Plato (428-347 BC), his teacher Socrates, Plato’s teacher Aristotle (384-322 BC), their Sophist opposition, and other key Greeks helped lay the foundation of most western knowledge.

Plato was an idealist, Aristotle a Realist, but both were polymaths and lecturers whose books lay the foundation of physics, philosophy, social science, and more.

Meanwhile they both argued more for philosophy (a love of wisdom) over sophistry (teaching for money and thinking one “already knows”).


Factoids tagged with "Plato. Aristotle. and Other Greek Philosophers"

The Greeks Founded the Basis of Utilitarianism and Consequentialism Fact

Although we can consider Jeremy Bentham the founder of modern Utilitarianism, and his successor John Stuart Mill the one who popularized it, early Greek philosophers like Aristotle, Aristippus and Epicurus presented the original Utilitarian / Consequentialist / Greatest Happiness theories.

Athens had a Democracy Fact

Classical Athens had a type of Direct Democracy that included direct voting on laws and election by lottery, but participation was limited to adult male citizens who owned land.

Politics Can be a Science Fact

Politics can be treated as a science (political science), but it must always seek data that can be confirmed by our senses (empirical evidence).

Nature Abhors a Vacuum Fact

Aristotle once postulated “horror vacui” (Nature Abhors a Vacuum). It turns out nature really can’t stand a perfect vacuum.

There are Different Types of Good and Evil Fact

There are different types of good and evil. The way to understand the types of good and evil differs by culture and text, but we can find general similarities by looking at major works and belief systems.

Physics is Different than Metaphysics Fact

Physics is a branch of physical science rooted in math that asks “how does it work?” Metaphysics is a broad branch of philosophy that asks, “What is its true nature?”

Blog Posts tagged with "Plato. Aristotle. and Other Greek Philosophers"

Plato’s Five Regimes

Plato discusses five regimes (five forms of government) in his Republic, Book VIII. They are Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny.

What is a Polity?

Classically speaking, the term Polity means “a state” (a group of people under a single social contract), but it also implies an “ideal state” (a kallipolis).

What is Reason?

Reason is the application of “pure logic”, empirical evidence, experiment, and skepticism to find truths, facts, and theories (AKA “critical thinking”).

Where Does the State of Nature Argument Come From?

We often attribute the origin of the state of nature argument to Hobbes, but it can be traced to thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, and the Sophists in the 300’s BC, and is then mused on by other early philosophers.

The Attributes of Government

Different types of government can be said to be based on a number of attributes like power source, power structure, and economic system.

Vices and Virtues Explained

We present a list of vices and virtues and look at vices and virtues as understood by philosophers like Aristotle and Aquinas.

Types of Governments

We explain the basic classical forms of government and the many types of governments that can be derived from the classical forms.

Essentialism vs. Existentialism

Essentialism is the idea that everything has an essence (something that “makes it, it”). Existentialism says there is no essence (no intrinsic meaning that can be confirmed by the senses or reason).

Plato Vs. Aristotle (Politics)

Plato can be understood as the father of rationalism and political philosophy (political idealism), and Aristotle, his student, the father of empiricism and political science (political realism).

Wealth and Income Inequality

We explain economic inequality from a historical perspective, and then consider the effects of wealth inequality and income inequality in America today.

The Point of Life is Happiness

We present a discussion on “the meaning of life as happiness” according to the past philosophers from Aristotle and Epicurus to John Stewart Mill and Immanuel Kant.

Arete Explained

Areté roughly means “moral virtue”. It refers to an innate “excellence” or “essence” in all things, and the striving toward that potential or purpose.

Book Reviews tagged with "Plato. Aristotle. and Other Greek Philosophers"

Plato’s Republic Explained

Plato’s Republic attempts to define “justice”, show why we should be just, and relate this to an ideal form of government which best fosters justice in the State and Soul.