Case Studies Of Plato And Aristotle School of thought Essay

What is delight? Happiness is a way of participating in the various activities of life. Can enjoyment allow people to live the 'good life'? Aristotle assumed that happiness makes it possible for visitors to live the 'good life'. This article will be examining the ethics of Plato (428-347 BCE) and Aristotle (384-322 BCE) to analyse, justify and compare the major principles of both philosophers therein. I'll dispute that Aristotle's solution to the challenge of the 'good life' is a better answer than Plato. It will summarise the fundamental concepts of Plato's and Aristotle's moral ideas, before providing my own opinion on their ethics.


Plato was a philosopher who was simply both a rationalist and an absolutist in ethics. He was a rationalist because he thought that individuals can discover knowledge or justification by reason alone as well as for no circumstances that the data can be incorrect (http://philosophy. tamu. edu/~sdaniel/Notes/plato. html). Plato kept the fact that human reasoning ability is the condition that allows people to approach the Varieties (in Greek, idea). For Plato, humans live in an environment of obvious and intelligible things. The obvious world is exactly what we see, notice and experience. This obvious world is an environment of change and doubt meaning we must look for it only in the realm of your brain and discover any definite certain knowledge. Plato's rationalism dissimulates his absolutism. He was an absolutist, in that he believed that there surely is "one and only one good life for any to lead" since goodness is not dependent upon human being inclinations (Popkin, Stroll, 1999, p. 4). It really is an absolute and exists individually of mankind. Thus this got made him think that "When a person has learned what the good life is, he/she wouldn't normally action immorally" (Viewpoint Made Simple, 1999, p. 3). To be able to live the 'good life' people must be schooled to acquire certain types of knowledge. This training gives them the capacity to know the nature of the 'good life', since evil is due to lack of knowledge. However, Aristotle had a different point of view to Plato's belief of 'what the nice life is' and 'how should people respond'.


Aristotle was a philosopher who was both an empiricist and a relativist in ethics. Aristotle was an empiricist, for the reason that he reviewed the behavior and talk of varied people in everyday routine. He found out that various lives, which folks of common sense regarded as good, all contain one common feature: happiness. Aristotle concluded that the 'good life' for people is a life of happiness. Aristotle defines pleasure as "a task of the heart and soul in accord with perfect virtue" (Beliefs Made Simple, 1999, p. 8). Aristotle considered that pleasure is essential for a person to reside in a happy life. Aristotle runs on the method called the 'Doctrine of the Mean' or the most well-liked name 'Golden Mean' to answer how people should react in order to achieve happiness. Moderation in all things is the 'Doctrine of the Mean'. This leads to the actual fact that Aristotle was a relativist, in that he believed that there is more than one good life for folks. He stated that we will need to have virtues of moderation which are different for each person. The virtues are the 'virtues of moderation' as this was how Aristotle identified it as. By meaning, virtue is "a means between two extremes, a surplus and a defect, with respect to a particular action or feeling" (The Purple Philosophy Reserve: Ethics, p. 21). This shows that the 'mean' is not the mathematical meaning, 'average'. Knowing what the 'Golden Mean' is, allows an individual to develop self-control. People must shoot for the mean between two extremes: courage is the mean between rashness and cowardice. Also people must work moderately to be able to achieve delight. (http://www. plosin. com/work/AristotleMean. html)


I would now like to share my view and perspective about how I understand the theories of Plato and Aristotle. In my own view, the better way to the condition of the 'good life' is Aristotle's relativism, somewhat than Hobbes's absolutism. First of all, Plato's debate about the 'good life' is flawed for several reasons. The first reason I am going to analyse is whether his inference "In case a person is aware of what the nice life is, he/she wouldn't normally act immorally" (Beliefs Made Simple, 1999, p. 3) is justified. I believe that Plato's bank account must be turned down because a person could still work evilly even though they know and understand what the right course of action is. For instance, if the person has learned stealing is wrong but stills commit the crime, then this casts Plato's argument in question. Aristotle's take on the human dynamics, on contrary, is that what's right for one person is not necessarily right for another, since he assumed that there was more than one 'good life' for folks (http://www. ccs. neu. edu/home/rar/PvA. htm). A good example for this is a person can be more or less courageous than others. When interpreting the ideas of both philosophers, it is clear if you ask me that Aristotle's view of individual nature is a lot more more advanced than Plato. This is because Aristotle showed a far more realistic view of individuals nature than Plato about the 'good life'. Therefore, it is visible that Aristotle's way to the challenge of the 'good life' is an improved answer than Plato.

Secondly, Plato suggests that moral difficulties in many cases are theoretically solvable by the acquisition of further knowledge. There appears to be situations in which moral difficulties are not theoretically solvable by the acquisition of further knowledge. For instance, a person recognizes all the relevant facts that inventing a nuclear bomb will be able to wipe out 1, 000, 000 people which will then end and shorten the conflict by years. Alternatively, if the individual knows the consequences of falling a nuclear bomb, it'll then make the area uninhabitable for numerous years. The problem seems analogous to many problems which soldiers face. Should we or should not drop the nuclear bomb? In this situation, the acquisition of more info will never be able to help the person to solve this moral difficulty. In this accounts, Plato's theory can't be accepted, since he has mistaken moral knowledge with technological and mathematical knowledge. Therefore, it is noticeable that Plato's argument about the 'good life' and 'moral issues are like mathematical problems' are flawed for several reasons.

I believe Aristotle's debate about the 'Golden Mean' is flawed for several reasons. For the first reason I am going to analyse whether his inference "that everyone always ought to follow the center course between certain sorts of activities" (Viewpoint Made Simple, 1999, p. 11) is justified. There are a few situations that don't have a middle course. (http://www. plosin. com/work/AristotleMean. html) For instance, there is no midsection for keeping a assurance and breaking a assurance. Furthermore, moderation is not necessarily appropriate, since some situations require extreme behavior. Some individuals have ardent and flamboyant personalities. For instance, a person could find that 'moderation' behaviour does not suit him/her as the person may be temporarily passionate about his/her job. Therefore, it is evident that Aristotle's 'Golden Mean' is flawed in cases like this.

In bottom line, Aristotle's debate about the 'good life' demonstrates that the 'good life' is a life of delight. Plato's however, does not; as he believed that individuals needs certain kinds of knowledge of the 'good life' to be able to reside in the 'good life'. From the reasons above, Aristotle's solution to the problem of the 'good life' is an improved answer than Plato. On the other hand, Aristotle's 'Golden Mean' would not work. However Plato's absolutism will continue to work in the situation in keeping a promises and breaking a assurance. From the reason why explained above Plato's absolutism will be an improved answer than Aristotle's relativism.

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