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Plato and Aristotle

  • Date Submitted: 05/08/2010 03:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.1 
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Plato & Aristotle were Greek philosophers. Plato was born in 428 BC and died in 348 BC. Aristotle was a student of Plato who was born in 384 BC and died in 322 BC. These two philosophers are important to history because of their writings on many topics, their influence on the thinking and culture of their day, and their influence on other thinkers and philosophers throughout history.

Plato wrote about many topics, including philosophy, logic, rhetoric, and mathematics. Aristotle expanded on Plato’s teachings in these areas, and also wrote about many other subjects, including physics, poetry, music, government, and biology. For example, Aristotle’s writings on physics include his thoughts about the five elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Aether). But both are best known as philosophers, with Plato building on the philosophy of his teacher Socrates, and Aristotle building on the teachings of both Socrates and Plato

While Plato’s teachings focused mostly on the mystical questions about the nature and meaning of life and the universe, Aristotle focused on the attempt to answer such questions by use the of deductive logic and reason. Thus both had great influence on the thinking of their day. They also greatly influenced Greek culture by their emphasis on the importance of morals in a person’s life and in society. Also, Aristotle was the mentor of Alexander the Great, just as Plato was Aristotle's mentor. He influenced Alexander to become more interesting in studying, which carried over into Alexander’s empire.

The influence of Plato and Aristotle has carried throughout the history of Western civilization. Much of Christian theology was shaped by their use of logic. Their methods were also used by philosophers and in the Middle Ages and by scientists in the Renaissance and by theologians in the Reformation. Aristotle’s approach to science was followed all the way up until it was replaced by Newton’s more complete and accurate teachings on physics.

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