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HUM 233 – 07:30 MWF ASSIGNMENT 2
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ARISTOTLE Aristotle, the Athenian student of Plato, was born in 384 B.C. He was a naturalist who provided the philosophical basis of science that was dominant for 18 centuries. His father was a physician at Macedonia who died when Aristotle was just a boy. Then, the philosopher moved to Athens where he became a pupil of Plato. He returned to Macedonia and became the adviser of Alexander, the son of Philip. That Alexander the Great as people know him today. In his later life, Aristotle founded a famous school named The Lyceum. It contributed much to the development of Western science and philosophy. As a teacher, he became influential in the fields of logic, ethics and anatomy. According to Aristotle, if you do something bad you feel unhappy. Such unhappiness is a product of an act that is not guided by reason, but by emotion. In order to be happy, the philosopher said, one must act according to reason. For Aristotle, in order to live a life, one should practice and live what is good. A moderate act that is not “too much and too little,” or the balance between two extremes, is the focal point of Aristotle’s tenet in excessive or insufficient is unreasonable, and hence does not give any happiness. To be happy, Aristotle said, man must live in virtue.
PLATO Like Socrates, his teacher, not much is known about Plato. He was probably born in Athens to an aristocratic family in 428 B.C. He traveled widely and around 367 B.C., he founded his academy in Athens. The Republic is described as Plato’s celebrated political utopia. His Dialogues includes Symposium, Gorgias, Phaedo, and Apology. Commentators say that Western political philosophies are nothing but a footnote to Plato.
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Balsicas and Molano and Balsicas (1999) describe the philosophy of Plato as follows: The perfect man, according to Plato, does not exist in this world because what we see in this world is just an imperfect copy of man’s original self in the realm of ideas. The individual thing that we perceive in this world is not real, since they exist in space and time; they change; and they pass in our existence. The real thing exists in the world of ideas, which alone is universal and immutable. Man is not only perfect but also omniscient or all-knowing. He knows all things by direct intuition. He only loses all these characteristics when his soul assumes a bodily form on Earth. Now, in order to reach and attain his former self, he should live a life of virtue. Only a life of virtue will enable man to discipline his happiness, therefore, is the result of virtue, which in turn, is wisdom or true knowledge.
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