Plato Vs Aristotle Theory Of Knowledge Compare and Contrast

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The theory of cognition ( Epistemology ) is the philosophical survey of the nature. range and restriction of what constitutes cognition.

its acquisition and analysis. The cardinal issue that remains unresolved in epistemology is the definition of cognition. Philosophers are divided on this issue with some analysing it as justified true beliefs while others differ and say that justified true belief does non represent cognition. The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast Plato and Aristotles theories of cognition.

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Platos theory of cognition

Before Plato. there were some other philosophers that had made some comments about the theory of cognition particularly Socrates. However. Plato has been credited with the beginning of the theory of cognition as it was found in his conversations.

His theory of cognition closely intertwined with his theory of signifiers ( thoughts ) . envisaged that there were two indispensable features of cognition.

Knowledge must be certain and infallible.

Knowledge must hold as its object that which is truly existent as contrasted with that which is an visual aspect merely.

that which is to the full existent must be fixed. lasting and unchanging- in the kingdom of being as opposed to that which is in the kingdom of going ( physical )Consequently. he wholly rejects imperialism on the history that cognition does non originate from centripetal experience. In his arguably best publication.

Thaeatetus. Plato explores the inquiry. what is Knowledge much more ardently than in any of his other plants. In this duologue affecting Socrates and the immature adult male named after the text.

the duologue turns aporetic because it ends at an deadlock. What the duologue inferred in the beginning is that cognition is perceptual experience. This is obviously non true because it would be impossible to impute cognition to perceptual experience without a semantic construction and hence it would be impossible to province it.Perception merely describes one quality of a given type of cognition that is available merely to the vision.

Based on the three-party theory of cognition. which analyses cognition as a justified true belief. Thaeatetus believes that cognition structured semantically from centripetal feelings. is possible.

Plato rejects this impression reasoning that there is no manner to explicate how esthesiss concatenated. is organizable into a semantics construction. In response to the definition of cognition as true judgement with an history. he uses the Dream Theory to explicate how semantic constructions can originate from perceptual experiences.

merely as the head creates logical concepts. which have significance in a dream ( Chappell. 2005 ) .Because this position fails to give an history of how the logical building takes topographic point in the first topographic point.

Socrates objects. In kernel. the failure to distinguish between what is cognition and from true belief about cognition merely adds to place a diagnostic quality of cognition. Because there is s job of how to place cognition.

so it besides follows that there will be a job in how to place the diagnostic quality of cognition. This arrested development makes Thaeatetus conclude that we can non specify cognition. A really interesting point emerges in Platos comments at the terminal of the duologue. conveying into focal point the construct of apprehension and the function of wisdom in enabling us to even get down sing that possibly we merely begin holding true belief and about what cognition is when we really understand anything ( Chappell.

2005 ) .

The fable of the cave

In the fable of the cave. Plato compares people untrained in the Theory of Forms to captives in a cave. chained to the wall with no possibility of turning their caputs.

With fire combustion behind them. they can merely see the wall of the cave and the shadows of the marionettes placed between them and the fire ( Platos Cave. n. vitamin D ) .

The captives are unable to penetrate that the shadows they see and the reverberations they hear are a contemplation of existent objects. behind them. The Allegory of the cave summarizes most of Platos positions and philosophical ideas. His cardinal dogma.

the belief that the universe available to our senses is merely a contemplation ( a hapless imitation ) of the existent universe. of which the existent 1 can merely be intellectually grasped. is synonymous to his theory of signifiers. which exalted the universe of thoughts ( signifier ) above the universe of senses ( affair ) .

It is hence easy to misidentify visual aspect for world. based on what the captives in the cave experience they easy refer to the shadows utilizing the names of the existent objects that the shadows reflect. In this manner. Plato tries to demo that our cognition is merely a contemplation of the existent thoughts in our heads.

He maintained that what is seen on the Earth is an imitation of the existent thing. The captives. by looking at the shadows may larn what a book is but this does non enable them to claim that it refers to an object. which they have seen.

Likewise. we need the physical objects in order to enable us get constructs. However. it would be a error to conceive of the constructs same as the things we see ( Platos Cave.

n. vitamin D ) .Plato concludes that work forces Begin to understand world by being out in the full blaze of the Sun ( out of the cave ) . He gives an illustration of a more true world of the route and the images of people go throughing along it.

These he explains are perceptual experiences that present the instantly evident world of shadows upon the wall and the conceptual acknowledgment that the images being carried are non every bit existent as the diversely motivated people transporting them.


Aristotle theory of cognition was based on his strong belief in Logic. He developed the rules of concluding. He argued that the possibility of mistake forces the head to find the truth cogency of a given statement.

This meant the mind must hold equal grounds. which can guarantee the proposed judgement conforms to world. He believed that such grounds. were the foundation of perfect cognition.

perfect cognition being knowledge through causes.Aristotle devised a method of taking the head to rectify concluding ( syllogism ) which is a construction of two statements ( premises ) which follow from each other and a decision needfully drawn from the two above. He developed the first rule of concluding which was the rule of no-contradiction where he stated that something could non be and be at the same clip in the same mode ( Adventures in Philosophy. n.

vitamin D ) .Aristotle differed with Plato in his theory of Knowledge. He believed that experience showed that single substances exist and a predicated of the substance and that an person is non produced by some thought or theoretical account. as opposed to what Plato thought.

but by fellow persons of the same species.His theory of cognition was based on empirical grounds as opposed to Plato who was an dreamer. Aristotle believed that first there had to be an person who through source or seed was able to reproduce another one hence. the seed in the person would be in authority signifier because of its capacity to go an single in future.

To do this possible affair ( substrate ) where this seed with authority could develop under the right conditions was needed. It was supposed to stay unchangeable but execute its map. Aristotle believed that lone persons could be referred to as existences in the full sense of the word. Every person was a compound of affair and signifier.

Matter was the undetermined component. which was unchanging. and Form ( authority ) was the force and power defining and developing the person. This he called active authority.

Every signifier. because it possessed some existent finding of affair. was besides called act. Therefore the Human being development analysis was designated as consisting affair ( substrate ) .

signifier ( finding component ) . authority ( both active and inactive ) . and act.By giving an illustration of an creative person.

Aristotle explains how thoughts in the head of an creative person go a work of art in the physical world- his classical illustration. the piece of marble. which becomes a sculpture through the work of the creative person. The marble though it has form and signifier ( in inactive authority ) .

loses it to go a sculpture which was merely an thought in the head of the creative person. Aristotle therefore identifies the four of import causes. the efficient cause- the work of creative person. The material cause- the organic affair ( marble ) .

the formal cause when the two meet and the concluding cause which is the finished product-perfection.From the combination of the above four. he summarizes the thought of Form in the development of the person. Making organize the … propelling.

forming and concluding rule of going.The person therefore has both affair and signifier. even though God. the immoveable mover was merely signifier.

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