Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Plato or Aristotle?

"It has been remarked that everyone is born either a Platonist or an Aristotelian. Plato and Aristotle, this is, represent two different attitudes toward the world. Plato was a perfectionist whose inclination, even in discussing the problems of practical politics, was always towards a utopian solution that was impractical precisely because the perfect is never realized in this world. Where Plato was otherwisely and idealistic, Aristotle was practical and empirical.
Plato's bias towards mathematics was symptomatic of his general point of view... ... For Aristitle, in contrast, biology was the leading and, as it were, model science. Just as it is natural in discussing Plato's views to draw example from the field of mathematics, so it is natral in any discussion of Aristotle's views to take examples from biology. In mathematics we are dealing with perfect but lifeless entities; in biology, with imperfect but living ones." W.T. Jones

Are you a Platonist or an Aristotelian?

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