• Plato’s greatest pupil, never found Socrates
  • His beliefs contrasted Plato & Socrates
  • Plato & Socrates tries to deduce things using his mind, what is love? As if trying to explain something very abstract, the form of love
  • Aristotle uses raw data, would interview people, use information, say this is love, first great research scientist that we know of, practically observe
  • School of Athens, by Raphael, their gestures are no accident, Plato: let us look for the beyond, what’s above us, Aristotle: stay on the ground, see what’s before us


  • The school that Aristotle set up, another gymnasium apart from Plato
  • He devoted his life and the life of his followers, in classifying everything in the known world, as much as he was able
  • He looks to tell you how you ought to behave in life, modern scientists, educational institutions follow Aristotle
  • He can tell you what life is, Plato tells you what life means
  • What is love? Plato: what is this feeling that I experience, bringing me to a different realm, anything in life that seems to transcend your existence, Plato is the philosopher, artists, poets, respond to something higher than mere existence
  • Classifying mammals from birds: Aristotelian


  • Study of the purpose, what is the purpose of something? All the great human questions, can they be answered by investigating into purpose
  • Aristotle’s four ways of defining something:
  • What is its form?
  • What is it made of?
  • Who or what caused it?
  • What purpose does it serve? (telos: purpose)
  • Happiness is for pleasure, shy away from sin, fulfillment of your function: everyone by nature seeks after happiness, what is our nature for human to do?
  • Human beings have desire to talk and interact with one another, use speech to talk with one another, discuss, deprive their ability to discuss and talk about things, this will make them unhappy
  • Not what should I do but what should I be
  • Someone who lives a life of sports, no say in how the team should be organized, will be miserable and unhappy
  • Where in the world are human beings allowed to come together and create a world that they want without tyrant or king above the law to stop you, the answer is in the polis, the polis is the place for the human being to fulfill their purpose
  • Man are political animals, they belong in a polis, nature intended them to be there
  • Humans don’t like the idea of dictating human purpose, don’t like being told how they should behave and conform
  • Most people never spend a moment thinking about their true purpose
  • Don’t ask what should I do

Virtue Ethics

  • What is morally right is defined by human nature, by our human purpose
  • Aristotle says what we should be and do exists within us, we need to cultivate, Plato says we need to look beyond us, aspire to know what to do with our lives
  • What is our purpose?
  • Happiness, pleasure
  • Interaction with other humans
  • Not what should I do?
  • But what should I be?
  • Two types of people? One that looks beyond our own existence, ecstasy, out of body experience, and one that keeps their feet on the ground
  • Nothing morally right except what nature wants you to do
  • Makes some people very nervous, how are they to behave?
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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