Kant vs Aristotle Essay

1324 Words Apr 11th, 2007 6 Pages
The Platonic Rationalist and Aristotelian Empirical Way of Thinking
Philosophical Inquiry
Section ON22
Erich Grunder
Jim Cook

During the 17th and 18th century two philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, arose carving for themselves a trench in the philosophical world. We can see the biggest distinction between the two in their theories of how we know things exist. The traditions of Plato and Aristotle have been dubbed rationalism and empiricism respectively. Under these traditions many well known philosophers have formed their own theories of God, existence and the material world. Through these individual theories I will show how each fits into the category of either Rationalist or Imperialist. The Plutonian philosophers to be
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Each object was a substance composed of both matter and form (Rogers & Baird, 1981, p. 4). Aristotle compiled facts inductively as apposed to Plato's deductive reasoning. His method was to observe and draw generalizations on the basis of patterns perceived in many particulars. This method of problem solving has since become known as empiricism. "According to which general concepts are arrived by ascending inductively from sensory particulars (Lamprecht, 1955, p. 44-45)." Simply stated knowing is based on experience.
Though rationalism was started in the 17th century by Plato, it was further developed by three great thinkers. The three philosophers are: Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz. Descartes' most important contribution was his method. He decided to doubt everything he had ever been taught until he came to some clear and evident idea that could not be doubted. He finally came to the conclusion that he was unable to doubt the fact that he was at that moment doubting. And if one was able to doubt then they were able to think, and if he was thinking then he existed. His first principal was "I think, there fore I am (Rogers & Baird, 1981, p. 69)." Descartes started with this basic idea of his existence, and through his mathematical methods, he deduced that everything, including God and the world, existed.

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