Among the classical Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle stand in sharp contrast to each other. Although both used the power of human reason to explore the world and human conduct, they approached these issues with distinct expectations:
- Plato held that ultimate reality lies in unchanging forms distinct from the mere appearances we perceive.
- Aristotle began instead from observable features of the world and sought to discover their underlying commonalities.
Which of these approaches seems to you most appropriate in application to your own personal and professional life? Would you rather base important decisions on abstract thinking or on sensory observations?
Philosophy and Religion
Western philosophical traditions and the Abrahamic religions take very different approaches to the resolution of significant life questions. Greek and Roman philosophers sought rational explanations for natural phenomena, while religious thinkers proposed supernatural accounts based on revealed principles. Which approach do you believe succeeds better in establishing fundamental truths about the meaning of life?
How can we most effectively reconcile the influence of these two approaches in our own lives?