"Taking it to extremes, we could say that Plato was so engrossed in his eternal
forms or "ideas" that he took very little notice of changes in nature.
Aristotle, on the other hand, was preoccupied with these changes ...or natural
processes. To exaggerate even more...Plato turned his back on the sensory world
and shut his eyes to everything we see around us...Aristotle did the opposite:
he got down on all fours and studied frogs and fish, anemones and poppies"
- Plato put eternal forms above and beyond the senses (the reality that we sense isn't the True reality, only the eternal forms are True). When we see a chair, it's just a reflection of the ideal or eternal form of a chair (like in the Matrix where the computers tried to estimate what steak or chicken taste like even though they're just sensory inputs to our brains). These eternal forms resided in our soul; therefore, we are born w/ innate ideas.
This chair wouldn't last forever like the eternal form of a chair, and there are multiple interpretations of this chair throughout history - you can see them in a museum or even at IKEA.
- Aristotle feels that you need to use both your reason and senses to interpret reality. He also disagreed with Plato in that this world we inhabit is the real world. According to Ari, we have to use our senses to figure out this world - our natural world - and that nothing exists in our minds that hasn't already existed previously in nature. In essence, we are born as blank slates and that our senses and reason help make us who we are.
Unlike Aristotle, Plato feels that nothing can exist in the natural world that doesn't already in the Eternal Idea/Form world (our soul). In some ways, Plato believes more in the nature side of the argument (who we are is hardwired into our brains and determines more of our personality than our surroundings) of nature vs. nurture, where as Ari sided with the environment nurturing human development as we grow up.
So, which Greek philosopher do you think makes more sense to you? I realize that some of Plato's ideas might seem esoteric, but contemplate the whole of his system.
Blog response is due by Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2nd hour. Minimum 200 words.