Essay on the Difference Between Platonic and Aristotelian Schools

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Harvey Mudd College
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Platonic school

Plato was taught by Socrates, and he proved to be a very faithful and obedient follower of his master and teacher. Plato esteemed knowledge and wisdom that any other thing. He observed that the ultimate goal of life is wisdom. Therefore having intelligence is paramount. Plato in his understanding of the soul he was of the view that the soul was eternal. Before the union of the soul and the body, the soul existed in purity (Philosophy and philosophers). Plato believed in governance that is established on justice. Justice according to Plato is a gift that comes to the soul of an individual, and it is important to practice justice. According to Plato justice should be exercised by individuals for coherence to be there in the society.

Plato believed in the existence of a universal form of concepts. This simply refers to an ideal form. This made Plato propagate idealistic philosophy due to his preference of idealistic form. As far as science is concerned Plato was more concerned about the exploration of concepts. He did not venture so much into the scientific areas of study (Nagla).The perfect forms of objects or things that we perceive or think in our minds are perfect.

Plato holds that character is dual. It is both intellectual and ascetic. He was of the view that happiness was the final climax of life. Life without happiness was not fulfilling. He developed three levels of pleasure which include knowing, ambition and gain. Plato thought that ideas are unchangeable and eternal. The same applies to art which is also immutable and eternal.

Aristotle school

Aristotle was a student of Plato who learned from him. There are various philosophical arguments that the two agree on however there are many points of divergence between the two. Aristotle holds that ideas are merely normal and ordinary things. They develop from the normal senses, therefore, they are not unique (Philosophers). Aristotle cherished science, and in fact, he was considered to be among the first scientists. His contribution to physics mathematics and geometry remains outstanding.

Wisdom according to Aristotle was prudent. However acquiring wisdom was not easy. It required one to have virtue. To attain virtue was not easy at all. This is because virtue was not acquired automatically. It required diligence and commitment (Nagla). Aristotle felt that intellectual concepts are a result of nature and the material things thereof. He believed that there was no attachment of form to the objects.

Aristotle dismissed the idea of replacing the world. He thought that people should be given opportunities to hold different perspectives. This will cause diversity when it comes to various approaches to life. There was the need to compromise on the logical perspective to life. However, there was no need for people only to hold one view to life (Philosophy)It was necessary to introduce other perspectives to life which could bring about diversity.

Picos Oration on the dignity of man and Platonism.

Human beings are highly esteemed under this view. Human beings are seen as the most wonderful than other creatures created. They are considered to be a divine miracle here on earth. The operations of man and all his undertakings are to be celebrated because human beings have no equals among the creatures. They are outstanding no matter what happens. Human nature is unique because it acts as the in-between party (Mirandola). Human being stands between other creatures. They understand nature and the surrounding perfectly well that is why it is easy for them to interpret the same to other creatures.

The Medici family had a lot to contribute to the renaissance period. It was very influential family whereby they took total control of the Florence. They were associated with politics in Florence. They made use of their economic power to marshal political support. During their reign, people were allowed freedom in the area of art and creation of new ideas. Secularism was the order of the day since everyone was free to do what he/she wished was beneficial.

The Medici ensured that there was stability in the city of Florence. This, in turn, promoted cultural growth. Greek teachings were promoted by the Medici in Florence. They were interested in the culture of the Greeks and their history. The intention of doing this was to take the Greek culture to the next level as they promote the renaissance in Florence (Daily history). Platonism played a major role in the expansion of the Greek culture and the renaissance. The continued involvement in Greek culture influence philosophers like Pico Della Mirandola.

Therefore, Mirandola pioneered the idea of human dignity during the renaissance. He argued that God created man last and gave him all the authority and free will to make decisions that best suits him. He was positioned at the center of the creation so that he could make his own choice concerning his purpose and destiny (Mirandola). Picos idea aimed at propagating the highest good for an individual. Where human beings are seen to be above everything as compared to other creation. This view is also supported by Platonism concept where the highest good is always advocated for.


Picos ides or views are essential in trying to understand the emergency of the renaissance period. His contribution to the place where humanity belongs in the universe was crucial. Human beings are to be regarded as superior as compared to other creation. Their role is paramount especially when it comes to overseeing the other creation. They are held in high regard because of their functionality in the entire creation. Being the last to be created tells a lot about the responsibility accorded to man by God (Mirandola) their place, therefore, is at the top. They are to be celebrated at the top as the lead showing direction. Platonism, On the other hand, regarded the issues of the highest good. The greatest good in life is always the highest good. No need to settle for less. Everything regarding human beings should be esteemed highly for the sake of developing once involved. However, the two positions sometimes need to be neutralized by Aristotle.

Medici and Platonism

Platonism greatly impacted on the Medici because the Medici agreed to promote the activities of the Greek culture and philosophy. Many people benefited with the move to support renaissance and the Greek culture. Platonism found support from the Medici because they were in authority and above other people. The economic power of the Medici boosted their functioning and operations. Gathering people to themselves was not tough.

On the other hand, Platonism was of great importance to the Medici. This is seen in the adherence of the Medici to the teachings of Platonism on the issues of the higher good. The Medici enjoyed leading others and remaining at the helm of leadership. Platonic philosophy taught about how one can find himself/herself at the top and maintaining the same position without interference.

Sustaining the position at the helm

Renaissance thrived under the leaderships of the Greek people who lead in their teachings and ideas. Their idea gave rise to a new way of thinking. The Italians were well conversant with the Greek culture than any other culture. The philosophical approaches that the Greeks employed in most of their cases were just profound. One of the Greeks by the name Plato was received well by the Medici who wanted to learn from him (Daily history)His type of philosophical works were received well with medics who felt inspired and encouraged.


The Medici can be seen as people who were out to ensure that the teachings of Plato were preserved and protected. They did everything within their powers to ensure that they protect the philosophical advancement of Plato. Using their powers, they sought to convince civilians to accept Platos teachings and ideas.


Daily history. How did de Medici contribute to the renaissance? 2017

Fieser, James. Renaissance philosophy internet encyclopedia of philosophy: A peer reviewed academic resource. 2017

Mirandola Giovanni. Oration on the dignity of man. Australia: University of Adelaide,2014

Nagla Drashti Plato vs. Aristotle 2016

Philosophy & Philosophers, Plato and Aristotle similarities, and differences. 2017

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