Plato and Aristotle


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  • Created on: 10-11-14 20:16


Massive influence/ Order





Alexnder the greate

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Metaphors within the allegory

Metaphors within the allegory

Prisoners- Ordinary people who only believe the world that exists, material world we live in

Puppeteers- control the lives of the prsioners. they manipulate the games and exploit them for their advantage

The Fire- a diminishing (less than) light, to represent that the puppeteers are also using sources less than reality

The Shadows- the games created by the puppeteers to manipulate the lives of the prisoners

The Ascent- journey out into wisdom is not easy, be uncomfortable at time as it is out of your comfort zone but u must be prepared . the rewards and satisfaction can be great

The Sun- the ultimate, most perfect source of wisdom, full enlightenment, the world of forms

the descent- journey back is hard, and one can see so much that needs to be done within the physical temporary world. difficult- their new found wisdom can be dangerous 

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Dualist- Plato belived in two separate worlds

world of forms- a priori, absolute, perfection, beyond space and time, perfect and unchanging

world of appearance- a posteriori, relative, imperfect with space and time, the world we live in, changes

body and soul dualism- body and soul is joined for the duration of life and will separate at death

soul is from the world of forms- its perfect and will possess perfect knowledge (omniscience- all knowing)

it enters the physical body and will forget its perfect knowledge (amnesia) however we learn to reawken what our souls have already knew (anamnesis)

its INNATE- we are born with it, we dont actually learn anything new, we remember

e.g 'the charioteer and two horses'- the body and soul should live in harmony to gain more from life

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simlie of the divided line

to explain Plato's concept of form?

  • simile of the divided line

                           Peter Runs Behind Ian-              Pure thought Reason, Belief, illusion

world of form/priori- knowledge

  • the form of good (sun)                                           Pure thought
  • universal qualities- Beauty, Truth, Justice
  • concepts and ideals                                               Reason

world of apperance/posteriori- opinion (belief what is physical)

  • physical animate (living) objects                             Belief
  • physical inanimate (non-living) objects                     Illusion
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strengths and weaknesses


  • explaination for the existence of other dimension
  • explains how things could innate, instinctive
  • why there is imperfection
  • encourages questioning
  • encourages one to see things in a physical world as absolute
  • encourages how concepts like goodness are relative cannot be defined 
  • explains the relationship between the world of forms and appearances through the simile of the divided line


  • no physical evidence to prove the world of forms
  • dont need ideal forms
  • how many ideal forms does it have to be
  • our senses work, why should they be assumed inferior
  • how does the world of apperances  relate to the world of forms
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Universal theory of causation- everything has a cause and an effect

Mary Eats Fish Fingers-

Material cause- what something is made out of? e.g prime mover

Efficient cause- who, what or how something came into being

Formal cause- features of an object that enables us to fit it in a category (object has the potentiality to be better and only is when it has achieved that potential, reached actuality) the better the object fits, the better the object is

Final cause- the ultimate reason for existence, what is it for? the teleology (end or purpose)

Final cause is when an object has reached it's maximum potential and cannot be developed any further.

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prime mover

Prime Mover

Prime mover caused everything into existence (aquinas agrued this was God)

PROBLEM- infinite regression- has to be something that came from nothing, therefore has to be something outside space and time

The prime mover is the final cause

Aristotle idea of God- immutable, not dependent, pure actuality, perfect, eternal, immaterial

This portrays god as sterile and unable to interact with imperfection


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key words

Eternal- outside space and time

Everlasting- infinity (going on forever) within space and time

Potentiality- when something contains the ingredients to become something else or what can be possibly achieved (e.g i can potentially achieve a A)

Actuality- when an object fulfils its potential and becomes something else or when what is possible to achieve has been achieved (e.g i got my grade A)

Empirical- Truth, reality as determined through the senses (sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste)

Non-empirical- Truth, reality as determined not through the sense but through feelings, thoughts, emotions and beliefs

Physical-things you can determine through empirical evidence

Metaphysical- things you can determine through non-empirical evidence

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Plato and Aristotle

Aristotle was a pupil of Plato

Aristotle was interested in design something was fit for its purpose. if an object fit its purpose it is a good design. in a design he looked for the teleos of that desgin- end or purpose

PLATO- Believed reason comes first when seeking true knowledge- a priori/ idealist

ARISTOTLE- Believed you start with experience to determine knowledge- posteriori/ materialist


A proof- a premise or proposition (ideas) with an agreed concluesion

A agrument- at least two premises/ propositions/ ideas and a concluesion (in concluesive)

If you disagree with someone it is NOT proved

Easier to agree/ prove something that is a posteriori/ empirical/ physical

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