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Plato And Aristotle What Is Right Essay

Plato And Aristotle: What Is Right? Essay, Research Paper Who Knows What is Right? Everyday humans are flooded with emotions, desires and thoughts, which are often in conflict. In order to understand and realize their roles in our lives we turn to the works of philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, who pay particular attention to human flourishing.

Plato And Aristotle: What Is Right? Essay, Research Paper

Who Knows What is Right?

Everyday humans are flooded with emotions, desires and thoughts, which are often in conflict. In order to understand and realize their roles in our lives we turn to the works of philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, who pay particular attention to human flourishing. Through their works and discussions we are led towards a path that will help us examine our human nature and all its aspects and capabilities. One discussion that has interested humans for some time is the role of emotions in our lives; what can we learn from them? When should we express them? How should we react to them? It is these questions that have led us to Plato and Aristotle who have both reflected on the role of emotions and even come to some conclusions on their importance and roles.

In “The Republic” Plato recognized that emotion and desire are both aspects of the soul, which are in conflict with the most important aspect of the soul, reason. When our emotions interfere with our ability to reason, it can not be expected for us to flourish. In order for humans to flourish we must understand the role emotions should play and their impact on us. If our emotions become to strong and we display them to greatly we will only hinder what is important and will not be able to have justice within our souls. However, he feels strongly that without proper understanding of our emotions, no matter what our natures are we will not flourish. (P 54). Strong showing of emotion is at no time appropriate and we should instead be turned off by such displays.

Our emotions constrain us and will not allow us to flourish if we do not correctly train them through education, whose goal should be to teach us what, should be pleasurable and what should be painful. Plato does believe that certain emotions are important to life and should be permitted as long as we understand which emotions are permitted and desirable. However, if these emotions are expressed strongly, we will only be distracting ourselves from attaining reason and flourishing, by giving too much attention to our desires.

Aristotle gives emotion a more important role than Plato does; he emphasizes that if emotions are experienced at the right time in the right way they are beneficial to human flourishing. In Aristotle’s mind if the context of the emotion is appropriate, then the emotion itself can be construed as being helpful to attaining moral virtue. If we feel pleasure doing the right thing, express it as appropriate to that, then emotion is a good thing, and will help us flourish.

Aristotle also believes that the soul has two aspects, rational and irrational. Under the rational aspect lies contemplative and practical reason; under the irrational aspects lie the vegetative element, desires, and emotions. He believes though, that in the perfect circumstance emotion and desire can be rational, thus allowing individuals the ability to express strong emotions. It is important for the individual to use practical reasoning to attain and categorize emotion as rational.

While Plato’s view supports emotion less then Aristotle’s, both philosophers seem to realize that if emotion in felt correctly it can in the attainment of human flourishing. Both men seem to draw deeply in the idea that early education can help us “feel” the right moral way; good when we do right, bad when we do wrong. These rights and wrongs are dependent on Plato and Aristotle’s view of the soul’s perfect state, so in accepting the social ideals of what is inherently good we must accept the philosophers’ ideas of what the soul reflects.

I tend to lean toward the view of Aristotle more than Plato when discussing human emotions, Aristotle leaves more room for flexibility in his discussions. I would not want to be part of a world where my experiences are not based on what desire but rather what I find is reasonable. I understand and agree that reason is an important and respectable ideal, however I want to be able to ignore reason when emotions begin to pus reason away.

This argument is not flawless, by any means. A society that flourishes needs community that requires great characteristics from individuals, if a society was influenced more by desire then reason, we would be left with hedonistic selfishness. So as society is concerned, yes it is important for reason to play a greater role than emotion, but is Plato’s idea that all strong displays of emotion our wrong, correct? I can not agree with him in that assertion. I believe a very important aspect in communities is the ability for humans to relate to one another based on experiences, feelings and common ideas. While Plato’s model may enforce a moral norm for emotions, I do not believe it can be a natural state of nature.

Another reason I have issues with both Plato and Aristotle’s views of the correct use of emotion is that I do not agree that their idea of flourishing would actually be flourishing. Flourishing should deal with feeling good when you do something good, but the ideas of what is good should not be so ingrained in ones mind by education that they can not discover this themselves. If all my life I am told that strong emotion is wrong, I feel I will miss out on many of the parts of life that make it unique to myself, as an individual and as a person.

In analyzing education popular culture, which Plato refers to as “poetry,” is not necessarily a social ill in my opinion. It expands the horizons of one’s view to be encompassing of many more ideas and opinions of life and its abilities, which seems to be what Plato opposes. I also believe it is an outlet for the individual to experience and express the emotions and ideals we discover in life. However, this is also something Plato disagrees with, because it would refer to popular culture as an expression of emotions and desires.

Emotion, in my mind, is such an important aspect to flourishing that it is hard for me to digest and completely understand where philosophers like Plato and Aristotle are coming from when they seem to dismiss emotion as unimportant. While I understand experiencing the perfect emotion as appropriate for the situation is an ideal situation, I do not agree with the philosophers’ belief that they can discuss and conclude what is the right emotion. Aristotle does discuss that emotion is not calculable, that for each situation the correct emotion varies. However, I believe that belief should include variance for the individual, who has their own set of ideals, not necessarily just society’s ideals.

Who Knows What is Right?

Everyday humans are flooded with emotions, desires and thoughts, which are often in conflict. In order to understand and realize their roles in our lives we turn to the works of philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, who pay particular attention to human flourishing. Through their works and discussions we are led towards a path that will help us examine our human nature and all its aspects and capabilities. One discussion that has interested humans for some time is the role of emotions in our lives; what can we learn from them? When should we express them? How should we react to them? It is these questions that have led us to Plato and Aristotle who have both reflected on the role of emotions and even come to some conclusions on their importance and roles.

In “The Republic” Plato recognized that emotion and desire are both aspects of the soul, which are in conflict with the most important aspect of the soul, reason. When our emotions interfere with our ability to reason, it can not be expected for us to flourish. In order for humans to flourish we must understand the role emotions should play and their impact on us. If our emotions become to strong and we display them to greatly we will only hinder what is important and will not be able to have justice within our souls. However, he feels strongly that without proper understanding of our emotions, no matter what our natures are we will not flourish. (P 54). Strong showing of emotion is at no time appropriate and we should instead be turned off by such displays.

Our emotions constrain us and will not allow us to flourish if we do not correctly train them through education, whose goal should be to teach us what, should be pleasurable and what should be painful. Plato does believe that certain emotions are important to life and should be permitted as long as we understand which emotions are permitted and desirable. However, if these emotions are expressed strongly, we will only be distracting ourselves from attaining reason and flourishing, by giving too much attention to our desires.

Aristotle gives emotion a more important role than Plato does; he emphasizes that if emotions are experienced at the right time in the right way they are beneficial to human flourishing. In Aristotle’s mind if the context of the emotion is appropriate, then the emotion itself can be construed as being helpful to attaining moral virtue. If we feel pleasure doing the right thing, express it as appropriate to that, then emotion is a good thing, and will help us flourish.

Aristotle also believes that the soul has two aspects, rational and irrational. Under the rational aspect lies contemplative and practical reason; under the irrational aspects lie the vegetative element, desires, and emotions. He believes though, that in the perfect circumstance emotion and desire can be rational, thus allowing individuals the ability to express strong emotions. It is important for the individual to use practical reasoning to attain and categorize emotion as rational.

While Plato’s view supports emotion less then Aristotle’s, both philosophers seem to realize that if emotion in felt correctly it can in the attainment of human flourishing. Both men seem to draw deeply in the idea that early education can help us “feel” the right moral way; good when we do right, bad when we do wrong. These rights and wrongs are dependent on Plato and Aristotle’s view of the soul’s perfect state, so in accepting the social ideals of what is inherently good we must accept the philosophers’ ideas of what the soul reflects.

I tend to lean toward the view of Aristotle more than Plato when discussing human emotions, Aristotle leaves more room for flexibility in his discussions. I would not want to be part of a world where my experiences are not based on what desire but rather what I find is reasonable. I understand and agree that reason is an important and respectable ideal, however I want to be able to ignore reason when emotions begin to pus reason away.

This argument is not flawless, by any means. A society that flourishes needs community that requires great characteristics from individuals, if a society was influenced more by desire then reason, we would be left with hedonistic selfishness. So as society is concerned, yes it is important for reason to play a greater role than emotion, but is Plato’s idea that all strong displays of emotion our wrong, correct? I can not agree with him in that assertion. I believe a very important aspect in communities is the ability for humans to relate to one another based on experiences, feelings and common ideas. While Plato’s model may enforce a moral norm for emotions, I do not believe it can be a natural state of nature.

Another reason I have issues with both Plato and Aristotle’s views of the correct use of emotion is that I do not agree that their idea of flourishing would actually be flourishing. Flourishing should deal with feeling good when you do something good, but the ideas of what is good should not be so ingrained in ones mind by education that they can not discover this themselves. If all my life I am told that strong emotion is wrong, I feel I will miss out on many of the parts of life that make it unique to myself, as an individual and as a person.

In analyzing education popular culture, which Plato refers to as “poetry,” is not necessarily a social ill in my opinion. It expands the horizons of one’s view to be encompassing of many more ideas and opinions of life and its abilities, which seems to be what Plato opposes. I also believe it is an outlet for the individual to experience and express the emotions and ideals we discover in life. However, this is also something Plato disagrees with, because it would refer to popular culture as an expression of emotions and desires.

Emotion, in my mind, is such an important aspect to flourishing that it is hard for me to digest and completely understand where philosophers like Plato and Aristotle are coming from when they seem to dismiss emotion as unimportant. While I understand experiencing the perfect emotion as appropriate for the situation is an ideal situation, I do not agree with the philosophers’ belief that they can discuss and conclude what is the right emotion. Aristotle does discuss that emotion is not calculable, that for each situation the correct emotion varies. However, I believe that belief should include variance for the individual, who has their own set of ideals, not necessarily just society’s ideals.

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