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Discussion Questions

Plato

  • 1. What is our true nature, according to Plato? How does he view reason in relation to who we are? What about the body, our emotions, and our passions? How does Plato’s view compare with your own? What would you say our nature is?
  • 2. How does Plato view mathematics? Why does Plato think there is a separate realm of mathematical forms? Is he right in his analysis? Why, or why not? How do you view mathematics? Do you think that mathematical truths exist independently of the physical world? Why, or why not?
  • 3. What is Plato’s view of knowledge? Why doesn’t Plato trust our senses? Where can we find knowledge? How does he argue against Heraclitus’s relativism?

Aristotle

  • 1. How is Aristotle’s view of forms different from Plato’s? Where do Aristotle and Plato find their forms? How do they think of forms and the world around us? How do the two philosophers view knowledge in relation to forms?
  • 2. How would you describe Aristotle’s world picture? What are some differences between how he viewed the universe and our modern conception of the universe? What does he think of purposes in nature? Do you think there are purposes in nature? Why, or why not? Why do you think Aristotle viewed the universe as finite? How could that view have made sense?
  • 3. What is Aristotle’s syllogism? Could we program a computer with many syllogisms to make it intelligent? Why, or why not?
 
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