Plato and Aristotle: Divergent Theories on Knowledge Essay

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Although Plato and Aristotle lived during the same time period, both philosophers developed two divergent theories of knowledge. In order to define knowledge, Plato utilizes his dialogue Theaetetus, specifically a conversation had between Socrates and Theaetetus about knowledge, the divided line diagram, and the Allegory of the Cave. In the dialogue Theaetetus, Plato introduces the three definitions of knowledge as proposed by Theaetetus. He, Theaetetus, states at the prodding of Socrates that knowledge is perception [Aistheta ] or as expressed by Protagoras that “ man is the measure of all things”. Socrates rejects the first proposal stating that if man is the true measure of all things and his perception is infallible; thus making man …show more content…
“Beneath Eikasia is purely animalistic. Above Episteme is purely divine.” Along with the Divided line, Plato also uses the Allegory of the Cave to convey his theory of knowledge as well as man’s struggle to attain enlightenment. Man begins life chained in the depth of cave, and is forced to gaze at the shadows on the wall. These shadows are created by the passing of figures in front of a fire; man, is incapable of seeing any of this because of his chains. Should the imprisoned man escape, he will be able to see the cause of the shadows and ascend to the surface, where he may discover that it is the sun that is responsible for "source of the seasons and the years, and is the steward of all things in the visible place, and is in a certain way the cause of all those things he and his companions had been seeing." The freed man would then remember his companions and would descend back into the cave so as to enlighten them . However, the remaining prisoners will reject his claims and may go so far as to label him insane; the prisoners

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