempts to establish a system that could be of deductive logic or reasoning in his book the “sophist”, nevertheless he did not succeed.

Knowledge and Methods of Acquiring Knowledge

As discuss above, the acquisition of knowledge made by Socrates was through a method now known to be the Socratic Method. In the view of knowledge, Socrates, mentions as can be read in the dialogues of Plato, that “the only thing he was certain is that he new nothing”. This is the only knowledge that he posses. Plato believes that knowledge is the same as perception, however, Socrates do not take this same stand, Socrates insist that there were knowledge that can be gain even without sense-perception, such as the knowledge of the virtues. As what was said above, knowledge for Plato is a result of the “recollection”. Aristotle was known to distinguish knowledge as truth. Unlike Plato who believes that our world is only an imperfect manifestation or copy of the world of ideas, Aristotle believes that there is only one world where ideas are contained in the objects themselves.

Love

Socrates associates love with virtuous, doing morally upright demonstrate the action of love. The greatest love that a man could experience is the love for knowledge, in which philosophy came from. Love for Plato was also inclined to the “love of wisdom” although; Plato specifically concluded that love is a madness that came from the Gods; this is what he calls the heavenly love which he distinguishes apart from the common love or lust. While Socrates and Plato concerns themselves with love as expression towards another people, Aristotle conceptualized love in the notion of self-love wherein the person is pursuing virtues. Although he also recognize the fact that a justifiable self-love comes in the form of love of wisdom or love that would lead to the person’s internal happiness.

Existence

Socrates was skeptic with existence especially when relating existence with knowledge. HE argues that there are things which we cannot perceive but are actually non-existent such as goodness and justice. What we can are manifestations of these, but do we actually see them, or do we interpret them to be such. Plato believes that everything in the world changes, that the world does so in able to become closer to the “Perfect Form”. Aristotle on the other hand tried to prove existence through the four causes of existences and changes, which includes the material cause or the material from which a certain thing is made of, the formal cause or the model from which something was formed, the efficient cause or the maker and the final cause which is the potentiality that the things have.

Conclusion

The philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle served as the foundation of modern philosophy or way of thinking. Their inquiries have been so diverse but merely focus on proving why things came to be? Though some of there thoughts are different from each other, each one can be seen to be related to one another as reactions or disagreements arise and as the formation of new philosophy take place.

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